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An automation company is using PBC Linear’s Uni-Guide to handle the silicon wafer transport system used in its manufacturing process.

The automation company manufactures silicon wafers and handling equipment that is housed and operated in extremely clean environments.

Wafers are stacked in a cassette that is housed in a SMIF Pod for safe transport between processes.

The SMIF Pods provide a mini-environment (class 1) to prevent contamination and are the temporary home of the wafers during processing.

The SMIF Pods are attached to a Pod elevator, which allows the robot servicing the processing tool to horizontally pick and place the wafer into the tool.

Smooth vertical movement of the elevator Pod is essential to prevent the wafer in the cassette from vibrating free or out of position for the robot.

Either of the aforementioned conditions could have serious consequences.

Destroying the batch of wafers could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Although the mini-environment protects the wafers, it is necessary that the environment they reside in remain clean (class 10) to avoid any contamination during the exterior loading and unloading process.

Micro processors and other IC chips computational power become a function of the density of the etching of the individual circuits on the wafer.

Cleanliness means denser circuits and more computing power.

The automation company originally came to PBC Linear for a chatter or vibration free linear guide that could function in a contaminant-free manufacturing facility without dispersing particulates or requiring lubrication.

With its precision design, simple two-piece assembly, and proven Frelon J liner, the Uni-Guide was the obvious choice to handle the silicon wafer transport system used in the manufacturing process.

The Uni-Guide linear slide has a clean track record of providing precise linear motion without added lubricants.

The customer, however, was also reaching for more: they wanted a turnkey system to act as the heart of the new wafer elevator.

PBC Linear’s team of engineers worked with the customer in designing a complete system, which upon delivery simply plugs in and functions perfectly with the rest of the machine.

PBC Linear not only supplied the slide but also began to supply the motors, drive screws, guards and limit switches – pre-assembled and tested.

Assembled in PBC Linear’s clean workroom, the Uni-Guide is subject to critical testing for accurate travel and alignment.

Careful measures are taken to ensure the sterile transportation of the Uni-Guide from testing to when it arrives at its destination.

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