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Virtual Metrology

Virtual Metrology

Virtual Metrology is the ability to infer product and process performance without the need to physically measure material. This is achieved through a series of computational intelligence techniques, data mining and model development.

Metrology (measurement) is generally a non-value add process in manufacturing.  It is frequently costly to perform and may be destructive and time-consuming and/or physically difficult to acquire the desired measurement. 

The ICMR Virtual Metrology program has looked at a broad range of diverse industry problems in order to deliver:

  • Improved Process Control – modelling of difficult to measure processes
  • Reduced Metrology – Increased Productivity through dynamic sampling
  • Real-time modelling of process behaviour flagging early deviations or out-of-spec conditions
  • Improved visibility in batch tested/offline measurement processes

Creating these types of model can lead to significant cost savings in production environments

Collaboration

The ICMR Virtual Metrology Program is a very successful collaboration between ICMR, NUI Maynooth and a number of ICMR member companies including, Seagate Technologies, Pfizer and Vistakon.

Research Team
Publications

Case Studies

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Outcome

One key outcome is the development of a software tool capable of modelling the 3D profile of a semiconductor wafer.  The Wafer tool has been successfully demonstrated to reduce the number of metrology points on a wafer surface from 50 down to 7, creating a significant savings opportunity within a semiconductor environment.

 

 

The research team have looked at a wide range of industry types from Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices to Semiconductor Manufacturing, and have successfully developed and applied models to a range of problem statements.  We are eager to hear from other industries interested in exploring opportunities in this space.

If you’re interested in this research, please get in touch


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