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Pinpoint Accuracy on Producing Wafer-Ready Silicon Carbide Crystal Among Capability Highlights of BoulePro-200AX, integrated XRD Tool
ELMIRA, NY (May 19, 2023) – Successful product demonstrations and customer sales suggest a bright future for Hardinge’s BoulePro-200AX. With its Single Step Dual-plane Compensation (SSDC) capability, the BoulePro has streamlined the industry’s SiC fabrication process of shaping an as grown boule to wafer-ready puck. SiC is a vital semiconductor material needed for the advancement of electric vehicles and other high growth markets.
Launched late in 2022, the BoulePro has generated interest from nearly all global SiC producers, given its revolutionary manufacturing capability. The BoulePro improves a current fabrication process that can take over twenty-four hours (from boule to puck) down to just two to three hours using an automated single setup solution. Hardinge has estimated a nearly 70% total cost reduction when taking labor, manufacturing footprint, scrap, capacity efficiency, and consumables into account. Hardinge is leading the charge with multiple SiC producers to reduce production costs and grow industry utilization of SiC.
This year, customers from all over the world have been visiting Hardinge’s Elgin, Illinois facility to see the BoulePro in action. “Our Elgin facility is home to Hardinge’s Usach brand of specialized application grinding machines” says David Yan – Site Director, Hardinge Elgin. “Our team of engineers and application specialists were able to quickly get a prototype BoulePro up and running to demonstrate the machine’s capability and show how the production process will function on the final machine design expected to ship later this year.”
“Customers were eager to see the BoulePro in action–even in its prototype form–given the market’s rapid expansion,” says Jeff Gum – Advanced Material Specialist with Hardinge. “Given the markedly different crystal geometries from supplier to supplier, the Hardinge team was challenged with seeing boules for the first time in person and needing to demonstrate how the BoulePro can perform a production process. Our customers were excited to see how our engineering and application experts were able to adjust to their demands and how flexible the BoulePro can be.”
One area that has amazed customers is the precise accuracy of the BoulePro-200AX with its built in X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) machine. “Because of how tightly various parameters are controlled, our machine produces the angular correction on crystal orientation up to 100 times more accurately than the manual process currently used today,” said Gum. This will enable SiC producers to meet and exceed their customer’s expectations and requirements as specifications evolve.
Exciting times are ahead for Hardinge with expansion plans underway to deal with increased volumes given the market’s overwhelming excitement for the BoulePro. Demonstrations will be ongoing in 2023 with customer machines hitting the floor before yearend. Hardinge will utilize its global footprint to meet customer demand and aftermarket needs to ensure BoulePro supply and support services match our customer requirements.
Hardinge has been and will continue to be attending industry trade shows around the world to highlight the BoulePro’s capability. Hardinge representatives recently attended and delivered a presentation in April 2023 at the Compound Semiconductor International Conference held in Brussels, Belgium. In addition, Hardinge plans to attend and exhibit at Semicon® West 2023 scheduled for July 11 – 13 and plans to attend the largest show solely dedicated to silicon carbide semiconductor material – the International Conference of Silicon Carbide Related Materials (ISCRM 2023) in Sorrento, Italy.
SiC presents unlimited opportunities to many growth markets once the cost model comes more in line with currently used material. Hardinge is excited to be at the forefront of this revolution and be viewed as a reliable trusted manufacturing partner that global SiC producers can count on for their fabrication needs.
About Hardinge, Inc.
Hardinge, Inc. is the trusted global provider of high precision, computer-controlled machine tool solutions for critical, hard-to-machine metal parts and advanced workholding accessories. With over 125 years of experience, Hardinge offers the largest variety of metal-cutting turning machines, grinding machines, machining centers, collets, chucks, index fixtures, repair parts, standard and specialty workholding devices, and other machine tool accessories. Hardinge’s solutions can be found in a broad base of industries including aerospace, agricultural, automotive, construction, consumer products, defense, energy, medical, technology, and transportation. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes machine tools in over 65 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information about Hardinge, please visit us at www.hardinge.com.
Contact: Ryan Ervin
Chief Marketing Officer & Vice President, Sales
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