Together with contractors to develop method for strengthening exhaust gas pipeline
Carefully examining the improved piping results
TSMC participated in 2018 Taiwan Continuous Improvement Award (TCIA) to exchange experience with other companies in the industry

TSMC and Contractors Work Together to Create a Safe and Accident-Free Working Environment

Shih-Kuan Yang
I-Kai Lin
Jenna Chang

TSMC has been dedicated in creating a safe and accident-free working environment specifically on preventing exhaust leakage. With the two primary goals of "non-stop factory production" and "ensuring employees’ job safety" in mind, TSMC has collaborated with its contractors in proposing an improvement project at the end of 2017. The company has successfully developed new strategies for the semiconductor industry to strengthen pipeline materials durability and pipeline configuration. Besides reducing occupational safety and health risks, the improvement achievements were shared among industries to cultivate mutual interests.

Strengthening Pipeline Materials to Improve Their Service Life

The risk of duct aging increases as a plant gets older. The coating material of the exiting exhaust ducts in TSMC is in compliance with relevant acid and alkali resistance specifications. Nevertheless, to avoid potential risk of corrosion and leakage as a result of long term use and extreme processing temperature, the TSMC Industrial Safety and Facility Department analyzed the molecular structure of various acid and alkali resistant materials, and evaluated the quality and cost of applying these materials. In 2018, the inner protective coating of the exhaust gas pipelines was replaced by the build-in lining, which effectively solved the uneven thickness problem of the protective coating, and increased the thickness of the protective layer by 20 times, significantly improving the durability of the pipeline by more than 60%.

Manufacturing pipeline with build-in lining

Comparison with the novel pipeline material

Material Molecular structure Allowable thickness(mm) Temperature resistivity(℃) Density(g/cm3)
(Ethylene/tetrafluoroethylene copolymer)
Long-chain structure 0.3 150 1.7
3D structure 3.5

Improving Pipeline Configuration; Small Details Bringing Big Benefit

In addition to improving the material and strength of the exhaust gas pipeline, TSMC and its exhaust gas pipeline installation contractor inspected the pipeline production and installation process, and found that the ducts were often cut into different desired pipe lengths in TSMC fabs. As a result, the coating on flanges failed under stress forming a weak point and provided less protection than that of their uncut counterparts. We simulated the collision and flow of fluids within the ducts together with our contractor, and decided to readjust the direction in which ducts were installed. Weak points on the ducts were changed from the windward side to the leeward side, successfully reducing the risk of damage to the weak point of the pipeline. The improved pipeline configuration greatly reduces the risk of corrosion of the pipeline joints by 50%.

Improvement of pipeline configuration

Selfless Sharing of Green Innovation Experience; Strengthening Quality and Sustainability of Supply Chain

By working with contractors of exhaust pipeline configuration to optimize piping strength, TSMC not only sufficiently maintains manufacturing process stability, but also provides its employees a safer working environment. As of the end of 2018, TSMC has hosted three workshops for its contractors, and encouraged implementations of these improvement strategies in semiconductor factories that undertake manufacturing responsibilities. A total of 781 enterprises have directly or indirectly benefited from these workshops. Furthermore, TSMC participated in the 2018 Taiwan Continuous Improvement Award (TCIA) organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, further sharing the exhaust gas pipeline improvement experience with other people in the industrial and academic circles. TSMC was also recognized by the Golden Tower Award.

Developments of TSMC's Exhaust Pipeline Reinforcement