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Case Study

AR Developer Boosts In-line Production

How did an augmented reality developer boost their in-line production capabilities?

An augmented reality developer sought a partner to help them in their manufacturing process. The requirement entailed high efficiency substrate loading and unloading, material utilization and effective deposition rates.

Denton Vacuum exceeded those requirements in the design and configuration of a horizontal continuous magnetron sputtering coating line as part of Denton Vacuum’s Phoenix 400 sputtering system line.

Continuous load locked deposition processes typically reference separate load and unload stations, allowing substrates to progress through either a single or a range of processes. Denton Vacuum configured a specific design methodology for the manufacturers’ unique size and shape. Denton Vacuum employed precise, customer-specific process synchronization and continuous flow for this high-volume production solution.

For this solution, Denton Vacuum employed load locks with multiple pallet handling for continuous tip to tail processing, which achieves superior target utilization and optimal throughput, via a fully automatic horizontal transport system with external drive motor and ferrofluidic rotary motion feedthrough. The Phoenix 400 solution also employs:

  • Multi pallet handling with position sensors
  • Automatic pallet transfer from load lock to load lock
  • Variable speed control
  • Position sensors with live feedback to system controls
  • Fully integrated to system controls for speed control and automatic recipe capabilities

Denton Vacuum’s Phoenix 400X inline palletized conveyance system provides users optimal uniform coating thicknesses and highly homogeneous coatings. Denton Vacuum’s Phoenix 400 series system is comprised of six distinct stations or chambers, offering: intake into atmosphere, dual interlocked pre-process buffer, two-chamber pump-down process, dual interlocked buffer post-process and outtake out to atmosphere.

As substrates pass linearly, pulled via chain, the flat pallet or carrier is synchronized in its passage among these six separate chambers, from initial intake into atmosphere, through interlocked buffer, to pump-down under sputtering cathodes, emerging though an additional interlocked buffer, and finally out to atmosphere and completion of the run.

The Phoenix 400 series software provides an automated, synchronized conveyance for challenging layer stacks and simple product mixes, with multiple lids to easy access for maintenance and target change-outs.