An Ergonomic Assessment of Manual Handling of Reticle Pods.

Selan, Joseph (Advanced Ergonomics Inc.)
White, Keith (Texas Instruments)

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An ergonomic assessment of reticle pod handling was conducted. Thirty Photo Operators participated in the study. They were asked to handle 6 and 1-reticle pods using 1 or 2 hands at 38, 57, and 63 inch handling (load port) heights, as well as to determine their own preferred handling height. Operators rated each lift on a 10 point perceived exertion (Borg) scale. Body angles were measured for comparison with semiconductor industry ergonomic guidelines. Based on the data:
1.The 57 and 63 inch load port heights were determined to be unacceptable for manual handling of either 1 or 6-reticle pods
2.The handling of 6-reticle pods was only acceptable if 2 hands could be used to handle the pod, and the load port height was 38 inches or the user-preferred height.
3.The handling of 1-reticle pods was acceptable using either 1 or 2 hands, provided the load port height is 38 inches or the user-preferred height.
Ergonomic controls were developed to address the identified issues, and are discussed in the report. The relationship between the findings of this study and ergonomic guidelines put forth in SEMI S8-0600 “Safety Guidelines for Ergonomics Engineering of Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment” are discussed. The findings of this study appear to validate industry ergonomic design guidelines.

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