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New Product: Norcimbus‚?? NBlend variable flow gas mixing system saves significant material loss

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The NBlend system from NorcimbusProduct Briefing Outline: The NBlend system from Norcimbus, offers a new option for mixed gases, bringing to market unique gas mixing technology that combines a MFC mixing system, surge tank, concentration analyzer and a proprietary Power Purge V controller. It is designed to mix two gasses to an adjustable ratio and supply a variable flow up to 250 standard liters per minute (slpm) continuously, while the concentration analyzer monitors and adjusts the blend ratio to maintain the concentration set point. It provides control accuracy of plus or minus 0.3 percent of the requested ratio, allowing it to deliver consistent results with varying flow rates and adjustable blend ratios.

Problem: Currently fabs must use specialty gas cylinders for manufacturing across a wide variety of semiconductor processing steps in order to achieve the correct mix ratios and ensure quality and purity of the materials. Specialty gas cylinders are significantly more expensive than bulk gas supplies, have high logistical requirements (e.g. delivery, stock, disposal), and expiration dates; all of which make their use in a manufacturing facility a very labor-intensive management task, further adding to their expense.

Solution: Advances in process control have enabled significant improvements in gas blending as delivered by the NBlend system, offering manufacturers a very fast path to return on investment and ongoing cost savings. The company claims that even a low flow system achieves a return on investment in 60 days in a facility with a 50 slpm maximum flow NBlend system running 24X7, 365 days per year with a continuous flow of 40 slpm, with bulk gasses costing $1 per meter cubed and specialty gas cylinders (6,000 liters each) costing $180 per bottle. The NBlend system offers closed loop feedback and analysis capabilities that enable the system to maintain an extremely tight specification on the blended gasses. A  MFC-based system can be sized for a set mix ratio and a set flow rate, which may result in the venting of excess gas that is not being used. The NBlend system in measures the actual blend and performs the mixing in real-time, independent of flow demands allowing gas to be delivered as needed and eliminating wasted materials.

Applications: The NBlend system can be used for any process requiring specialty gas delivery into the system. Target markets include semiconductor, photovoltaic/solar, TFT/LCD, MEMS, LEDs, nanotechnology, biomedical, defense and aerospace.

Platform: The NBlend system comes in standard 2 and 3 bottle gas cabinet enclosures.Process control accuracy of ±0.3% of requested ratio. Flow rates from 5slpm to 200slpm depended on system design. Real time mixture analysis for mixture control. Easy-to-use touch screen designed for intuitive operation.

Availability: July 2009.

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