About the customer
Our customer is a leading supplier of precision technology solutions that are used in nano manufacturing, electron-beam lithography and production processes that use high-energy ion beams. Their customers include universities, research institutes and the semiconductor industry.
The EBPG5200 is a highly advanced nano lithography system that offers a broad range of solutions and is suitable for multiple applications. Future application requirements force Raith to apply a structured upgrade policy and adapt the systems accordingly. As a result, the components and technologies used in the EBPG5000 series are improved on a continuous basis. Our challenge during the hardware design phase is to maintain compatibility with systems that have been supplied in the past. This means that the hardware design has to be set up flexibly and multi-functionally.
VHE was also asked to develop new software for the Vacuum Controller, which is part of the complete system. Because the current PLC software was outdated and clumsily structured, we came up with a completely new design based on explicit specifications and new PLC control hardware.
The control panels for the systems are built at VHE and also tested in our on-site clean room. In addition to our activities in the area of the hardware, we also developed a new software platform for the Vacuum Controller. This is based on a functional specification which we drew up in-house. The application is a softPLC from B&R, which runs on an Automation Runtime version. The softPLC communicates via all kinds of bus systems, Ethernet, RS232 and DeviceNet. Like the hardware design, the software design also had to allow adaptation to suit existing systems with a minimum number of changes.
Building this type of system requires specialised hardware engineering skills. This engineering company is well aware of our expertise in the area of EBPG systems. This inspires confidence and, in combination with the high quality and flexibility of our work, creates a good basis for further collaboration.