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3 August, 2021

Linear motors cut vacuum production costs

01 May, 2003

Linear motors cut vacuum production costs

Two Dutch companies have developed a linear transport system for vacuum production applications, using linear motor technology. The companies, Nyquist Industrial Control and OTB Engineering, claim that the system will allow fast, flexible, continuous — and therefore cheap — manufacturing of products such as semiconductors which have to be produced in a vacuum.

The system (shown above) has been designed so that the only parts inside the vacuum are those needed to convey the products. All of the electronics remains stationary outside the vacuum and mechanical lead-throughs are not needed.

Carriers moving in the evacuated section are controlled individually, allowing the machine to perform both incremental and continuous processes. As the carriers move, they pass a series of "intelligent" coils located outside the vacuum which are used to exchange setpoint data and to perform synchronisation duties.

Nyquist and OTB say that by combining various processes in a single machine, the in-line vacuum transport system needs less space and fewer operators. The total costs of ownership are said to be lower, and because the products remain inside the vacuum, the risk of contamination is reduced.

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