By Will Soutter
Swedish MEMS foundry, Silex Microsystems has been awarded close to 1M SEK by VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems under the aegis of its 30M SEK program for advancement of MEMS-based gas sensor manufacture.
VINNOVA has disbursed almost 10M SEK out of the allocated 30M SEK to a syndicate of 10 Swedish companies including Silex. The program which is labeled "Sustainable Production Systems for Hi-Tech Manufacturing of MEMS-Based Gas Sensor Systems in Sweden," aims to resolve the current problems faced by the gas sensor systems industry at all levels of the industry’s supply chain.
Silex is one of the largest MEMS foundries in the world. The grant would be utilized to enhance its operational capabilities and production infrastructure at its Jarfalla manufacturing establishment. Along with the other companies in the consortium, Silex will work on the development of next generation MEMS-based gas sensor systems with applications in hospital intensive care units for oxygen monitoring, in climate control for CO2 monitoring, in cars as breath sensors for alcohol lock-out systems and in asthma modules for NO monitoring.
Dr Thorbjorn Ebefors, Chief Technologist at Silex Microsystems, stated that the advancement facilitated by the grant would help their customers in bringing their MEMS-based systems to market quicker than before. The grant would be used to reinforce Silex’s SmartBlocks program which sets forth processes that can be reused. The grant will also aid Silex in adopting lean manufacturing methods and improve quality by training its engineers in Six Sigma. The company would also be able to engage in design for manufacturability studies with the help of an integrated IT infrastructure.