MMI Industrial & Steel Leveling Up in the Hi-Tech Space

January 12, 2024

In September 2021, MMI Industrial & Steel achieved a significant milestone by securing our first contract at the expansive TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) factory, currently under construction in Northwest Phoenix. This initial contract marked the beginning of a fruitful partnership with TSMC and Marketech International Corp, paving the way for multiple projects for MMI. Among them, a standout endeavor was the fabrication and installation of two EUV Precision Crane Railing systems.

EUV/EUVL or Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography is an advance semiconductor manufacturing technology used to create extreme small features on microchips. It is a crucial step in the production of integrated circuits with smaller and more densely packed components. EUV allows for the production of smaller, more powerful microchips by enabling finer details in the manufacturing process. The shorter wavelength of EUV light enables a higher resolution, making it possible to produce chips with nanoscale features.

To understand the significance of undertaking the EUV Crane Rail project, it is important to also

understand the critical role they play in the chip manufacturing process. EUV lithography machines are highly complex and sensitive systems. Their light source must be carefully aligned to achieve the accuracy required in chip manufacturing. A crane rail system allows for controlled, precise movement. When used in a cleanroom setting, crane rails are design to operate without introducing particulate matter or compromise the cleanliness of the facility. Furthermore, they provide stability, a level surface and even load distribution for the precision cranes employed in EUV technology implementation. Dan Burch, Construction Manager, Semiconductor, at MMI, offers valuable insights into the challenges faced and successes achieved during this key project.

Awarded Job and Scope of Work

MMI was honored to be awarded the contract for the fabrication and installation of an EUV Precision Crane Railing System at TSMC's cutting-edge facility in May 2022. The scope of work not only included the precision fabrication and installation of two complete sets of crane rail systems but also extended to the installation and commissioning support for four precision gantry cranes, crucial components in the EUV technology implementation.

Challenges and Solutions

The biggest challenge our crew faced in the EUV Precision Crane Rail project was the installation of the precision-fabricated crane rails themselves. With the rails requiring connections to the building's steel roof support structure, MMI faced a unique challenge which demanded skilled and critical thinking. The successful resolution of this challenge showcased the team's ingenuity and determination, establishing MMI as a reliable partner capable of overcoming complex hurdles within the semiconductor landscape.

Crew and Collaboration

Executing a project of this capacity required a skilled and dedicated team. MMI assembled a 10-person fabrication shop crew and a 6-person field installation crew, demonstrating our commitment to excellence in precision engineering. Collaboration remained at the forefront, both within the MMI team and with key customers and vendor partners such as TSMC and MIC Taiwan, highlighting the significance of a collective effort in ensuring project success.

Growth Strategy in the Semiconductor Space

Our involvement in the TSMC project in 2021 strategically aligned with MMI's growth strategy in the semiconductor space. By tackling the development and refinement of precision fabrication and installation of precision crane rail systems, MMI has exhibited its dedication to developing methods tailored to the unique needs of the semiconductor industry.

This early engagement positioned MMI as a leader in the semiconductor sector, providing a competitive edge and opening doors for future collaborations within this dynamic and evolving industry.

Project Pride

Reflecting on the project, Dan Burch expresses pride in the MMI team's ability to navigate a demanding customer and overcome unique cleanroom challenges and conditions without significant schedule impact. This accomplishment demonstrates MMI's technical prowess and emphasizes our commitment to customer satisfaction and adherence to timelines.

Looking Forward

As MMI Industrial & Steel reflects on the completion of the EUV Precision Crane Rail Fabrication and Installation project at TSMC, the company stands at the forefront of innovation in the semiconductor space. This project reinforces MMI's commitment to excellence. Moreover, it sets the stage for future collaborations and advancements within the semiconductor industry.

MMI's involvement in the TSMC project since 2021 exemplifies our aptitude for tackling complex challenges, our dedication to unsurpassed quality and timeliness, and our strategic vision for growth in the semiconductor sector. This project marks not only a successful collaboration between MMI and TSMC but also a significant contribution to the evolution of semiconductor manufacturing methodologies.

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