AM Technical Solutions (AM) maintained our participation in the 33rd Annual SEFA Meeting & Trade Show gathering despite very challenging storm conditions. We also validated the construction of the first Wafer Fab Cleanroom facility that our team designed to withstand a Category 5 Hurricane.
The 2022 SEFA annual meeting was scheduled for November 9-11, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. However, the conference was disrupted by Hurricane Nicole, which hit the Central Florida region on the second day of the conference – only a few short weeks after the devastation of Hurricane Ian.
The SEFA gathering was scheduled to include a tour of the BRIDG/SkyWater cleanroom facility led by our Chief Technical Officer, Abbie Gregg. During the tour, Abbie was to be joined by other industry professionals, John Saad (Vanderweil) and Chris Patterson (HOK), to share their experiences with one of the newest lab buildings at the NeoCity Research Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
The facility is located inside NeoCity, which is a massive master-planned innovation community in the Orlando region. Included in the facility is 60,000 sq. ft. of cleanroom lab/manufacturing space and tools that were installed in conjunction with leaders from Osceola County, SkyWater Technology, and the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Unfortunately, the facility tour did not take place according to plan because of the storm conditions. Many attendees had flights canceled, or they scrambled to leave the region by car. Plus, counties around Orlando were shut down due to wind and flooding, and the ground was still waterlogged from Hurricane Ian.
Abbie Gregg and about 40 other professionals remained in the safety of the Omni Conference Hotel. Less than 24 hours after the storm passed, Abbie went out to see how the BRIDG facility held up.
The Significance of the Cleanroom Facility Construction
Our team designed the cleanroom facility to withstand the most severe type of hurricane according to current Florida Building codes. Upon arrival at the site, Abbie determined that everything was running smoothly in the fab. There were no power disruptions, no debris, and no issues with the massive amounts of water coming into the air handlers, which have special hurricane protection features.
Additionally, Abbie checked on the multi-level roof, which houses scrubbers and other critical equipment. Fortunately, the water blowing on the surface caused no damage. Also, the parking lot was full of cars and they were all safe because there was no flooding on the NeoCity site.
The construction of this facility was critical because the facility needs to remain operational in the face of hurricanes due to the facility being part of the secure foundry network. Clearly, the facility passed a major test!
“The AM team has spent considerable time supporting semiconductor lab projects in Florida. It was very rewarding to confirm the robustness of the BRIDG facility and to see the active advanced programs in the Fab and Assembly cleanrooms,” says Abbie Gregg.
“Both cleanrooms have proven to be very flexible as programs change. We are eager to continue supporting projects in this thriving community that is quickly becoming a hub of innovation in the semi industry.”
Each year, our team looks forward to participating in SEFA meetings. We are able to learn from other industry professionals, lend our expertise to advance the semiconductor industry, and network with clients that require high-tech construction services.
We are all hoping for good weather at the spring SEFA Conference so that we may rejoin our colleagues to finish the work planned and take a tour of BRIDG and NeoCity with a larger group.
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