Materion Microelectronics & Services, a unit of Materion Corporation (NYSE: MTRN), has completed a 50% capacity expansion at its facility in Wheatfield, New York, near Buffalo. The site provides precision parts cleaning and surface treatment of physical vapor deposition (PVD) shield kits for manufacturers in such industries as wireless products, LEDs, medical consumables and photovoltaics. The investment includes a fully automated robotic twin wire arc spray, increased precious metal refining capacity, new cleaning processes, and a clean room certified to Class 10,000. Materion is the only vertically integrated global provider of thin film deposition materials, precision parts cleaning services, and precious metal recovery and refining.
The fully automated robotic twin wire arc spray is a leading-edge technology that increases the process lifetime of shielding used in particulate-sensitive processes. It does this by applying an under-layer surface coating to parts after they have been cleaned and the precious metals have been recovered. The coating provides an enhanced surface roughness that increases a part’s adhesion properties in the vacuum chamber. This allows more material to be deposited and minimizes random particles that would otherwise be deposited on the subsequent product.
After cleaning, all parts pass through a variety of inspections and tests to ensure dimensional tolerances and complete cleanliness. When customers receive their parts back they are ready to be installed into thin film chambers for deposition. Later, after the part has been used and returned to Materion, the under-layer coating can be quickly and easily removed for cleaning. A video of the entire process may be viewed at:
“The addition of the robotic twin wire arc spray demonstrates our commitment to process control and staying at the forefront of the industry,” said Jim McMullen, Product Manager-Precision Parts Cleaning Services
“Because each part is individually programmed into the system we get tighter control over the coating process. This decreases variability and makes the coatings more consistent both within an individual part and from part to part. The result is faster turnaround and the potential for higher precious metal returns. Customers benefit from greater tool uptime, improved effective shield life, overall increased wafer and product yields, and a lower total cost of ownership.”
McMullen noted that Materion also has precision parts cleaning facilities in Ireland and the Czech Republic. “And we are always looking at additional locations and services. It’s our commitment to be our customers’ first choice for all their PVD materials, parts and related services.”