High precision even between the process steps
High precision even between the process steps

High precision even between the process steps

When it comes to wafer handling in the EFEM module, such as on the end effector or the pre-aligner, Balluff gives you high precision. Only extreme accuracy allows wafers to be exactly positioned and reliably transported for each individual processing step.

Our sensors and systems are available in compact form factors to easily meet demanding requirements for machine integration. When conditions are especially challenging – after all, every end effector is different – we can also tailor our technology to your individual requirements.

The non-contact measuring principles prevent abrasion, so that the cleanroom class can be maintained throughout the entire process. Use reliable monitoring of wafer handling and secure your process.

Application examples

  • Detecting robot position

    Detecting robot position

    The solution

    Are you using multiple load ports? Or multiple process chambers? Then use our high-precision magnetic encoder systems to reliably monitor the movement of your robot units. These non-contact distance measuring systems continuously monitor the robot position. And the magnetic tape can be trimmed to exactly the length you need. This means you can use the system for modules with varying numbers of load ports.

    The features

    • Non-contact, i.e. no abrasion or splitting
    • Flexible: Up to 48 m of magnetic tape can be trimmed to your requirements
    Detecting robot position
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  • Monitoring robot rotation

    Monitoring robot rotation

    The solution

    To position the end effector of the robot with absolute precision, our magnetic coded angle measurement systems are ideal. These check the rotating movements of the robot joints which transport the end effector, bring it to its end position and finally place the wafer.

    The features

    • Simple to integrate, small sensor head
    • Low weight makes it perfect for robotics
    • Generous distance between sensor and ring: simple to install – high operating security
    Monitoring robot rotation
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  • Wafer pre-alignment

    Wafer pre-alignment

    The solution

    Bring your wafers to the process chamber perfectly aligned by exactly positioning them in pre-aligner. We offer an outstanding solution for optical pre-aligners: a high-resolution light array with extraordinary homogeneity. Additionally, it lets you detect either notch or flat for precisely centering the wafer. Our light array is also ideal for integrating into your pre-aligner.

    The features

    • Very precise red light laser: High-resolution and extremely homogeneous
    • Different light lengths for individual requirements
    • Intuitive operation
    Wafer pre-alignment
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  • Check for wafer presence on end-effectors

    Check for wafer presence on end-effectors

    The solution

    Use our outgassing-optimized optical diffuse sensors to check the presence of the wafer on the end effector with absolute reliability, so that you no longer need to fear crashes. Our diffuse sensors can be perfectly integrated into the end effector, even if it is extremely thin. Because their installation height is just 1.7 mm.

    The features

    • Extremely flat, perfect for the end effector
    • Outgassing optimized for the cleanroom!
    • Simple remote adjustment
    Check for wafer presence on end-effectors
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  • Check for wafer presence on end-effectors

    Check for wafer presence on end-effectors

    The solution

    You can also check for the presence of the wafer on the end effector using our capacitive sensors with PTFE coating. These detect ultra-thin wafers with outstanding reliability, even if they are sagging. Their installation height is just 2.5 mm to ensure perfect integration into the end effectors. The external amplifier makes remote adjustment easy.

    The features

    • Extremely flat – just 2.5 mm
    • PTFE housing, also suitable for various surfaces
    • High precision in the smallest possible package
    Check for wafer presence on end-effectors
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  • Checking wafer position on the end effector

    Checking wafer position on the end effector

    The solution

    Our inductive sensors provide yet another way to determine the presence of the wafer on the end effector while at the same time detecting its exact position. Our short-circuit protected NAMUR sensors can be installed next to each other, so that you can even detect different positions. With form factors starting as small as Ø 4 mm they can also be integrated onto the end effector with no trouble.

    The features

      • Reliably detect cable breaks and short-circuits
      • Various form factors available for individual requirements
      • Can be integrated on the end effector
      Checking wafer position on the end effector
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    • Reliable wafer mapping

      Reliable wafer mapping

      The solution

      Detect the edges – of just a few µm thick wafers – with absolute reliability. The extremely controlled and focused light spot from our Micromote sensors provide you with outstanding precision. Our Micromote sensors also ensure that full slots, double wafers or incorrectly positioned wafers are reliably detected at all times. Flexible cables and small form factors let you benefit from great freedom of design.

      The features

      • Outstanding precision in the smallest space – minimal opening angle
      • Can be adapted to a wide variety of end effectors
      • Modular kit system – perfect for specific mechanical installation situations
      Reliable wafer mapping
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    • Tracking wafer frames

      Tracking wafer frames

      The solution

      Ensure a transparent process by using our vision systems to track your wafer frames. You equip the frames with barcodes for reliably checking the systems. Now you know at all times whether a wafer has already been back-grinded and separated.

      The features

      • Reliable solution for tracking
      • Simple, intuitive operation
      Tracking wafer frames
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