Mazak Corporation has long been dedicated to supporting the growth of high-tech innovation and manufacturing excellence on the West Coast, including offices mere miles from the heart of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, California. And this year, the company will demonstrate its continued commitment to the region and its diverse industries – including semiconductor fabrication, aerospace, medical devices, construction, agriculture and more – with the grand opening of a new 10,000-square-foot San Francisco Technical Center in nearby Fremont.
Designed to serve as a development lab with an emphasis on HYBRID Multi-Tasking applications, automation, material processing and advancements in digital applications, the team at the new San Francisco Technical Center will partner with companies throughout the region seeking advanced global solutions in manufacturing. Working with Mazak’s network of Regional Technology Centers across North America, the new center in San Francisco will offer localized training, technical and applications support, space for system runoffs and opportunities to collaborate with multiple suppliers for the development of complete project solutions.
This is particularly important in the heart of high-tech industry, where innovation still continues at a breakneck pace – and the core driver of every industry in the Bay Area and Northern California is silicon, whether it’s the systems in the latest harvesters and combines or the super-fast computers powering the latest medical innovations. With its new Technical Center, Mazak will be in a position to help all these sectors, as well as the industry that produces the core technology powering all this advancement: semiconductor production.
To produce processors with transistors separated by a dozen nanometers, semiconductor fabricators must achieve exceptional levels of precision – a single stray particle can ruin an entire set of circuits. This means the equipment used to produce these semiconductors needs to surpass that level of precision and cleanliness. And, with the current pace of semiconductor growth projected to continue for the foreseeable future, these suppliers must achieve this level of quality control with high-throughput production of large parts.
Of course, because components used for semiconductor fabrication equipment require precision machining, they cannot be cast or otherwise produced as one piece – they must be welded together in order to create airtight spaces, such as those used for vacuum chambers and gas lines. Even MIG welding, however, makes for a challenging process, as creating a perfectly smooth weld requires experienced welders carefully operating single-purpose equipment and any error in manufacturing can scrap an entire piece of equipment. The smallest impurity trapped in the join could find their way onto silicon wafers, after all.
As it moves into its new San Francisco Technical Center, Mazak will be bringing along its exceptional new HYBRID Multi-Tasking technology, Friction Stir Welding (FSW). Developed in conjunction with Mazak MegaStir, the advantages of using FSW to produce semiconductor fabrication equipment are obvious: FSW merely moves material from one side to the other, breaking down aluminum billet’s grain structure and allowing the grains to regrow while the tool shoulder constrains the direction in which they form. That controlled, refined grain regrowth consolidates the welded joint, making the material stronger and less porous while retaining its original thermal and chemical properties – all without introducing any errors or trapping pollutants in the weld.
By loading aluminum billets and using HYBRID Multi-Tasking efficiency to unload finished parts complete with perfect welds, manufacturers of semiconductor fabrication equipment can enjoy the process optimization benefits made possible by DONE IN ONE®. Interested in learning more? Download Mazak’s FSW white paper, “Friction Stir Welding: The Key to Single-setup Component Machining” and watch the Upcoming Events page for news about the San Francisco Technical Center’s grand opening event this spring.