Brooks Automation opens a new cleanroom manufacturing facility

JUNE 11–CHELMSFORD, Mass.–Brooks Automation, Inc., which delivers manufacturing automation solutions for semiconductor, precision electronics and other industries, is announcing the opening of an 18,000-square-foot cleanroom located at its headquarters here today.

The opening of the manufacturing facility in Chelmsford is a key component of Brooks’ initiative to centralize operations.

“As a result of an aggressive acquisition strategy, Brooks has acquired several manufacturing centers located throughout the world,” says Robert J. Therrien, chairman and chief executive officer. “Over the past several months, we have developed and executed a plan to consolidate these centers into one Center for Manufacturing Excellence located on the Chelmsford campus.”

For customers, he explains, this will mean better products and services, delivered more efficiently.

“It will provide our employees with a robust, world-class work environment, and it will save the company millions of dollars per year in fixed costs,” Therrien says.

The new cleanroom, which combines the Billerica, Mass.; Longmont, Colo.; Mountain View, Calif.; and Valencia, Calif. manufacturing centers, will unify the manufacturing groups for the majority of the company’s hardware products.

The first phase of the work, now completed, consolidates manufacturing for the entire line of Brooks Atmospheric and Vacuum Robotics, Traversers, Inligner, Acculign, and Incooler Modules as well as AMHS transport vehicles and Load Port Modules (with the exception of the FIXLOAD, which will continue to be manufactured in Jena, Germany).

Manufacturing of specific Systems, including the ZARIS Reticle Inspection System, the Guardian Reticle Stocker, Low Profile Wafer Stockers, and 200 mm sorters, is also planned for the new facility.

Brooks’ new Center for Manufacturing Excellence has been constructed to provide a flow-through design.

“The entire building has been designed specifically for efficient, flexible manufacturing. At one end of the factory, materials are replenished directly from our suppliers and then flow directly into our demand-based DFT (Demand Flow Technology) manufacturing lines where products are assembled, final qualified, and then moved in a continuous manner through clean packaging and shipped directly to our customers,” said Scott Gaarder, director of manufacturing operations at Brooks.

The cleanroom is certified under ISO 14644 standards and consists primarily of an ISO Class 7 major production area, along with specialty areas of ISO Class 7 and ISO Class 6 cleanliness specifications. The HVAC system is designed around practices for energy efficient operation, including computer lighting controls, HVAC Zone Control with variable frequency drives and steam humidification.

Key features of the facility include energy management control of the environment with a ZETA Direct Digital Control System.

The new cleanroom is located in the same building that houses the Brooks Customer Training Center (Brooks University) and a high-bay manufacturing area, enabling Brooks to bring together customer training and manufacturing in a single location.

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