Norcimbus uncrates variable gas flow mixing system
Norcimbus FCIV Inc. introduced its NBlend variable flow gas mixing system at SEMICON West, which allows manufacturers to transition away from using specialty gas cylinders and achieve cost savings by blending their own specialty gases in-house, implementing a facility’s existing bulk gas supply infrastructure. The company says it has been demonstrated to achieve a return-on-investment (ROI) in as little as 60 days.
The company explained to SST that in a sample fab set-up, typical savings achieved by the NBlend system over a 24-hour period is $20.74 for total volume bulk gas (57600slpm) and nearly $1600 for total volume/cylinder (57600slpm), with a 60-day ROI for a 40 slpm system that replaces 10 specialty gas cylinders. The system adjusts with fab gas requirements, instead of providing gas at a fixed rate and venting the excess to maintain performance levels. Cost savings are greater and ROI faster on higher flow systems; the system can accommodate up to 250 slpm.
The system’s closed-loop feedback and analysis capabilities enable it to maintain an extremely tight specification on the blended gases of ??0.3% accuracy ratio, according to the company. Mass flow controller (MFC)-based systems must mix continuously at a set flow rate, which results in the venting of excess gas. Norcimbus’ system measures the actual blend and peforms the mixing in real-time, allowing gas to be delivered as needed and eliminating wasted materials.
Key to the NBlend’s capabilities, according to Norcimbus operations manager Brian Ebert, is an expansion on existing gas mixing technology???combining an MFC mixing system, surge tank, concentration analyzer, and a proprietary Power Purge V controller. The system is designed to mix two gases to an adjustable ratio and supply a variable flow up to 250 slpm continuously, while the concentration analyzer monitors and adjusts the blend ratio to maintain the concentration set point. In particular, the controller has been designed for continuous system monitoring, and the safe delivery and purging of ultra high purity (UHP) process gas systems. ??? D.V.