Silicon Saxony successfully organizes the 19th apcm conference in Austria

The 19th edition of "The European Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing-Conference", apc|m for short, took place in Villach from April 8 to 10. More than 160 participants from 13 nations travelled to Villach in the Austrian province of Carinthia, not far from the borders to Italy and Slovenia, to follow and discuss the latest developments in the fields of semiconductors, photovoltaics, LEDs, MEMS and other related topics. The three conference days were filled with several parallel sessions. Renowned speakers from small, medium-sized and large companies as well as a varied exhibition provided an intensive exchange of conference topics and encouraged networking throughout the three days of the event. With Infineon Austria, INFICON and MKS Instruments, renowned companies could again be won as conference partners and main sponsors this year.

Three days full of keynotes, expert sessions, exhibitions and discussions awaited the more than 160 participants. Before the actual apc|m program began, a tutorial introduced the participants to the extensive possibilities of this unique European event. A so-called plasma workshop first provided an understanding of plasma processes and their monitoring in a production environment. Experts from industry and from plasma sensor suppliers shared their know-how about the use and processing of simulations and plasma sensors in the production environment and answered the participants' questions.

Digitization, Big Data and Digital Twin
A keynote speech by Otto Graf, Robert Bosch Semiconductor Manufacturing Dresden on the topic "Intelligent Fab - beyond I4.0" finally opened the three conference days. The following so-called "Invited Talk" with Rainer Hohenhoff from the BMW Group immediately provided highly interesting insights into the automotive sector beyond the confines of the semiconductor industry.

The following parallel specialist sessions set the pace for the event. In half-hour presentations, representatives of research institutes, companies and universities presented the latest developments, production approaches, technologies and optimization potentials across the entire spectrum of the semiconductor industry. In addition to classical process topics, digitization processes also play an important role - especially the context-related interpretation of "big data". Reliability is also very important, caused by customer demands, especially from the automotive sector. In particular, the catchword "Digital Twin" was often heard in some contributions and discussions. As the name suggests, the digital twin is the virtual image of a real process, service or product. With this method, companies can "virtualize" almost everything. The presentations showed how the digital twin optimizes processes in product development, creates more efficiency in plant operation and facilitates the coordination of conflicting objectives in complex systems.

A total of 34 specialist presentations thus formed the basis for further exchange during the conference days. With twelve exhibitors and 25 poster contributions, the conference exhibition, which was open all day, also offered space for even more intensive information and networking.

Apart from work and further education, there was of course also time and space this year to get to know the host country Austria and its federal state Carinthia better. The conference topics included an excursion to the beautiful Lake Wörthersee followed by a conference dinner at the idyllically situated Gut Drasing.

Generation change in the organization and program team
After Gitta Haupold, who has been managing director of Silicon Saxony e. V. for many years and is responsible for the conference, retired at the end of 2018 and Prof. Dr. Klaus Kabitzsch is no longer available as chairman of the conference, the younger generation is now taking over  the program and organization team. From now on, Dr. Martin Schellenberger from Fraunhofer IISB and Jochen Kinauer, camline GmbH will jointly lead the program committee. Frank Bösenberg, Silicon Saxony e. V. , will assume organizational and commercial responsibility.

Silicon Saxony thanks the three partner companies of the event - Infineon Austria, INFICON and MKS Instruments, as well as all other sponsors and of course the participants of the apc|m-Conference 2019 for exciting and informative days. Special thanks also go to the Austrian Technology, Innovation and Micro Electronic Cluster Silicon Alps for their active support on site.

The apc|m conference 2020 is expected to take place in France, more information will follow shortly.

Aboout the European apc|m Conference

The European Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing (apc|m) conference is aimed at manufacturers, suppliers and scientists from the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED, flat panel display, MEMS and other related industries. The topics focus on current challenges and future requirements for Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing Effectiveness. The conference takes place annually at semiconductor and photovoltaic industry centers in Europe. It is coordinated with the Sematech AEC/APC Symposium in America and Asia and Semicon Europe. The conference is organized by Silicon Saxony e. V. and locally oriented. The conference is financed by fees and sponsoring.