Solar Equipment Systems, LLC revolutionary product, the patent-pending MTB1000. The MTB1000 is an automated PVD mandrel-to-target indium bonding system, which can drastically increase the output of bonded assemblies while dramatically reducing costs and improving quality and extending target life.
Manufacturers across the country are manually bonding mandrels to targets for the physical vapor deposition process used in the solar, semiconductor, and other industries. When manually pouring the liquid indium, which bonds the target material to the mandrel, employees must visually ensure that they do not spill as they aim for the one-millimeter gap. Because this is virtually impossible to accomplish by hand, liquid indium spills over and is unevenly poured, which is very costly to the manufacturer. This is further complicated because the employee must simultaneously spin the target and mandrel as they pour the liquid indium. As they spin the target and mandrel, the previously-poured liquid indium cools slightly and there is a heat line, similar to a line of candle wax that drips down the side of the candle. To further compound the processing time, the employee must wait for the target and mandrel to heat up before pouring and wait for them to cool down after pouring is complete. Also, because the employee is doing everything by hand, the surface coverage is uneven and there are bubbles in the final target assembly. An average employee can only bond two target assemblies in an eight-hour shift.
ABT-(formerly SES) new automated MTB-1000 solves these issues in a way that expedites the process, improves throughput, reduces waste, and extends target life. By leveraging state-of-the-art heat controllers, mandrels and targets are preheated and ready to go as soon as they enter the processing module. The filling process takes sixty seconds, greatly increasing target assembly throughput in comparison to the manual employee, without the added OSHA concerns of an employee in a heat suit. Thermocouples and fiber-optic sensors ensure accurate filling with zero overflows or spillage, saving the manufacturer costly waste, rework, and scrap. The MTB-1000 can accommodate mandrel sizes up to twenty feet in length with zero additional process time. The MTB-1000 is the first in the MTB series line of machinery, with further developments to come.