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Latest update: 27/04/2017 14:12:44

Core System Co., Ltd.

Our laser scanning type surface inspection machines provide ultra-fine surface shape inspections.

We develop, design, manufacture, and maintain super-high-sensitivity laser scanning type surface inspection machines. Our machines effectively provide ultra-fine surface shape inspections during production of articles such as magnetic disks, semiconductor wafers, semiconductor production processes, thin film sputtering treatment, and FPD. Our machines effectively inspect flat mirror surfaces to quickly detect subtle differences such as ultra-fine foreign substances on the surface of magnetic disks and semiconductor wafers. They can also indicate the relationship between etching time and surface roughness in surface CMP grinding and manufacturing processing, and shape differences in FPD rubbing processing. The data are displayed as graphic images. 

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[Company strength]
We frame technology development as a problem-solving task, and ask ourselves how it should be dealt with to solve problems faced by our customer. We adopt the most promising method after extensive trial and error and productize it with the customer. The technology is usually established during this process. 

[Business description]
We provide technology development, design, manufacturing, and maintenance services for laser scanning type surface inspection machines (products applying our patent). Our machines effectively provide ultra-fine surface shape inspections during production of articles such as magnetic disks, semiconductor wafers, semiconductor production processes, thin film sputtering treatment, and FPD. Our laser scanning type surface inspection machines quickly detect subtle differences such as ultra-fine foreign substances on the surface of magnetic disks and semiconductor wafers. They can also indicate the relationship between etching time and surface roughness in surface CMP grinding and manufacturing processing, and shape differences in FPD rubbing processing. The data are displayed as graphic images.

[Industry]
Laser scanning type surface inspection machine manufacturing

[Strength of products/technologies]
Surface inspection involves reflecting a laser beam irradiated on a surface for inspection, which generates both unidirectional direct reflected light, and multi-directional scattered light. Our detection method is based on the assumption that the direct light detection area equals the light field, so it has extremely high detection sensitivity with remarkably little error. Most of our competitors’ detection methods assume that the scattered light detection area equals a dark field. This results in many errors as it cannot detect certain types of surface defects, such as non-reflecting waste matter (possibly from spatter), and many surface irregularities. Our machines scan the surface at a frequency of 10 MHz (maximum), which makes them extremely vibration resistant. You can install our product without using an isolator or removal board for existing vibration. The greatest features are the simple mechanism, low price, high inspection performance for wide surfaces (high accuracy, high sensitivity, and high speed), and digital data display capabilities. 



[Representative's message]
We initially sold three units to a major US disk manufacturer after promoting our machine’s features to its technology development team. However, customers in the domestic Japanese market have tended to be production divisions rather than technology development teams, and these customers require inspection machines for total inspection of mass-produced products. This is why the machine should be able to distinguish between good or defective articles, rather than having high sensitivity. Adoption of our products by customers in Southeast Asia tends to be based on actual sales in Japan. We will need to modify our machine’s technical specifications, user friendliness, maintenance, and price to match the requirement level of these customers to make our product the industry-standard inspector. We need to achieve this before expanding our business.

[Company structure for market development/overseas expansion]
We will gather information for customer acquisition and overseas expansion and promote products by partnering with sales agencies that have strong abilities and achievements. Staff from these companies will also accompany us when we visit customer sites to explain our technologies and products, as well as when we participate in exhibitions. We hope to have demonstrations for potential customers using borrowed samples, so that the customer can perceive the difference in the inspection data. This will help us to promote and distribute our products to a broader customer base.

[Market share/Ranking]
Sources: JETRO Business Library, “Global Market and Prediction on Semiconductor Wafer Surface Inspectors” (Japan External Trade Organization); “Inspector Market Yearbook 2011” (Global Net).
FY2011 actual sales: 146.2 billion yen.
FY2014 estimated sales: 158.9 billion yen.
Number of units sold: 15 units in 12 years.
Total sales amount: 280 million yen.
Target sales for the next five years: 0.3% of the global market (500 million yen per year). 



[Awards and media coverage]
[Awards]
Kanto Region Invention Award, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Agency Director-General’s Encouragement Prize, for our laser scanning type surface measuring technology, invented by Akira Shinozaki and Tetsuya Iwata (2008); Achievement Award for our representative director Masaomi Onodera, from the Japan Institute for Promoting Invention and Innovation.

[Media]
Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, article on our first prototype laser inspection machine for drums, intended for Fuji Electric (March 25, 2003); Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (October 7, 2003) and Niigata Nippo (October 23, 2003), on the prototype of our hard disk surface measuring machine; Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, about our delivery of a disk surface measuring machine to a US company (November 25, 2003); Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, article on our semiconductor laser inspection machine being verified by a public institution for its performance (December 18, 2009); many others. 


[Authorization/Certification]
Approval under Paragraph 3, Article 4 of the Law on Supporting Business Innovation of Small and Medium Enterprises (Niigata Prefecture Governor Ikuo Hirayama, January 26, 2002).

[Joint research and development]
(1) Patent No. 3810749 (Shape Measuring Machine), registered on June 2, 2006. Applied products are currently being productized.
(2) Patent Application No. PCORD14250 and Patent Application No. 2014-140926 (Shape Measuring Machine), submitted on July 8, 2014.


[Main Clients / Business History (domestic)]
Fuji Electric (copy drum surface shape inspector); electric system liquid crystal device laboratory at Nagaoka University of Technology (liquid crystal molecular orientation and surface shape inspector); Fuji Film (inner film segregation inspector); Nippon Steel & Sumikin Precision Machining (mask blank (quartz) polished surface shape inspector); Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo (surface shape inspector for super-conductive materials); Kobelco Research Institute (surface shape inspector for diameter 450 mm Si wafers); Canon (MEMS processed surface shape inspector); Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions (inspection of the relationship between surface etching time and surface roughness of Si wafers).

[Main Clients / Business History (overseas)]
Western Digital (laser surface shape inspector for disks, delivered to the former Komag in the USA through a sales agency, Marubeni America, in March 2004); Seagate Technology (laser surface shape inspector for disks, delivered through Peripheral Technologies in June 2005). 

This company is recommended by the following support organizations.

Kanto Head Office, SMRJ
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