Machine Manufacturing

Silex Microsystems Receives VINNOVA Grant

July 11, 2012

The funding will enable the consortium to expand volume production capabilities for MEMS-based gas sensors in Sweden.

JARFALLA, Sweden /PRNewswire/ -- Silex Microsystems, one of the world's largest pure-play MEMS foundries, announced that VINNOVA, the Swedish governmental agency for innovation systems, has awarded a nearly 10 million SEK grant towards a 30 million SEK program to a consortium of 10 Swedish companies to advance high-tech manufacturing of MEMS-based gas sensing systems in Sweden, "the global center of excellence for gas sensors."

Silex's share of this grant totals nearly 1 million SEK and will be used to advance its manufacturing infrastructure and operations capabilities at its world-class Jarfalla facilities. Working together, the consortium companies will be able to drive the development of next-generation MEMS-based gas sensing systems, such as car breath sensors for alcohol lock-out systems, CO2 monitoring systems for climate control, oxygen monitoring for hospital intensive care units, and NO monitoring for personal asthma modules.

"As the world's largest pure-play MEMS foundry, Silex is committed to maintaining its competitive position for the benefit of its global customers, as well as the Swedish economy," says Dr Thorbjorn Ebefors, Chief Technologist at Silex Microsystems. "Our participation in this consortium will allow us to implement state-of-the-art IT and operational advancements that will strengthen our MEMS manufacturing excellence. These improvements will also enable our customers to bring their MEMS-based products to market faster and capitalize on the emerging demand for gas sensors."

Silex will be leveraging its grant award to further strengthen its in-line process monitoring and standardization and reuse capabilities through its SmartBlocks program. SmartBlocks is Silex's framework for modularizing and characterizing process steps for easy re-use. Additionally, Silex will develop innovative lean manufacturing techniques, provide Six Sigma training for its engineers, and conduct design for manufacturability studies within an integrated IT environment.

Project Advances MEMS Manufacturing in Sweden
The VINNOVA project, entitled "Sustainable Production Systems for Hi-Tech Manufacturing of MEMS-Based Gas Sensor Systems in Sweden," addresses the challenges in production technology for gas sensor systems at all points of the industry supply chain. Sweden is a center of excellence in the global gas sensor market, both at the sensor component and system provider levels. As part of the project, the consortium will introduce Evolvable Production Systems to sensor manufacturing and develop methods and demonstrate implementations of next-generation miniaturized MEMS-based gas sensor technology. The project is scheduled to begin in September of 2012 and run for approximately two years.

About the Consortium
The Consortium is coordinated by Professor Stemme at the KTH Department of Microsystem Technology and also has the KTH Institute for Industrial Production as an academic partner. The partner companies are Silex Microsystems, SenseAir, Autoliv Development, Hok Instrument, Aerocrine, Maquet Critical Care, Lexi Consulting, Hala, and Excal.

VINNOVA, the Swedish governmental agency for innovation systems, invests in research and strengthens Sweden's innovative capacity for competitiveness, sustainable development, and growth. VINNOVA's efforts range from programs for R&D projects in small companies and at universities to long-term development of strong research and innovation environments that attract R&D investment and expertise from around the world.

About Silex Microsystems
As one of the world's largest pure-play MEMS foundries, Silex Microsystems is driving the sensory system revolution by partnering with the world's most innovative companies to commercialize MEMS technologies that are changing the world. Its unique expertise in providing cutting-edge MEMS foundry services, innovative process technologies, and proven high-volume production capabilities enable MEMS innovators to rapidly, cost-effectively, and reliably commercialize and ramp products to high volume. At Silex, customers work closely with the industry's most knowledgeable and creative MEMS manufacturing experts and benefit from its global ecosystem of development partners to take MEMS to market faster.

Silex and Silex Microsystems are registered trademarks and SmartBlocks is a trademark of Silex Microsystems. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

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