Edwards releases dry pump for solar crystal puller and laminator apps

Edwards, vacuum and abatement equipment and services provider, debuted the GXS dry pump, designed to support pumping requirements for silicon ingot manufacturing and laminator applications in the solar industry.

(July 8, 2010) — Edwards, vacuum and abatement equipment and services provider, debuted the GXS dry pump, designed to support pumping requirements for silicon ingot manufacturing and laminator applications in the solar industry.

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The GXS optimizes thermal control and dust handling for challenging pumping processes. The high atmospheric pumping speed capability also enables faster chamber pump down.

The dry pump suits the specific pumping process requirements for solar laminator and crystal pulling applications, said Allister Watson, Ph.D., solar and flat panel display dry pump product manager at Edwards. “Its closed-loop thermal management system ensures the pump remains at a temperature to prevent pump seize-ups, due to either glue condensation in laminator applications or overheating when pumping high concentrations of argon during crystal pulling applications. At the same time, its fast pump down time, low utility consumption and reduced maintenance all contribute to a low cost of ownership.”

The GXS uses a tapered variable pitch screw profile (patent pending) that allows for tight clearances without the need for rotor coatings. It also enables compression variations along the rotor axis for improved thermal stability and better thermal control, making it an optimal pump to handle the high flows of argon gas used in crystal pulling applications, as well as the dust generated during the manufacturing process.

The GXS dry pump can operate on as little as 3.9 kW of input power (depending on the pump version) and reportedly uses 57% less energy than competing piston pumps. The high-efficiency motors are inverter-driven and enable reduced energy by running in idle mode.

Inert, non-oxidizing oil is used to lubricate the gears and bearings of the pump with no maintenance required between major services and no oil changes.

The dry pump features a small footprint (approx. 0.4 × 1.1 × 0.8m) and low noise (<64 db[A]), which allow pumps to be located close to customers’ chambers, if required. The GXS pump is compatible with Edwards Fabworks data monitoring system so that pump parameters can be monitored and trended in real-time via a central computer.
 
Edwards supplies vacuum and abatement equipment for the manufacture of semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells and is also a leader in vacuum technology for industrial, scientific, process and R&D applications. For more information, visit www.edwardsvacuum.com

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