ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 7,000 people.
Very few ASML systems are taken out of use. From the tracking data we have, we believe no more than 10% of the systems we have shipped since we started in 1984 have been decommissioned.
Customers typically use systems that are decommissioned for spare parts, which we will also offer to buy back and sell the metal contents for recycling. The very small amount of what is left is almost completely non-hazardous and includes plastics, wiring, glass, ceramics and composites and recycled materials.
We are increasingly incentivizing customers to return parts to us, rather than throw them away. We offer them a rebate on parts we exchange.
Elsewhere, we are re-using more of our expensive locking materials, which we use to secure systems safely inside their packaging for shipping. We have a dedicated Handling & Transport department that develops these locking materials. When a system has been installed at a customer site, the customer returns the locking materials to us. We inspect each part to see if we can re-use it. In 2011, we re-used more than 17,000 locking materials, significantly reducing the amount sent to landfill or incinerated.
We run a relocation and refurbishment program, which gives many surplus ASML systems a second life, often in a completely new area.
Refurbishing a system increases its residual value for the original customer, and offers other customers a cost-effective solution. It also generates a profit for us and underlines our commitment to systems in the field.
In 2011, our new dedicated refurbishment center in Taiwan became fully operational.
We offer customers three refurbishment options:
relocation – where the customer moves the system themselves and is responsible for setting it up;
‘refurb lite’ – where we move the system, set it up and test it, and give new warranties on the parts;
‘factory refurb’ – where we turn one type of system into a different type.
In 2011, we carried out more than 120 relocations and 30 refurbishments (either ‘lite’ or ‘factory’).