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Bringing Automation to the PVD Bonding Industry January 14, 2019

ABT AUTOMATED BONDING TECHNOLOGY development team received concerns and feedback from the industry regarding increasing problems with indium-bonded cylindrical targets. It was concluded that the following areas needed immediate improvement if suppliers of target assemblies are to keep up with the growing demand of the PVD industry:


Process Performance

1. Process lead times

2. System Throughput

3. Process Performance

Process Performance is a key focus area for ABT. The MTB-1000™ automates the entire indium bonding process of cylindrical targets. This allows for exponentially greater yields than the traditional bonding methods. The traditional methods of bonding utilize great amounts of manpower. Because of that, there is a large window of error as human labor cannot produce consistent and minutely-accurate bonds. ABT has solved the problems of human error by utilizing an RTU that is a custom-built system controller. This RTU includes laser sensors, a temperature control unit, preheating, and automation of the entire process. This automation has achieved the tightest operating windows and process specifications in the industry that is repeatable time and time again. With the nanotechnology devices of today, materials in both purity and concentricity are leading the way to maximize target life and optimize device performance.



The MTB-1000™ leads the advancement of automation techniques for bonding. This automation eliminates the issues of poor surface area coverage and voids, while increasing throughput. This also eliminates the waste of rework and addresses the OSHA safety issues involved with a human handling of products to improving contamination numbers. The MTB-1000™ also has the tightly controlled concentricity. Concentricity is a complex tolerance used to establish an acceptable zone for the median points of a cylindrical or spherical part feature. Concentricity is becoming extremely important as end user products become more advanced. The systems capability allows for the concentricity to be controlled, helping the supplier to make a product that is dialed in to their customer’s exact needs. By controlling this feature, target life is maximized, and yields are improved.




Process Lead Times


One of the major bottlenecks is manufacturing the tube-to-target assembly is the production limitations that can extend product delivery from 5 – 10 weeks (dependent on the target material). The methodologies in place are totally supplier dependent and thus a reflection of the amount of time it takes to order and receive a bonded assembly.


These long lead times are compounded by the availability of the raw materials and the ever-increasing threat of new tariffs. All of this makes it quite a challenge on a cylindrical bonding company’s ability to supply backing tubes and ceramic targets in a timely manner. Another obstacle is finding certified vendors that could supply the kind of purity with ISO control. All of these factors easily translate into long process lead times with the industry’s current manufacturing processes. Not so for the ABT MTB-1000™. A customer can order a rotary target assembly and have it ready on the same day with this new technology.




System Throughput


The throughput of ABT's MTB-1000™ is unmatched in the industry. The current system in production bonds assemblies up to one (1) meter length backing tubes and it can do so in minutes, not weeks. The number and types of target sleeves is configurable using our state-of-the-art System controller. The system controller allows customized recipes and sequences. It facilitates automatic or manual control of system robotics for PM procedures directly from the monitor handler screen.



Through touchscreen control you can perform a bond in manual or automatic mode.


User-friendly software screens allow user to control temperature within 1-degree, robotic handling and motor speed control to safely manipulate the system from your desk or the other side of the world. The flexibility of this series of system design allows for multiple target and backing tube sizes from 75mm to over 150mm O.D. using touchscreen control.


Summary


Using robotic automation, The MTB-1000™ gives users a cylindrical target of superior quality in an unprecedentedly short time. The system enables users of cylindrical target assemblies and the PVD machines that manufacture the LED, OLED and flat panel displays to realize a high ROI by increasing output by 3000% over an 8-hour shift. This high throughput coupled with flexibility and process control provides repeatable performance by reducing costs and improving profit margins for years to come.






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Silver Copper Sputtering Target

Silver Lanthanum Sputtering Target

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