First established in 1979 in Hamburg, Germany, before moving to its current location at Dusseldorf in 1985, Dainippon Screen Deutschland GmbH (DSD) is the head of the Screen Semiconductor Group in Europe. Under this umbrella, a number of other subsidiaries operate in countries such as France, Italy, Ireland, and Israel. Although the company’s main business is divided into two areas – semiconductor equipment, and media technology – it is the former that dominates DSD’s activities. As such, the business prides itself in offering sales and technical services for semiconductor manufacturing equipment and accessories in the European market.
Semiconductor materials are at the heart of many modern electronics, and therefore are highly in demand across the world. With that in mind, company president Satoshi Kitano, elaborates on the driving force behind DSD’s success: “Our core skills and qualities are that we are highly flexible, and very customer orientated. As such, we listen closely to our customers’ wishes and try to realise these in our products and services. This is true of all our clients, whether big or small, as we strive to support and satisfy them.”
A new system has been introduced for the advancement of semiconductor coatings and development of track equipment. Known as Sokudo Co, which translates as ‘speed’ in English, the business is focused on being one step ahead through accelerated product development, and therefore better placed
to assist its customers. In line with its two company heads, DSD offers products under both the Screen and Sokudo brands.
The technical nature of DSD’s operations means that the company primarily faces challenges in securing and delivering the correct parts as required, and securing enough trained personnel during peak periods. However, as Kitano highlights, the company has developed a number of operational processes to overcome these: “We maintain a central warehouse in Munich, alongside several other sites across Europe. This service is provided by the strong forwarding company CCS, enabling automation of the order process. In addition we have assigned the role of supply chain manager to an experienced engineer who is familiar with our product and service range.
“We also undertake regular control and re-definition of the stocks held, in co-operation with our customers, and have implemented contracts for better planning of maintenance work, which in turn minimises risks for the client,” he continues.
The rise of green devices and environmentally friendly technology in the electronics industry has led DSD to address these issues in its own products and development. In particular the market for power semiconductors has grown rapidly as these energy saving models reduce power consumption and improve conversion efficiency. The result of this thinking was the Frontier project, launched in 2009 to develop manufacturing equipment targeted at the green device industry. Through this project DSD aims to expand its line of manufacturing systems for wafers of 200 millimetres and smaller, as well as introduce systems suited to high-variety and low-volume production.
Following on from this, Kitano elaborates on the latest offering from the Frontier project – ZI-2000 – a wafer pattern inspection system: “The ZI-2000 can be used in a wide variety of applications from in-process inspections in the front-end wafer process, where flexibility is demanded, to final visual inspections, where speed is of the essence. The inspection head employs a proprietary lens or lighting system and a high-speed image processing engine, allowing high throughput that is unaffected by the size or number of chips on the wafer. The unit’s real-time Auto Defect Classification (ADC) function makes it possible to check and confirm just the results required at the end of the inspection.”
Other green initiatives within the work included to reduce total CO2 emissions in semiconductor production equipment – both during customer use and resource procurement. One of the ways the business is achieving this is by making its product more energy efficient, and therefore seeing a measurable reduction in energy consumption. This has lead to the introduction of a wave of next generation products, such as the SU-3200 single wafer cleaning system, that not only delivers the world’s highest throughput at a maximum of 800 wafers per hour, but also the world’s best clean level for silicon semiconductor wafers.
The introduction of innovative solutions is key to DSD’s aim of being a company that can share future benefits with its stakeholders, whilst meeting the needs of today’s evolving global society. Working under this vision, DSD, hopes to be able to raise its status to become fifth largest player, in terms of sales, within the semiconductor industry in the years ahead.
Dainippon Screen Deutschland
Products Semiconductor equipment