Intelligently Merging of Accuracy and Productivity

With the motto, “Where accuracy meets throughput,” HEIDENHAIN, ETEL, NUMERIK JENA, and RSF Elektronik presented new solutions for front-end and back-end processes in semiconductor manufacturing and electronics applications at SEMICON West, the flagship of the international Semicon trade fairs for the global microelectronics industry.

by Alma Castiglioni

HEIDENHAIN, ETEL, NUMERIK JENA and RSF Elektronik attended SEMICON West, San Francisco, with the motto “Where Accuracy meets throughput”. The four companies presented new solutions for front-end and back-end processes in semiconductor manufacturing and electronics applications at SEMICON West. Besides high-accuracy position measurement, the fair focused on the integration of drive system technology, position measurement technology, and control technology into mechatronic production solutions with high productivity.
Motion systems from ETEL feature an absolute position accuracy down to less than 1 µm, combined with extremely high accelerations and precision motion. These traits apply to the newly developed TELICA, which will be unveiled for the first time at SEMICON West, as well as to the field-proven VULCANO and CHARON 2 platforms.

Dynamic accuracy and position stability
The exceptional characteristics of these motion systems are due in no small part to optical encoders from HEIDENHAIN, featuring dynamic accuracy and position stability at high throughput operation
The low interpolation error of HEIDENHAIN encoders improves the performance of the linear motors and thus reduces heat transfer to the machine – even in highly dynamic applications.
Through the resulting reduction in thermally induced error, the system exhibits greater accuracy and the same highest dynamics. Measurement accuracy is further enhanced by the encoders’ non-thermally expanding ZERODUR scales.
Low position noise and a low baseline error of less than ±0,175 µm over a 5 mm interval also contribute to the exceptional accuracy and high dynamics of these motion systems.
The motion systems were designed with extreme position stability in mind. In close collaboration, HEIDENHAIN and ETEL have developed a special solution for integrating the measurement systems.
This design succeeds in protecting the encoders from possible heating, such as through the drive system, thereby shielding the measurement loop from thermally induced linear error.

The incremental linear encoder is well suited for the semiconductor industry
At SEMICON West, NUMERIK JENA presented its LIKgo exposed incremental linear encoder.
Thanks to its compact dimensions, small grating period, very small measurement steps, and other features, this encoder is well suited for use in production and inspection equipment in the semiconductor industry. The scanning head is a mere 28 mm long, 13 mm wide, and 7.5 mm high. The measuring standard is only 8 mm wide and features a grating period of 20 µm. As a result, measuring steps as small as 78.125 nm are attainable.
For position measurement and speed control in torque motors, RSF Elektronik has developed the MCR 15 absolute modular angle encoder. It is available in numerous variants for outside diameters of 59.93 mm to 350.23 mm and with various serial interfaces. Depending on the diameter, the MCR 15 angle encoders attain a system accuracy down to ±10 arc seconds and measuring steps as small as 0.038 arc seconds.