VACOM - лауреат премии Центральной программы по поддержке инновационного развития предприятий мелкого и среднего бизнеса 2013

Parliamentary Secretary Ernst Burgbacher (center) and this year's award winners Photo: EuroNorm GmbH1Недавно Федеральное министерство экономики и технологий наградило фирму VACOM - специалиста по вакуумной технике - премией Центральной программы по поддержке инновационного развития предприятий мелкого и среднего бизнеса 2013 за выдающиеся экономические успехи.

Компания VACOM была обьявлена инновационным лауреатом 2013 года за научно-исследовательский проект "Precision & Purity" - производство вакуумных компонентов с низким содержанием остаточных частиц и низким остаточным газовыделением. Премию победителю вручил государственный секретарь Эрнст Бургбахер на Двадцатом дне инноваций среднего и малого бизнеса в Федеральном министерстве экономики и технологий вБерлине.

В рамках двухлетнего проекта специалисты предприятия разработали требования к высокочистому вакууму и экономически выгодные процессы очистки и улучшения качества поверхности вакуумных компонентов. Разработанные технологии и установки отвечают требованиям для сверхвысокого вакуума и особенно важны для применений к продуктам, использующимся в ультра-чистом вакууме (Ultra-Clean-Vacuum, UCV).

Precision & Purity
Manufacturing of low outgassing and low particle vacuum components

Vacuum components with high purity surfaces are a prerequisite for a growing number of high-technology processes in industry and science. The quality of vacuum components and chambers is mainly determined by leak-tight connections and low outgassing rates of the vacuum contacting surfaces. During the production process vacuum components get in contact with various substances such as oils and lubricants which lead to contamination of the components’ surfaces.

If one does not succeed in removing these substances reliably, it has a negative impact to reach the final pressure of the vacuum chamber as well as process safety. This effect is particularly critical for applications in ultra-high vacuum (UHV), but also in high-technology processes which have extremely high demands on the composition of the residual gas in the system. For high-purity vacuum the term ultra-clean vacuum (UCV) has been established. Contamination and particles in UHV and UCV systems lead to unstable processes, shortened maintenance intervals and thus higher costs.

Due to the increasing demands of these processes to the vacuum technology, it was imperative to develop effective and reliable methods for the cleaning of vacuum components as well as for the subsequent analysis of the cleaning results. The aim of the project supported by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs was to establish a quantitative, suitable for manufacturing, cost-effective process control as well as the consecutive optimization of cleaning processes for vacuum components (especially with complex surfaces) through systematic research.

The Product and its Innovation
Important results of the two-year project are industrially applicable, cost effective and reliable processes to produce vacuum components out of stainless steel and aluminum with minimal particle contamination and minimal outgassing rates. For this special technologies have been developed and investments in efficient equipment and high-precision measurement technology with low detection limits have been made.

As a further basic requirement optimized and secure processes, an advanced logistics and a professional quality control system have been established. Since the cleaning and surface treatment process as well as the verification of the success of cleaning by residual gas analysis and particle counting does take place in-house, in particular the cleaning as an ennobling step can be offered as a process secure service with relevant certificates for customer-supplied components.

The Market and the Customers
Today vacuum components with high-purity surfaces already found the basis for a variety of industrial and scientific high-technology processes and systems. The applications can be found everywhere, where high requirements for the process environment are demanded and being extended, from the semiconductor industry to particle to surface analysis to coating applications.

The current driving force with the highest growth prospects is the semiconductor industry, whose lithography equipment of the latest generation operates extreme-ultra-violet (EUV) radiation at 13.5 nm wavelength for the exposure of the integrated circuits of future computer chips. Since air would absorb EUV radiation exposure this highly sensitive processes take place in a vacuum with very high demands on the residual gas composition and the use of close tolerance and strictly controlled vacuum components with high-purity surfaces is essential.

More information:

Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)Центральная инновационная программа направлена на поддержку и содействие инновационному развитию предприятий среднего и малого бизнеса и сотрудничающих с ними исследовательских центров. Межотраслевая программа Федерального министерства экономики и технологий действует на территории Германии и открыта для всех видов технологий.

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