Frank here,

In my twenty plus years working with PRI/Equipe Robots and Pre-aligners, perhaps the most common problem encountered when installing a new unit is having the correct files downloaded into the controller. Too often we receive calls that a robot is not performing properly after install, only to find that the parameter file was not downloaded into the controller or if it was downloaded the proper procedure to save the file was not followed.

This common mistake has cost the Semiconductor Fab or End-User serious extended downtime and thousands of dollars. The cost of logistics labor, as well as the freight cost to ship the unit for repair only to find that there was a very simple solution, can be avoided. Worst of all is the cost of lost production time that easily could have been avoided with a simple phone call to our support team.

Each Robot, Pre-aligner and Track requires a unique parameter (.par) file. Not only are parameter files different for a particular model of robot or aligner but there are a couple of specific lines in the parameter file which are unit specific.

For Robots, the Radial axis home retract position is saved in line 16 of the 25-line parameter file. The parameter that sets the R-axis Center Overlapping Position (COP) is held in line 17.
For pre-aligners, the correction for the Z-axis lift pin chuck reference height is set by those same lines in the parameter file. Pre-aligners also require three files to operate properly.

  • The Parameter file (.par extension) contains the speed and acceleration values, the PID parameters for motion profiling and the positive and negative software limits etc.
  • The Wafer Parameter file (.waf extension) contains values defining the Lift Pins Load/Unload position (PINL) and the Pin Up position (PINU).
  • The most critical file for Pre-aligners is the Calibration file (.cal extension). Without it the Pre-aligner cannot properly center the wafer or align the notch or flat to the correct angle.

We stress to our customers that we are available for support via phone or e-mail to help a Production Engineer or Tech solve some of these issues prior to pulling a Robot or Pre-aligner from the system.

A file Upload and Download Procedure can also be found under the Services section of our website.

Categories: Frank's Corner