2020 sales goal of 100 billion won
Kumkang Quartz, a specialist company in quartz ware, will invest 5 billion won in the expansion of its headquarters factory in Dongtan, Hwaseong City in the first half of the year. At the end of the process, the production of quartz parts will be increased by 20~30%. The quartz ring output will be doubled. This year's performance also surpassed the 76 billion won of last year and increased it to 90 billion won. Next year, the company plans to achieve sales of 100 billion won.
Founded in 1997, Kumkang Quartz creates containers that protect or transport wafers from impurities in etching and diffusion processes when making semiconductors. It makes both the quartz transfer vessel and the ring. Both products account for 70% of their sales. The company provides its products to both Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.
Quartz is literally a kind of glass. Most of the material is made of silicic acid (SiO2) and is resistant to heat while at the same time allowing light to pass through freely. It must survive exposure to all kinds of chemicals and gases. There are two ways to make quartz. One is by melting (heating and melting) and the other is by synthesis. Domestic companies have only used molten quartz, but the performance may not be satisfactory in the process of melting the material and making the shape.
An official of Kumkang Quartz said, "Molten quartz has its own limitations. But synthetic quartz has hydrolyzed (decomposition chemistry using water) the raw materials and overcome the limitations of silicon dioxide (SiO2). There was synthetic quartz in Korea, but Kumkang Quartz was the first company that applied it to the etching process."
The requirements for quartz parts have become more demanding as the semiconductor microprocessing difficulties have increased rapidly. For example, quartz rings that enter the etching process must be replaced as short as in 250 hours after the surface is peeled off by the plasma. In this process, the fine particles may fall off and affect the yield. Quartz rings can also crack.
An official of Kumkang Quartz said, "When using a CNC machine tool and a diamond tool to make a quartz shape, it can be cracked due to a physical shock. In the case of the Kumkang Quartz, the occurrences of the fine particles have been blocked using the technology with a lower physical shock from the processing stage.”
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Silicon Carbide (SiC) processed products are also the revenue source of Kumkang Quartz. CVD SiC has resistances, unlike quartz parts. Below 1 ohm is called low resistance, below 50 ohms is called medium resistance, and below 100 ohms is called high resistance. It has the ability to supply products according to the resistance value suitable for the semiconductor equipment.
The concerns are mounting over the recent semiconductor investment cutback. However, the demand for quartz parts tends to increase due to the higher processing difficulties. The semiconductor equipment invested last year has also affected this year's operation. An official from Kumkang Quartz added, "This year, the key factors in the quartz parts market are quality, delivery, and cost reduction. The competition among companies will be intense."