Zimmermann & Schilp Handhabungstechnik develops produces and sells systems and equipment for the industrial material-handling industry. It uses ultrasound air bearing technology for services, including maintenance, service, equipment and plant planning, customising and integration.
Non-contract material handling for sensitive surfaces
The company's primary focus is non-contact material handling, especially with sensitive surfaces like coatings, printings or scratch-free surfaces. The systems can be adapted to clean-room environments up to class ISO 2. The technology delivers huge potential for optimising yield, quality, energy consumption, TCO and simplification of processes. The product range includes:
- Semiconductor: wafer grippers, linear movement and chucks
- cSi Solar: all sorts of wafer handling for fast loading and unloading process machines
- Thin-film solar/glass: grippers and conveyors
Zimmermann & Schilp Handhabungstechnik delivers standalone systems for certain purposes as well as modules to be integrated in other manufacturers' process equipment. It is the sole supplier of equipment using the ultrasound air bearing technology and has invented many of the innovations in this field.
Industrial material-handling systems
Zimmermann & Schilp Handhabungstechnik handling systems can be applied to any atmospheric process. The ultrasound air bearing generates a supporting gas-film (air or process-gas) between its surface and the substrate. Thus, any mechanical contact is avoided and the substrate is hovering friction-free on the supporting gas film.
The ultrasound air bearing technology offers a series of benefits compared to state-of-the-art solutions such as Bernoulli-systems or standard air bearings:
- No pressurised air required
- No dynamic turbulences in the environmental gas
- No negative influences on the flow of gas in clean-rooms
- Lowest breakage-rates
- Significantly lower energy consumption
- Higher throughput/short cycle times (e.g. pick-and-place processes of solar wafers up to 7,000 wafers per hour
Zimmermann & Schilp Handhabungstechnik's non-contact end-effector enables loading/unloading, gripping and flipping of wafers without any mechanical contact between handling-device and wafer. Therefore, wafers with processed or coated surfaces can be handled without causing any surface damage. The dimensions fit to standard wafer cassettes (SEMI compatible).
Analog to the end-effector, the wafer-chuck enables non-contact handling of wafers facilitating ultra-pure and ultra-smooth positioning and rotating of wafers for inspection and processing.
The non-contact die-gripper can be installed on any common robot or axis-system. Semiconductor dies, MEMS & MOEMS, BioChips and optical lenses can be handled from the top-side without any contact to the handling tool.
Non-contact inspection linear track
The non-contact linear tracks facilitate friction-free linear transport of substrates whereas fast accelerations and high speeds are possible. A double-sided inspection of the substrates can be realised by either intersecting the transfer system or using glass as material of the transfer systems.
Non-contact wafer-picker module
The ultrasound air bearing facilitates singulation and gripping of wafers without any moving tool-parts. Aside from the ultra-safe non-contact gripping process significantly lower cycle-times and lowest breakage-rates rank among the most important advantages.
Non-contact wafer-sorter module
The non-contact wafer-sorter module enables ultra-smooth and ultra-fast sorting and placing of wafers/cells. The substrates can be gripped from the top-side, transferred by the belt and sorted into many different kinds of container systems (cassettes, carriers, matrix carriers, stacks, belts) without any mechanical contact between tool and substrate.
For surface-sensitive and thin substrates the glass-gripper facilitates top-side gripping without any surface contact. Thus, handling and aligning at processed, cleaned or coated surfaces as well as loading/unloading of boats is possible without any surface damage. Moreover, flexible parts can be stabilised in geometry and position.
The non-contact conveyors facilitate smooth and friction-free transport of substrates. Analog to the linear track a double-sided inspection can be integrated. The systems are designed as modules which can be assembled to arrays of any length and width.