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A new advanced technology facility can enhance the productivity of your company, but it also comes with a few challenges, such as costs, safety, management and the environment. That’s why your company needs to implement the best strategy and employ the right people to ensure optimal ROI on your investment.

In this article, our Advanced Technology expert, Cain van Heyningen, will tell you how you can take your advanced technology facility project for EV batteries, data centres, and semiconductors to the next level. 

What should you consider when building advanced technology facilities? And how can a consulting company help you achieve your goals? Let’s find out!

 

How Can CMC Optimise Your Project?

When companies execute large projects for the first time or manage multiple projects concurrently, they often encounter challenges related to budget constraints and meeting deadlines. These difficulties arise due to a lack of internal expertise in critical areas such as:

  • Permits
  • project controls 
  • cost controls
  • construction management.

To address these issues, specialised consultancies like CMC step in. CMC doesn’t merely place consultants on projects; they focus on knowledge transfer to ensure long-term sustainability. Here’s what CMC offers:


Consultancy Services:

CMC provides tailored project support by placing individual consultants or entire specialised teams. Their expertise extends beyond engineers, such as estimators, cost controllers, and project directors/managers. Our consultants ensure that your project will be executed on time and within budget.


Knowledge Transfer:

CMC’s approach goes beyond immediate project needs. Our consultants transfer valuable knowledge to enhance the organisation’s capabilities for future endeavors. In summary, CMC bridges the expertise gap, enabling businesses to execute projects effectively, stay within budget, and deliver successful outcomes. 

Get in touch with our fab experts to learn more about partnering with CMC today!

 

 

What else should you consider?

Quality or quantity, that’s the question. You’ve probably heard this a lot, but there is a truth in it. Having the cheapest material, location and employees doesn’t necessarily mean you will create an optimal ROI on your brand-new facility. Key factors of building facilities are new technologies, location, materials, safety and cost efficiency. So, what should you keep in mind when you want to build facilities for EV batteries, data centres or semiconductors?

 

EV Batteries

In 2024, the projected revenue in the Electric Vehicles market in Europe is estimated to reach 182.9 billion dollars. Because the EU plans on banning diesel and petrol cars from 2035, multiple EV battery plants are being build every year. 

 

EV batteries, typically lithium-ion, are hazardous due to their flammable electrolytes, high energy density, susceptibility to manufacturing defects, vulnerability to physical damage, and potential for software faults. That’s why they are classified as dangerous goods (IMO9). As a result, safety is the key word for building EV battery facilities. EV battery storage for example is one of the most dangerous places of the facility, considering that one battery catching fire could start a chain reaction. Such an incident will affect not only the facility, but also the wider nature and community. Thermal monitoring systems for example could mitigate the risk of storing EV batteries. Other possibilities to reduce safety threats are leading-edge dryrooms, low humidity environments, constant temperature control and special fire protection measures. 

 

With an increasing emphasis on sustainability, EV battery manufacturers are adopting environmentally friendly production processes and exploring the use of recycled materials to minimise their carbon footprint. So, when you choose your location, assess the possible health, safety and environmental risks associated with EV batteries. What damage would there be to the wider community and nature of there would be a fire? Also consider using sustainable technologies and materials for your facility. 

 

Data Centres

Small or midsize businesses can set up a functional "data centre" in a closet or spare room with minimal adjustments, if necessary. However, enterprise-scale computing demands a dedicated, carefully designed space to meet various requirements such as space, power, cooling, management, reliability, and security. 

As a result, a data centre facility becomes the largest and most expensive asset for a business, both in terms of initial investment and ongoing expenses. The revenue of the global data centre market in 2024 is estimated at 344,06 billion dollars. Business and IT leaders must meticulously consider data centre design and construction to ensure the facility meets evolving business needs and challenges over time. There are two things to consider with an emphasis on security: facility and IT infrastructure.

Facility

For a data centre to operate effectively, it must have enough space, reliable power, efficient cooling, robust security measures, and advanced management systems in place. The space should not only meet current infrastructure needs, but also be adaptable for future expansion, strategically located, and cost-effective. Power provision, potentially reaching up to 100 megawatts, must be both dependable and affordable, often integrating renewable energy sources. Cooling systems are indispensable for managing the heat generated by computing processes. Security is paramount, necessitating controlled access and surveillance to safeguard the centre’s invaluable assets. Additionally, modern data centres should install management systems to oversee environmental conditions, power consumption, and security protocols in real time. Additionally, tools like employee badges, passwords, and temperature monitors ensure optimal performance and protection.

Infrastructure

Besides location, cost management, power grids,… you must have the right IT infrastructure. Servers are essential computers responsible for hosting enterprise applications and executing computing tasks. Storage subsystems, like disk arrays, are utilised to store and safeguard application and business data. Networking components, such as switches, routers, and firewalls, establish the business network, incorporating cybersecurity measures. Cables and racks organise IT equipment within the facility, interconnecting miles of wires and housing physical server racks. Backup power systems, including uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and flywheel systems, are vital for maintaining orderly infrastructure operations during main power disruptions. Management platforms, like data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) systems, oversee and control the IT infrastructure, providing reports on system health, availability, capacity, and configuration.


Semiconductors

In 2022, global semiconductor sales reached 618 billion U.S. dollars, a rise of more than 30 percent in just two years. Microchips are almost implemented in every tool, including cell phones, cars and medical devices, which leads to more and bigger semiconductor fabs. But what should you consider when your company wants to build a fab? 

First, building a fab is very expensive, ranging from 15-20 billion dollarsAbout 75% of that budget goes into equipment. Cost efficiency is therefore the key word with fab construction. Thousands of process machines operate with precision, utilising plasmas, lasers, ultra-precision optics, ion accelerators, and advanced robotics. These machines are synchronised to produce hundreds of thousands of wafers, each housing hundreds, if not thousands, of chips.

Semiconductor manufacturers increasingly prefer large fabs with extensive production lines, reducing costs through increased output and lower construction expenses per square meter. Once operational, these fabs cut overhead, boost labour productivity, and reduce the cost per wafer through centralised functions and optimised staffing, ultimately enhancing profitability. Scaling up also allows companies to improve overall equipment efficiency (OEE), stabilise demand fluctuations, and increase utilisation of high throughput tools. Another option would be clustering fabs, which promotes collaboration and research. 

Besides location and building model, the cleanrooms are the most expensive aspects of a fab, being the centre of production. Other aspects to consider include location, local policies and laws and supply-chain resilience.

 

True Expertise Delivered

CMC's experts provide construction and installation services on facility projects around the world. Our consultants are available on an expert-on-demand or team-on-demand basis, with professionals able to be deployed quickly and effectively on any project.