Customer challenge

Customer: ASML

Enable transport of wafer clamping module from supplier to ASML and from ASML to customer.

The product is made of ceramic with nanometer flatness and surfaces that are only tenths of millimeters thick. The applied surface stress must therefore very low. The particles that the transport tool was allowed to add was close to nothing.

As the product is very fragile, the incoming shocks and vibrations need to be lowered to an acceptable level of max 7G (70 m/s^2). Climatical influences needed to be controlled as well. The temperature range was set to 0 – 45°C.

Our solution

As we were not allowed to use the handling interfaces bonded to the ceramics (due to internal stresses by just thermal expansion differences alone), we needed to come up with an out-of-the-box solution for transport locking.
The product is clamped between soft pneumatic hoses that are braided around two discs, see picture. When pushing the product onto the hose, the surface increases as well and therefore the surface stresses remain largely the same at all times (we tested this).

This solution is placed on a trolley with 4 vibration isolators. These isolators reduce the incoming shocks to acceptable levels. To protect the product climatically, the trolley is placed in a insulated box.

Other competences used in solution:

  • Way of Working ASML
FMI HighTech Solutions

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