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Sigmafine in the Semiconductor Chemicals Industry

HSC has been using and expanding upon Sigmafine for nearly a decade to help with inventory control and quality. We have built a model of our entire plant with Sigmafine and are monitoring every major flow to and from all of our columns, tanks, and reactors. While we are currently only doing mass balances, we do plan, after upgrading to Sigmafine 4.7, to start implementing component balances around key sections of the plant that are too “black box-like” in our current model. 

One of the ways we have expanded upon Sigmafine is by integrating it with our SAP HANA instance. We have extended the Asset Framework templates, in addition to creating many of our own, to specify what materials are in each stream and whether those streams consume or produce that material. Using custom AF SDK-based applications, upon case completion, the total production and consumption of each material is posted against our site’s inventory totals in SAP.   

All this said, most of the work is done by Sigmafine. The complexity of our model permits a holistic view of the process and site. Its tight integration with our PI system (which has been in place for more than 25 years) allows us to assess the plant’s operational “health” with remarkably little effort.


Thursday, October 22, 10:50 - 11:20 (UTC -5)


Todd McQuiston
Sr. System Specialist
Hemlock Semiconductors Operations, LLC
+1 (989) 301-6287

Speaker Bio

Todd McQuiston has worked as a PI administrator in the chemicals and semiconductor industry for 17 years, working for Dow Corning, Corp. and Hemlock Semiconductor, LLC in Michigan.

He also worked for OSIsoft for six years as a Sr. Field Service Engineer, helping customers install and expand their PI systems and teaching training courses.

His focus has been batch operations and the use of analytics with the PI system, as well as the use of analytics to simplify the modeling of distillation operations in Asset Framework. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.


About Hemlock Semiconductor

Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) is a committed, reliable and proven supplier of high-purity polysilicon for the electronic and solar power industries, enabling customers to produce high-tech electronics and solar panels. As the raw material used to create semiconductors, polysilicon is crucial for cell phones and computers as well as the technology of the future, where the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence meet on new creations such as autonomous vehicles. HSC, an American producer of polysilicon, is also moving the world toward a greener future by supplying the fast-growing solar power industry. We put a strong emphasis on public safety and take pride in being an involved and active community leader in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. 

HSC does not make semiconductors, but the raw material, silicon, that is crucial to their manufacture. In general, our process starts with 98% pure silicon (the remaining 2% being iron, phosphorus, boron, carbon, and other trace elements), and using chemical vapor deposition, produces semiconductor- and solar-grade silicon with impurities on the level of parts per trillion. 

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