Case Study: Maximising Operations and Manufacturing at BluGlass

An Australian semiconductor technology developer has developed a revolutionary approach to manufacturing gallium nitride (GaN), an essential component of LEDs, which are used in millions of electronic devices globally. LEDs are found in devices such as TVs, laptops, mobile phones, watches, and virtual reality headsets.

The Client wanted to incorporate its new technology of remote plasma chemical vapour deposition (RPCVD) into its existing facility in Sydney, so they would be able to support the rapidly growing market for better-performing, lower-cost and more environmentally sustainable LEDs.

The project required extensive design, fabrication and installation of the following equipment and services into their existing warehouse:

  • Two nano reactor clean rooms
  • One mezzanine platform
  • One 7000L liquid nitrogen vessel and vaporizing station
  • All associated water chilling and heating services
  • All electrical service upgrades
  • All interconnecting high-purity gas lines (hydrogen, ammonia, nitrogen and compressed air)
  • All interconnecting exhaust pipework and extraction fans, located on the ceiling and which included gas scrubbing units

Originally, Scale Up Partners, in collaboration with OSP, were asked to quote only on the supply, installation and commissioning of gas services and electrical upgrades; however, the Client’s project team became increasingly concerned about taking sole responsibility for overall project management, which included the challenge of finding reputable suppliers and contractor groups to design and execute various aspects of the project. They wanted to find a company that had the skills and experience to deliver the project and understood how to sequence the works in the most optimal way to deliver quality results, whilst keeping overall costs within their available spend budget.

Scope Expansion

Following several initial project scope meetings, we were able to develop a level of trust by asking probing questions on exactly what their key requirements were. After approximately two months of pre-engineering the base solution, the Client requested we submit design and costing proposals for the clean rooms and the mezzanine platform.

We were awarded gas and electrical services, plus the mezzanine and the cleanrooms. The Client then asked us to design and quote the full water chilling and heating services, which we were awarded, along with significant sections of the building’s HVAC upgrades.

Not long after, the final sections of the project were offered and awarded to us, which consisted of:

  • Designing and specifying room services fit-out, including general room lighting, emergency lighting, room GPO connection points, security access swipe system, and air conditioning control systems
  • Designing emergency egress pathways and alternative stairways from the mezzanine section
  • Upgrading the site’s nitrogen control station and interconnecting pipework
  • Designing and supplying gas abatement (the filtration system for poisonous gas discharges from the nano reactors), including a new filtration unit mounted on the roof section and all interconnecting extraction pipework.
  • Supplying, fabricating and commissioning of the tooling pipework for the nano reactor tooling modules that were used within the nano reactors themselves.

Results

The project was started in April 2018, with scoping and pre-engineering phases commencing immediately. The final project value was $1.5 million, and the resulting improvements allowed the Client to open two new laboratories at the Sydney facility in August 2019, which tripled its production of gallium nitride using RPCVD processes.

There were zero safety incidents, zero reportable incidents and minimal variations charged back to the client.