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equipment often requires selecting the most appropriate options from a number of technologies. T is may involve various chemistries, temperature controls, chemical baths/dips, ergonomic designs, as well as cleaning, fi ltration, ventilation, safety and disposal technologies.

Custom parameters To facilitate the economical design and building of a wet processing equipment solution, many users insist on a standardised approach with customisable features that will best handle their applications’ parameters. For example, JST uses

standard products and standard methodologies to design and manufacture equipment. T e equipment is modular by design, allowing for easy changing and reconfi guration should process or product requirements change. Another powerful feature is that each unit is designed with software capable of performing all tool functions, including those that are not required. End users can create their own process, or recipes, with all sub- routines at their disposal.

Cleaning in progress: materials often have to withstand substances such as concentrated acids “We like to give

customers added fl exibility by programming their

equipment to do everything that the equipment is capable of doing,” explains Bertagnolli. “T is enables them to dial in applications, such as chemical concentrations. T ey can also turn various features on or off , depending on their process requirements. Even though they may not need some of the features today, they may want to turn them on in the future, which can be both economical and powerful.”

Specifying the design parameters for many manual

The Tigress is JST’s compact, semi-automated system

benches may not be as involved as those of automated systems. However, soliciting the opinion of equipment manufacturers regarding equipment design may be highly benefi cial. “For certain processes, such as etchings and cleanings, lab managers will want to be fl exible enough to accommodate a wide range of users and projects,” says Bertagnolli. “We are often asked for tank construction materials that can withstand a number of concentrated acids, so part of design fl exibility is ensuring you use the most compatible materials for the most acids. “Another aspect to consider is

properly separating, neutralising and disposing of all the chemicals involved after use, whether in drains or tanks for treatment or pick up,” she adds. According to Bertagnolli, having the vendor visit the user’s facility can contribute to equipment design versatility that can accommodate changes in lab use over the long term. “An eye toward optimising working space, operating cost, or maintenance can go a long way toward creating a cleanroom that will serve the user community well now and in the future.”

Optimising LNF’s lab Dennis M. Schweiger explains that the original equipment design for the new lab area’s wet processing benches was very specifi c and determined by LNF staff . “We had looked at it in terms of process fl ow, from start to fi nish, not really taking into account the variety of process samples that our user community might be working with, how we’d accommodate non-standard sample sizes, or what the impact might be in total cost of ownership with respect to chemical usage.” Schweiger adds that the some of the new benches had their decks reconfi gured once the tools were installed. Several of the earlier benches were also modifi ed to allow for more fl exibility. “Our initial plan for the deck space and processing capability of the benches, wasn’t adaptable enough, and we worked with JST to implement modifi cations so that the bench decks were simpler, and could provide more working space,”he concludes.

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