What started out as as a small project to automate a single stage of production has evolved into an award-winning program to digitally convert one of ABB’s own factories.

Power semiconductors manufactured by ABB go through hundreds of production steps, from raw wafer sawing to the finished semiconductor module. Production of the BiMOS semiconductor was labour-intensive and tended to lead to bottlenecks when demand was high, so ABB began to analyze how to increase the efficiency of this production step. ABB found that many non-value-adding processes such as preparation, loading and unloading, and material handling accounted for a significant portion of the workload.

ABB has set itself this task and the changeover and non-value-adding transport processes are now fully automated, so that the robots convert the systems independently. The result is a highly agile production process that adapts autonomously depending on what needs to be produced at a given point in time. AGVs transport materials between cells based on MES instructions. From the control room, one person can monitor and control the entire production process. The necessary data is made available to the MES through vertical integration.

The first robotic cell for testing various power semiconductor modules finally went into operation in November 2018.

ABB Semiconductors has already received an award in the “Excellent Location Safeguarding by Digitalization” category of the renowned “Factory of the Year 2018” industrial competition. The prize was awarded not only for “Genesis”, but also for the entire digitization strategy of the product unit.

Read here the full article on the Genesis project from ABB Semiconductors.