Semi-Fab Technologies Webcomic

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Hypothetically speaking, if the equipment is falling through the floor cause we were moving into the aisle without using spreader plates, should we stop running product in it?

Hypothetically Speaking

It's not my story to tell, but the exaggerated version of it goes something like this:

An equipment vendor has a nice lunch with his partner and then heads back to work. On his way back in, his pager (it's like a cell phone, but only does SMS) starts going of every 10 seconds. Apparently his lunch spot was in a dead zone and something had happened back at the fab. The pages start as simple questions from one of the equipment owners. Something on the lines of, "We're thinking about relocating one of your tools, could you tell us how much it weighs?" Follow by increasingly panicked questions like "We've decided to move it. Did you find out the weight?" and "We really need an answer about that weight." Before the messages were absolutely panicked many of them from several different people were akin to "Where are you! We need that weight NOW!" after cleaning up the language. Apparently, that hour while the vendor was out of cell service, they had unhooked everything from the tool and started moving it. This was an R&D facility, so they regularly moved equipment from one area of the fab to another as they evaluated new processes or new product. This time, the equipment was quite a bit heavier than the LPCVD they were accustomed to and they made the mistake to move it on the composite floor tiles without spreader plates on top of the tiles to distribute the equipment's weight. The weight of the tool broke through the floor about 30cm and ruptured a water line causing all the equipment in the general area to emergency power off due to the water spraying everywhere. They needed the vendor's expertise to determine the size of the lift to raise the tool out of the floor before it broke through and damaged more equipment or drop that final 9.7 meters to the subfab. Unfortunately for them, their vendor was out to lunch.

While events were not nearly as bad as depicted in the cartoon, many lessons were learned that day.

Comic Transcript

Tool Owner:
So, hypothetically speaking, how much does a tool weigh?