ToolCommander®

The Open Software Framework for Equipment Control and Visualization

Photo with arm and hand operating a touch screen

These companies rely on ToolCommander®

ToolCommander® is the open software framework for equipment control and visualizations for cluster, inline and batch tools in production and research. Its modular design makes ToolCommander® easy to customize to the individual requirements of a wide range of industries. Thanks to our open approach you can realize your equipment control entirely on your own or together with our team that has over 30 years’ experience of implementing control solutions for the semiconductor, coating and photovoltaic industries.

ToolCommander® – Your benefits

    • Efficient development with C#/.NET framework and WPF visualization
    • Accelerated programming thanks to extensive features and component library
    • Comprehensive development and product support
    • Ongoing simulation and testing opportunities available from the start of development
    • Trend module for process monitoring, quality assurance and predictive maintenance
    • Integrated touch optimization throughout for quick access (SEMI E95) 
    • Optimized visualization for production and service
    • Unique interlock handling, system and I/O diagnosis with live debugging
    • Comprehensive troubleshooting support
    • SEMI standard compliance
    • SECS/GEM and GEM300 integration-ready 
    • Know-how protection with in-house developments
    • Configurable user rights

Efficient equipment control with ToolCommander®

ToolCommander system control user interface
Cluster tools
Cluster systems

From material feeding scheduling and recipe execution to monitoring process parameters – ToolCommander® offers you SEMI-compliant equipment control for cluster tools in the semiconductor industry. 

Batch tools
Batch systems

With ToolCommander®, you can control every batch tool including the installed components (e.g. valves, motors) and the management of the batch process for best results, for example for vacuum thin film applications.

Inline tools
Inline system

In inline tools, for example in the glass or photovoltaic industry, ToolCommander® not only provides process control and visualization, but also overarching control of material movement sequences.

Your way to equipment control with ToolCommander®

With ToolCommander® and over 30 years’ experience of programming equipment control systems, we are your full-service partner and offer you: Consulting, specification, realization, test period, commissioning, maintenance.

We support you on the way to your equipment control. Exactly how much we do for you is entirely up to you.

Joint development

We develop your equipment control with you based on ToolCommander® and support you with training, consulting and support. This allows you to remain flexible and to distribute your work packages for maximum efficiency according to your time capacities and experience.

Independent development

Develop your equipment control entirely on your own and completely independently with the ToolCommander® software framework. We are always there if you need us and offer you training, consulting and support.

Outsourced

If you have insufficient time and experience, feel free to call on our over 30 years of know-how in programming equipment control systems for mechanical engineering. We will develop your ToolCommander® based equipment control precisely to your requirements.

What our customers say about ToolCommander®

  • "We were looking for a machine control including UI and host interface. Especially the connectivity solution should meet the demanding requirements of our customers. Kontron AIS provided us with the complete package, that in comparison to other suppliers also included the process chamber control. The combination of already available and Trymax specific functions gives our equipment true added value. In one platform our customers can choose from different tool types regarding process type, wafer size and through-put. For many years now we work in close partnership with Kontron AIS."

    Enrico Schellekens, Product Manager, Trymax Semiconductor Equipment B.V.
  • “To meet the growing demand for chips, we have developed two new equipment series for reliable and safe wafer inspection with high throughput. With its ToolCommander® equipment control and FabLink® interface integration solution, Kontron AIS has been an experienced partner from project planning and GEM300 specification to training and commissioning.”

  • “Kontron AIS realized extensive refurbishments of the control systems for six production tools. The commissioning was very efficient. The new ToolCommander® system controls are technically well thought out and provide an excellent usability. Smallest details have been improved up to our satisfaction. We are happy to rely on Kontron AIS solutions also in future projects.”

    Michael Brönnimann, Project Manager, Kaltbrunner AG
  • “We have worked with Kontron AIS and use their equipment control software in our cluster tools. Now we use ToolCommander® to control our new small batch vertical furnace system for semiconductor process applications. ToolCommander® provides the perfect fit for the used robot hardware and FOUP openers and the OHT connection using the FabLink® suite for SECS/GEM communication to the factory host. Development, installation and commissioning were conducted very efficiently and within the set time frame. We are happy to work with Kontron AIS for future projects.”

    Frans Derks, Sr. Area Sales Manager, Tempress Holding B.V.

Features at a glance

ToolCommander® offers you a wide range of proven features for the reliable and fast implementation of your equipment control in the fields of semiconductors, vacuum coating, solar, LED and MEMS.

Visualization

GUI via WPF

The ToolCommander® GUI with full touch operation (SEMI E95) allows easy access to the control system on the equipment itself – from an overview of the tool and recipes to live debugging on the machine itself. The transparent real-time visualization of interlocks gives operators working in manual mode the necessary information about which control activities are currently possible and shows the status of the relevant conditions. You can change the language at any time during operation.

Control

Scheduling

Scheduling in ToolCommander® includes the optimized performance sequence of the individual work steps in real time. This way, we meet the requirement that priorities vary within different equipment series. Choose between flow recipes and algorithm-based optimization and, with our help, you can find the perfect path through the equipment.

Material management

With ToolCommander® material management, you can identify and track materials and assign individual jobs. 

Job management

ToolCommander® controls and manages the equipment’s tasks. With regard to job management (E94) in the semiconductor industry, both control jobs (CJ) and process jobs (PJ) are managed in accordance with SEMI. 

Recipe management

In addition to creating and managing process recipes and displaying the recipe status, ToolCommander® also controls your flow recipes. You decide who can access your recipes and to what extent. 

Commissioning and service

Simulation and test

ToolCommander® gives you full simulation capabilities down to I/O level and hardware endpoints. This high level of detail enables early fault detection in the development process, step-by-step commissioning and easy replacement of the systems to be simulated. Individual values can be manipulated specifically for test scenarios. This saves valuable time during commissioning and when identifying faults during servicing.

Manual operation

Manual operation allows the control and parameterization of individual components, giving you a powerful tool for commissioning and maintenance. Within the ToolCommander® manual control dialogue, actual and target values are displayed in real time, as are interlocks.

Diagnosis and troubleshooting

I/O diagnosis

In addition to diagnostics for all digital and analog inputs and outputs, operators can use ToolCommander® to carry out manual channel controlling to identify sources of faults.

System diagnosis

The ToolCommander® system diagnosis makes it possible to monitor all equipment control processes and offers the option of live debugging. Maintenance costs are significantly reduced and service engineers can correct faults on the equipment itself, thus keeping downtimes to a minimum.

Logging

Logging in ToolCommander® takes place in a Postgres database. Data on alarms, processes and materials are stored here. In addition, domain and debug logging is available for tracking all control processes and for optimum troubleshooting.

Basic functionalities

User management

ToolCommander® has an integrated user management system with configurable user rights. This allows you to maintain control over access to the equipment control system at any time. 

Alarm management

Alarms and messages are visualized by ToolCommander® and functions offered for alarm-related actions. An archive for all alarms, warnings and messages provides visibility and traceability.

Trend

Configure a clearly structured presentation of live and historical process and machine data in graphs and tables. If required, you can select specific data for export from the ToolCommander® data archive to wherever you need it.

SEMI standard compliance for the semiconductor industry

With the integrated support for all relevant SEMI standards, ToolCommander® enables safe and standards-compliant placement of your equipments in semiconductor factories. With our FabLink® interface solution, equipment integration is performed in accordance with the SECS/GEM, GEM300 and EDA standards.

SECS/GEM (200 mm)GEM300 (300 mm)EDA (Interface A)
  • E5 – SECS-II
  • E30 – Generic Equipment Model (GEM)
  • E37 – HSMS (TCP/IP)
  • E39 – Object Services
  • E40 – Process Job Management
  • E84 – Carrier Handoff
  • E87 – Carrier Management
  • E90 – Substrate Tracking
  • E94 – Control Job Management
  • E116 – Equipment Performance Tracking
  • E120 – Common Equipment Model
  • E125 – Equipment Self-Description
  • E128 – XML Message Structures
  • E132 – Authentication and Authorization
  • E138 – SEMI Common Components
  • E145 – Measurement Unit Symbols in XML

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