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There are two main ways in which we make a positive impact to the environment; firstly making our products more efficient and effective at what they do, and secondly how we manage our impact on the environment within our business.
We care about sustainability and we are working to ensure the things we do, and the way we do them, become more sustainable. We have made several major step changes in product design driven by environmental considerations. Efficient use of resources is crucial in our product design and development, lowering cost of ownership for customers with particular emphasis on reducing power and water consumption.
Reducing our customers’ energy use in the semiconductor industry process pumps are one of the largest energy users on a process tool which in turn can account for over a third of a fab’s energy use (SEMATECH Energy research). The global installed base of semiconductor vacuum pumps consumes the equivalent energy of Sheffield in the UK or Plano in Texas, USA.
We design in energy saving and reduced utility costs without compromising reliability. Using a platform design process each successive generation of our primary pumps consumes less energy. For example the latest generation dry pumps use around 30% less energy than previously. Now, with the introduction of Active Utility Control (AUC) we reduce consumption of energy and utilities even further when pumps are idle using signals from the tool.
We make sure that the benefits of our latest generation platform technology are used throughout our pump range. These benefits are made available to customers running older generation pumps through Edwards’ energy efficiency upgrade programs.
We also advise customers how to minimize energy used by our equipment.
Reducing global energy consumption is key in the fight against global warming. In addition to minimising the energy our production facilities and offices consume, our latest generations of turbo molecular pump ranges enable our customers to meet their energy reduction targets. Edwards offers upgrade programmes enabling customers to switch to energy efficient turbo molecular pump technology.
For example, benefits of switching from oil diffusion pumps to STP turbo molecular pumps:
Semiconductor manufacturing processes use gases, such as per fluorocarbons and sulphurhexafluoride, which are of high environmental concern due to their persistence and high Global Warming Potential (GWP). These substances may have GWPs 1000’s of times that of carbon dioxide. For example: If CO2 has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1 over 100 years, over the same time period - SF6 has a GWP of 23,500, NF3 has a GWP of 16,100 and CF4 has a GWP of 6,630. (Source; IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014).
We've been helping our customers to achieve high levels of destruction removal efficiency of these substances since the mid 1990s, using our combustion abatement technology. More recently with plasma technology, our customers have been able to achieve CO2 reductions of >90% across entire fabs - in line with The World Semiconductor Council’s targets. For production of flat panels and emerging environmental devices such as solar panels and LED lighting, we have developed the Spectra Z and Spectra G Abatement Systems to cope with higher gas flows.
Our Atlas abatement products use up to 50% less fuel than previous ranges. Edwards also offers Atlas technology as an energy efficient upgrade to previous ranges of abatement products. Combining pumps and abatement systems we also save energy by applying innovative 'idle mode' technology.