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WACKER’s polysilicon production successfully certified to IATF 16949

27 Feb 2024

Wacker Chemie AG has reached yet another milestone in the ongoing qualification of its production sites to international quality standards. After parts of its silicones production in both Burghausen, Germany, and Zhangjiagang, China, were certified to the IATF 16949 standard, its facilities for the production of semiconductor-grade polysilicon in Burghausen, Germany, and at its US site in Charleston, Tennessee, have now also been awarded the coveted certificate. This underscores WACKER’s position as a world-leading supplier of ultrapure polysilicon for semiconductor applications in the electronics and automotive industry.

Pleased with the IATF certification of the polysilicon production facilities in Burghausen, Germany, and Charleston, USA (from left to right): WACKER POLYSILICON President Tobias Brandis, Head of Quality and Customer Management Christian Westermeier, and Head of Global Quality Management Frank Mümmler. (Photo: WACKER)

IATF 16949 is a standard developed by the International Automotive Task Force for quality management in the automotive industry. The original focus of the specification was to set out the minimum requirements for organizational structures and quality management systems that must be met by automotive suppliers. Since chemical products and materials are hugely important in the automotive and electronics industry with their stringent requirements on quality, the IATF standard is increasingly being implemented in the chemicals industry too. As a manufacturer of high-quality silicone products for the automotive industry, the WACKER Group already operates production facilities in both Burghausen (Germany) and Zhangjiagang (China) certified to the IATF standard.

Packaged and ready-to-ship polysilicon for the semiconductor industry. WACKER’s polysilicon facilities in Burghausen, Germany, and Charleston, USA, are now certified to the international automotive standard IATF 16949. (Photo: WACKER)

Now, two WACKER production facilities for ultrapure polysilicon in Burghausen and Charleston have been awarded this important certificate as well. According to the testing and certification association TÜV NORD CERT, the quality management system in place at both facilities fully complies with the requirements of the IATF standard. “As a market and quality leader, we have been a long-standing supplier of ultrapure polysilicon to all major wafer manufacturers in the semiconductor industry,” says Tobias Brandis, President of the WACKER POLYSILICON division. “There is particular demand for our materials in applications of the highest quality level, including those in the automotive industry.”

Silicon wafer made from ultra-pure polysilicon. The microprocessors which are created from such wafers are the bedrock for digitalization in many industry sectors – including the automotive industry. With its successful IATF certification, WACKER has fully aligned its processes with the quality management standards that apply there. (photo: WACKER)

High-performance computer chips are not just integral components of smartphones and tablets alone. They are set to take on more and more important functions in cars in the future, such as autonomous driving. As a result, the polysilicon which is used in those applications and which is supplied by WACKER will also become an increasingly important raw material for the automotive industry. “Many of our semiconductor customers are already certified to IATF 16949. It is therefore obvious that we need to be able to show that our production processes also meet this standard,” Brandis explains. “This latest IATF certification signalizes our customers that we are thoroughly prepared for the ever-growing demands and expectations. We are setting a benchmark for the industry in terms of quality and in terms of our quality management system.”

To meet the requirements of the IATF standard, WACKER has implemented several innovations. For example, all process risks are now evaluated by using failure modes and effects analyses (FMEAs). Measurement procedures are assessed with measurement system analyses. Furthermore, production control plans have been set up to monitor all processes and analytical systems. “The IATF stipulations by far exceed preceding standards, such as ISO 9001,” emphasizes Christian Westermeier, Head of Quality and Customer Management at WACKER POLYSILICON. “Certification to IATF 16949 is a clear sign of our commitment to continue improving our quality management systems and to take them to the next level.”

Note: This story has not been edited by The Polymerupdate Editorial team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.