Today’s most demanding production processes, such as in semi, display and solar fabs, are vacuum processes. Reliable vacuum valve performance is crucial to the seamless operation of any vacuum manufacturing process. Even the slightest blip in vacuum valve performance – resulting from reduced sealing, increased particle activation or slowed movement due to accumulated deposits – can hamper production output and batch quality. While total valve failures are rare, certain process conditions can lead to performance losses. If not remedied immediately, they can result in compromised production quality over a long period of time.

Martin Karsten, VAT Product Manager Repairs poses the two key questions he asks e.g. semi manufacturers: “What can you do to avoid the risk of a drop in process performance?” And, if a situation arises, “How quickly can you react to remedy the situation?”

A “run to failure” strategy – keeping production running until a component breaks down – can result in an even more critical situation. The ensuing repair costs and the unscheduled downtime can blow up budgets and torpedo throughput milestones.

“Missing throughput milestones is not worth the risk,” notes Martin Karsten.

Interruptions to production – and the corresponding downtime – are anathema to today's quality and efficiency-oriented fabs. Choosing the right service strategy helps avoid such risks.

Opting for a “Fixed Price Refurbishment” strategy provides a preventative maintenance program from VAT at fixed costs. A VAT program helps avoid unexpected vacuum valve failures and performance losses, as well as unplanned production downtime and service costs. With a preventive maintenance program tailored to eachvalve series, a VAT service specialist will regularly replace all wear parts, at a fixed price and with a renewed warranty.

VAT Fixed Price Refurbishment programs for vacuum valves are available to fulfill with various levels the specific maintenance requirements:

  • Complete valve refurbishment
  • Vacuum seals and gates refurbishment
  • Mechanism refurbishment
  • Control refurbishment
  • Actuator refurbishment 

“The bottom line with sophisticated, high-end production is control,” adds Martin Karsten. “A VAT Fixed Price Refurbishment program minimizes unexpected downtime and provides a maintenance schedule with transparent costs – all to ensure the seamless operation of a semiconductor, display, solar or lightning production system.”

Contact a local VAT service center to find out more about Fixed Price Refurbishment programs.