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FAMILY MOLD TOOL: THE ANSWER TO COSTLY MOLDING PROCESS
June 01, 2016
The use of family mold tool is seen by the semiconductor industry as a smart solution to efforts on minimizing costs in the highly expensive molding process. While related costs are significantly minimized, quality and functionality of the products are not affected when family mold tools are utilized.
All thanks to research efforts that identified the similar package type family such as TO-220 2, 3, and 5 lead options, as well as the Axial package type like DO-41, T18, 1.5KE, small body, and big body.
Based on the research findings, the production of various package types in mold shot can significantly minimize requirements for manpower and energy consumption. At the same time, it is also expected to lower machine hours and set up time.
FAMILY MOLD VS INDIVIDUAL MOLD
Semiconductor manufacturers traditionally rely on the use of individual mold tool for different package types. The use of such mold tool involves costly set-up and longer cycle time for queuing (eight mold tool alternating in four mold presses). In addition, individual mold tools require considerable amount of investment to replace the eight ends of life mold tools.
To sustain such mold productivity, one must spend on machine and operation labor, on top of other related costs. Family mold is the answer to the expensive molding process. It was used in package types covering all Axial, TO 220 and TO 263 2 , 3 and 5 leads packages. The use of this promising alternative to the traditional individual mold tool has shown positive results, not only in cost reduction, but also on productivity.
In order to test the impact of using family mold tool, the researchers first identified the package type with similar body. Suppliers were also requested to run simulation for the best mold design that would cater the two or more package types/sizes.
The family mold concept was validated using the mold flow simulation. This way, the potential effect of the combined/multiple package types in one mold shot was predicted.
The new mold tool passed the mold qualification and full reliability test. Researchers have also demonstrated how savings are acquired with the use of these family mold tools. To ensure optimum quality and functionality, guidelines and procedures are defined. This is to prevent any potential product misprocess and product mixing in the manufacture and molding process.