Making Semiconductor Parts on a DATRON
If your product needs to process information, you need a microchip. From smartphones and cars to everyday appliances like refrigerators, microchips (also known as a semiconductors or Integrated Circuits) are created by Fabrication Plants (aka Fabs).
In 2020, more than 900 billion computer chips were manufactured worldwide, with Asia accounting for 75% of production and the U.S. only producing only 12%. But things are changing fast. Today, U.S. manufacturers are realizing there is little need to offshore chip manufacturing and risk dependency on vulnerable supply chains. With the right equipment, microchip production can be brought in-house.
Why A Chip Shortage?
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many manufacturers were forced to shut down production as people started moving to remote work. Microchip suppliers were suddenly faced with finding new buyers for their inventory as vulnerable industries, like the automotive industry, canceled orders while waiting to reopen. With their normal customers at a stand-still, microchip suppliers shifted their attention to the electronics industry as the demand for electronic devices spiked. Remote work and school meant that more consumers needed computer equipment for the home office, tablets for remote learning, and gaming consoles for entertainment. However, by the time the manufacturing sector resumed operations, their IC suppliers had moved on to new business and simply did not have enough inventory. The demand for ICs was now greater than the supply, leading to a worldwide chip shortage
Manufacture Electronic Parts In-house
The microchip shortage has caused manufacturers to reexamine their production process and bring their electronics parts production in-house. As electronics continue to get smaller, manufacturers now need to make those semiconductor parts with the same level of detail, but in a much tighter space. CNC milling machines with micromachining capabilities are able to produce parts with tiny details for those ever-shrinking electronics, and that’s where a DATRON CNC machine can help.
What Semiconductor Parts Can Be Made on a DATRON?
Heat sinks are used to transfer the heat generated by an electronic, like a microprocessor in a computer. These are usually made from copper or aluminum because those materials have very high thermal conductivity. Due to the complex contours and cutouts, you need a CNC milling machine (like a DATRON) that’s capable of micromachining those features. Electronic devices need enclosures (also called housings or casings) to insulate and protect the electronic circuits from outside exposure and damage. Enclosures can be milled from rigid plastics or metals like aluminum and stainless steel. They must be precisely made to fit the electronic properly. Injection molding is another method to enclose an electronic device. The precision molds which the material is injected into are often made from metal since they’re subjected to high temperatures and pressure. These metal molds must hold tight tolerances and uniformity, so the electronic part meets the required specs.
DATRONs Are a Good Fit for Electronics Parts Production
DATRONs excel at making small parts with complex features, intricate details, and tight tolerances. With spindle speeds ranging from 34,000 to 60,000 RPM, these spindles are able to produce tiny features with high-quality results. This happens because high speeds allow for faster feed rates. The tool moves more quickly through the material and chips are removed from the cutting path before heat builds up and impacts the milling quality. Plus, the high RPM means microchip parts are produced faster.
DATRON spindles are combined with HSK tool holders that produce very little runout, so you gain greater precision. The spindles on the M10 Pro and Cube machine series have concentricity better than 2 microns. This means the micro tool stays secure during milling and prevents excessive vibration that would cause chatter. So, your cuts are cleaner, smoother, and more accurate.
Another factor that contributes to the accuracy of your integrated circuit parts is machine rigidity. DATRONs were designed with an optimal weight to rigidity ratio to dampen vibrations. The machines are made with polymer concrete or granite, steel, and aluminum, so are more effective at absorbing vibrations than traditional CNC machine materials like cast iron. This rigidity results in high-quality cutting and surface finishes.
Benefits Of Making Semiconductor Parts On A DATRON
Bringing Electronics Production In-House Is Simple
The DATRON next CNC control software simplifies machining, so users don’t need years of experience to successfully operate the machine. The next control features a touchscreen control that’s like using a smartphone; there are icons and graphics to guide the user to different sections of the menu. The CAM Assistant breaks part set-up into 4 steps and lets you double-check your program in a 3D simulation. all of these features reduce your set-up time, risk of error, and number of scrapped parts.
Should you be producing semiconductor parts on DATRON CNC milling machine? Our DATRON experts have over 25 years of CNC expertise to help manufacturers optimize their machining process for specific applications. Contact Us to learn more.