A Brief History of ACTenviro’s Semiconductor Decon / Special Projects Group

Author: Marketing
Date: February 3, 2024


In early 2004, ACT submitted a major bid response for hazardous waste management and on-site services to a large Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturing (SEM) firm local to the Bay Area in California. Upon winning the contract, the client immediately became ACT’s largest at the time, and it remains one of ACT’s biggest and most prestigious accounts to this day.

After starting work, ACT determined that there were additional services required by the SEM client, including semiconductor decontamination and demo services, being offered by competing entities. These services were new to ACT and involved helping the client prepare their equipment for install or de-install by cleaning and removing/reducing potential chemical hazards from the equipment.

Seeing the importance of this line of services, ACT sought out and hired a semiconductor tool decon expert. ACT was quickly rewarded with the opportunity to bid on these additional decontamination and demo services at the SEM client. The initial work was supported by the new expert and supplemented with existing staff. In short order, ACT hired several additional Project Managers, Technicians and even industry Engineers.

The work involved with clearing a tool for de-install or shipping for install revolves around first understanding the hazards of the equipment. The following steps are taken:

  • JHA/HASP are developed
  • Chemical and electrical hazards are studied
  • The tool is locked out both mechanically and electrically
  • Gases, ampoules and/or chemical delivery are disconnected
  • Delivery and drain lines or exhaust systems are detached, cleaned and/or disposed
  • Reservoirs and internal tool lines are drained, flushed, neutralized
  • The equipment exterior, chambers, interior, etc. are cleaned with appropriate material
  • The equipment is sampled and analyzed via field or laboratory analysis
  • The access ports, lines or exhaust are capped and plugged
  • A declaration of cleaning is completely filled out by both the ACT technician performing the work and a representative from the SEM client
  • The tool is then rigged, packaged and shipped to its destination by the SEM client

Today, over 12 years after that first decon job, ACT employs a multitude of professional technicians, engineers and project managers with extensive experience in preparing semiconductor equipment for install or de-install. ACT’s clientele has grown to include a wide variety of SEM and semiconductor resellers. The service has morphed, too, such that ACT now provides stand-alone tool survey support for clients in other industries, including biotech, pharmaceutical research, and advanced mechanical / composite research. Many of these companies implement GMP (“Good Manufacturing Practices”) per their appropriate regulatory agencies and call on ACT for tool verification prior to install / de-install / service activities.

ACTenviro is proud to offer tool decontamination services and stakes its reputation on the quality of each and every such job performed. Should you require this type of work, please do not hesitate to reach out.

– Adam Brandin, Director of Sales


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