Edwards Opens Lab at Hillsboro Innovation Center
Edwards, a supplier of vacuum and abatement equipment to the semiconductor manufacturing industry, has opened a state-of-the-art chemical laboratory at its Innovation Center in Hillsboro, OR. The lab will provide a venue for Edwards experts to work directly with customer personnel to solve critical problems presented by rapidly changing materials and manufacturing processes. Positioning these resources close to the customer will foster early collaboration and innovation, and put safe, effective solutions into the customer's hands faster.
“Almost everything that goes through the process chamber comes out through our equipment,” said Kurtis Fairley, Innovation Center Manager. “Mishandling those materials or allowing the wrong ones to mix can exact significant penalties, in downtime, product loss, and health and safety risks to fab personnel. The challenge only increases as the pace of development accelerates. Evaluating the impact of every new process or chemical on downstream equipment is absolutely essential. The new lab allows customers to explore these issues and develop solutions in collaboration with our experts right in their own backyard: global expertise, locally applied.”
The new laboratory is designed to be a practical testbed for developing and testing specific solutions to real-world customer problems. Laboratory personnel bring to bear expertise from a variety of disciplines, including engineering, chemistry, physics, semiconductor equipment, and safety. The lab contains a range of abatement units, dry pumps, turbomolecular pumps, cryopumps, instrumentation, and is organized into several component functions. An engineering lab permits rapid fabrication and initial testing of prototypes. After validation and safety review, a chemistry lab, equipped with a full range of gas and liquid semiconductor chemistries, provides testing in a simulated process environment. An analytical lab provides a full suite of analytical capabilities, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and more.
Synergies between the new lab and wider Edwards resources in Hillsboro can streamline the movement of innovative ideas from prototype to production. Once a new solution has been validated, experts at the Innovation Center will work with product development teams in Hillsboro and globally to formalize production and evaluate the potential for broader application.
“The Innovation Center attracts some of our most talented and passionate people and gives them the tools and resources they need to address some of our industry’s greatest challenges,” added Scott Balaguer, VP and General Manager. “We are excited to have this opportunity to work close to home with our customers, and we look forward to helping them solve their toughest problems.”
Along with this new Investment, Edwards North America is extending its business widely to support the increased market demands and customer needs and is currently looking to hire many talented people across all functions.