By Becky Hurley | Nov 13, 2015
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Clean Room Compliant Packaging
Colorado Springs (HQ: Billerica, Massachusetts)
Founded: 1966 (as Fluoroware)
Publicly traded (NASDAQ: ENTG)
Employees: 3,500 total (175 in Colorado)
For the past few months, Entegris' Colorado plant has operated at top capacity, generating semiconductor wafer carriers and shippers for hundreds of microenvironment applications. As a result, the company's plastics injection molding crews have worked 24/7 to design, build, and ship orders for use by the world's largest semiconductor companies.
"We supply industries and other manufacturers that depend heavily on our technology -- and we're equipped to grow with them," says Greene.
Customers include high-profile direct users like Intel, Samsung, and Atmel as well as a broad range of manufacturers involved in producing chips used in every computer, smartphone and smart television.
As a global supplier with more than 3,500 employees in 10 countries, Entegris is a resource to hundreds of advanced manufacturers. Its Colorado operation -- which employs 175 engineers, scientists, technicians, inspectors, assemblers, and business people -- focuses on making semiconductor wafer carriers, wafer shippers and chip trays. These plastic transporters can range in size from a two-inch square chip tray to a new 450-millimeter carrier, capable of holding dozens of wafers and thousands of computer chips.
"We are a dominant factor in the markets we serve," Greene says. "All products are designed to meet our customers' quality and purity specifications."
Entegris' manufacturing process depends heavily on the company's custom injection molding machines and robotics. Nothing leaves the floor, however, without thorough human inspection and scientific dimensional measurement.
"Our cleanroom employees have an especially demanding job," he says, noting that each plastic component is examined for all manner of aesthetic imperfections.
Domestic and international raw material acquisition is handled through the corporation's central purchasing department. Upon delivery, plastic resins are stored in four silos on site as well as in Denver. Greene notes that the plant relies heavily on local suppliers. They provide services ranging from packaging to maintenance and facility supply items and services.
Orders are shipped most frequently by ground and sea -- and can range from a single sleeve of trays to containers filled with large wafer carriers. "Whatever it takes, we make sure our fab customers don't go 'line down,'" Greene says.
Challenges: Using technology to meet the ever-evolving cleanliness and purity specifications that are driving the semiconductor industry, says Greene.
Opportunities: As Entegris has had a presence in Colorado Springs since 1994, staying in the city was a strategic move, Greene notes. Since 2011, Entegris has invested over $10 million in a new Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to manufacture next-generation products. Colorado was selected over other global locations and this could not have happened without the help of key local leaders in streamlining the process. In addition, Entegris is looking to help serve other Colorado businesses in need of advanced injection molding services.
Needs: Greene says Entegris considers people its core asset. As such, the company seeks expertise at all levels -- from engineers and scientists to skilled technicians and inspectors.