Why do they use robots in the electronics and semiconductor industry?
There are a number of reasons why robots are being increasingly used in the electronics and semiconductor industry.
Of course, helping to reduce costs is vital, but of paramount importance is not speed, but accuracy.
Experts are quick to point out that tolerances, for example, are much tighter within this industry, than say the automotive industry. Therefore, it’s not only a case that to work efficiency in this sector robots have to be precise, but that they can also be more efficient than human workers when it comes to handling fragile components.
Therefore, as robots become more sophisticated and sensitive, using grippers that are built specifically for the job, they are being used for more complex tasks. Manufacturers and integrators have to work within a number of ranges, including accuracy, speed, force compliance, motion, dexterity, reach and safety.
Speed is important, but not the overriding factor. Consider that a robot might be having to handle wafers which, if damaged by micro-cracks, will have to be discarded.
And as these wafers become ever thinner (150 microns or less), there is a real danger that handling by humans will prove detrimental to the product.
Once robots are able to handle such work themselves, then their inbuilt advantages of higher output, boosted yields and flexibility, all come into play.