In our July Semiconductor entry, we noted that lowering the cost of ownership is a multi-faceted goal. We discussed how one of the areas for potential improvement is mechanical design and how the Parker EZ-Lok seal is a major solution to mechanical seal failure. In this entry, we’ll investigate a notably different type of cost-reduction opportunity – material selection – and see how Parker’s innovative HiFluor compounds can reduce seal costs to as little as half.Critical Environments
When it comes to the seal industry, the semiconductor market is well known as one where the most premium, chemical-resistant compounds are a necessity. Microelectronic manufacturing processes involve chemistries that push the limits of what elastomeric compounds can withstand in terms of both chemical aggressiveness and variety. The perfluorinated materials (FFKM) capable of withstanding these environments require intricate manufacturing processes regulated by closely-guarded trade secrets and the significant investment of resources.
These factors drive the price of FFKM compounds to the point of being as much as 50 times the cost of any other variety. Cutting just a slice out of this cost can result in significant savings – a chance to take out a quarter or even half the pie would be advantageous indeed. Fabricators should be continually on the lookout for more cost-effective compounds that show equal performance in their pertinent operations.
This is why Parker’s HiFluor compounds offer an opportunity for cost savings that shouldn’t go unnoticed.A unique hybrid of performance between FFKM and the simpler technology of fluorocarbon (FKM) elastomers, HiFluor offers the most superb chemical compatibility in the many semiconductor environments where the high temperature ratings of FFKM aren’t necessary – and at a fraction of the cost.
Not only can HiFluor be used where even FKM is lacking, but its performance in applications with aggressive plasma exposure is spectacular as well. This can be observed by its overall resistance to plasma-induced material degradation. However, Parker has also developed multiple formulations that display extremely low particle generation when most materials would be expected to suffer severe physical and chemical etch.
Solutions and Cost Savings
Need assistance deciphering exactly where this kind of cost-savings can be implemented? Parker O-Ring & Engineering Seals Division has all the resources needed to help their customers identify opportunities to utilize HiFluor seals.
For instance, one major semiconductor fab had several factors (other than their seals) dictating the frequency of their preventative maintenance (PM) intervals. The fab wanted to replace their seals at these intervals as a precautionary measure to limit the chance of them becoming another PM-increasing factor. However, this caused these premium FFKM seals to be a source of inflated cost. Parker engineers assisted with a process evaluation that resulted in over half the seals being replaced with cost-effective HiFluor O-rings, while the tool regions with more intense plasma exposure were reserved for the elite performance of Parker’s FF302.
Another major fab in the microelectronics industry switched from FKM to FFKM seals in their oxide etch process. The tool owner achieved the desired performance improvement, but soon began searching for less expensive options. Based on guidance from Parker engineers, he recognized the plasma resistance and low particulate generation of Parker’s HiFluor compound, HF355. After implementing this change, he retained the performance improvement, but at a fraction of the cost.
Semiconductor tool owners understand that their aggressive processes require the most robust, expensive FFKM seal materials. The price tag on these seals is greater than those from any other compound family. Fortunately, HiFluor is a proven sealing solution that can bridge the gap and provide the same kind of high performance at a much lower cost. To find out if HiFluor is right for your application, visit us at Parker.com/oes and chat with and engineer.
This article was contributed by Nathaniel Reis, applications engineer, Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.
There are simple steps that an HVACR technician can take during their routine spring and fall inspections or at any time when onsite to enhance reliability. The good news is that most of the items listed below are commonly followed for system efficiency and capacity maintenance but also positively affect system reliability. Performing these simple steps greatly enhances the probability that a system will last its full design life.
For more information on sizing filter-driers and system clean-up procedures please see Parker Sporlan Bulletin 40-10. For various HVAC and Refrigeration product information visit www.Parker.com/Sporlan.
Article contributed by Glen Steinkoenig, product manager, Contaminant Controls, Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin.
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Single-use solutions have been widely adopted on a global scale within the biopharmaceutical industry due to the many advantages and process improvements they offer.
Key applications for single-use assemblies include the creation of process fluid flow paths, buffer/product storage solutions and sampling systems on varying scales.
Most of these systems will start with either a bioprocess container or a tubing option and require the ability to connect to further pieces of equipment or additional single-use systems/manifolds.
In order to achieve this connectability, some form of connection needs to be selected — but with so many different connection types available, where should biopharmaceutical manufacturers start?
There are many different options available when embarking on the selection process. Consideration must be given to whether the connection type needs to be aseptic to provide quick and easy sterile connections, (even in non-sterile environments) or non-aseptic (to provide quick and easy non-sterile connections).
How do you choose the correct option?
The choice should be guided by the process itself — and the capability of the manufacturing plant should also be taken into account.
Key factors which will determine the correct choice of connection type include:
Only when these factors have been addressed can the end-user begin to fully specify the connection type required.
Connection types The Luer connector
The Luer connector is the simplest connector. It consists of both a male and female form, and the connection is made using a twist-lock action. These connections are suited to sample lines (with syringe connectivity) and low flow narrow-bore tubing applications and can be used within a laminar airflow hood to create aseptic connections.
However, there is a downside: potential misconnections can occur when they are not mated correctly.Quick connector
Quick connectors such as the MPC, MPX or MPU from CPC (Colder Products Company) are similar to Luer connectors in that they can be used within a laminar airflow hood to create aseptic connections. They have the added security of a push-fit feature with a secure locking mechanism.Triclamp
Triclamp (sanitary style) fittings can be used as connectors. While these are effective and secure connections, care must be taken to position the required o-ring seal within the connection prior to fixing the connection using an external clamp. The sheer size of the external clamp may make this an unsuitable method for connecting narrow bore or thin-walled tubing due to the weights involved and the potential for kinking/doubling of the attached tubing. Triclamp connections can be used within a laminar airflow hood to create aseptic connections.
Connections outside of a laminar airflow hood
Should aseptic connections be required to be made outside of a laminar airflow hood, two options are available, which both allow the connection of varying tube sizes:Gendered aseptic connector
The first option for connecting aseptically in a non-aseptic environment would be to use a gendered aseptic connector, such as CPC AseptiQuik® gendered, which has both a male and female version. The benefit of using a gendered connection is that it can help by safeguarding which lines can be connected to certain points in the process; this helps to mitigate against human error and the accidental connection of the incorrect lines/equipment.
When designing single-use assemblies using a gendered connector approach, care must be taken to ensure that the correct male / female side is designed into each part; this in itself can also create some areas for error to creep in.Genderless aseptic connector
Should the end-user not have any concerns over an accidental connection to the incorrect lines/equipment, or simply want to remove the error of male/female connector type which can creep in during design, there is the genderless aseptic connector, such as CPC AseptiQuik® genderless. These connectors take out the requirement for designing in the correct male/female orientation and can enable universal assemblies to be manufactured and connected with many other assembly/equipment types.
Both gendered aseptic connectors and genderless aseptic connectors operate via a mechanism that enables connection in non-sterile environments to be made possible. This is because of the use of proprietary seals which mate together before a protective seal is removed, thus keeping the process stream in its aseptic/sterile condition.
Connecting stainless steel and single-use
Should sterile connections between traditional stainless steel biopharmaceutical processing equipment and single-use assemblies be required, there is another option:Steam-to connectors
Steam to connectors, such as CPC Steam-Thru®, work by allowing steam to pass through the section connected to the stainless steel equipment. Once steamed and connected, a valve within the connector is manipulated, creating a sterile or aseptic flow path.
It is apparent that there are many connections capable of creating or maintaining an aseptic/sterile environment, but without the correct process condition assessment, operator care or design considerations, biopharmaceutical manufacturers could be looking at a costly connection failure.
Download our white paper to find solutions to more single-use challenges: Single-Use Technology: The Next 5 Challenges to Conquer
This post was contributed by Graeme Proctor, product manager (single-use technologies), Parker Bioscience Filtration, United Kingdom.
Parker Bioscience Filtration specializes in automating and controlling single-use bioprocesses. By integrating sensory and automation technology into a process, a manufacturer can control the fluid more effectively, ensuring the quality of the final product. Visit www.parker.com/bioscience to find out more.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are more than 100,000 car wash facilities throughout the country with Americans spending $5.8 billion annually to have their vehicles cleaned and detailed. In fact, over the last two decades, the number of car owners opting for car wash and auto detailing services has increased exponentially, and industry revenue growth is forecasted to grow at an average yearly rate of 3.3 percent. This will continue to rise as automatic car washes become more affordable and environmentally friendly.
With tremendous growth comes increased competition to provide the most convenient and specialized car wash process for the modern vehicle. For decades, full-service, in-bay automatic (IBA) and self-serve car wash services dominated the landscape. Today, they are competing with express exterior and flex-serve washes implementing modern systems and processes that greatly enhance the car wash experience for a better and longer wash while utilizing virtually no labor.Performance problems that can wash away business
Machines are the lifeblood of modern professional car wash facilities. Success is dependent on the performance of the equipment. As the demand grows for vehicle washes, system components are being used at a much higher pace and volume which can result in faster wear and tear of machinery. Automated conveyors, for example, can fail to operate on high traffic days due to insufficient pressure issues. If mechanical problems persist due to poor performance, this may lead to car wash downtime resulting in a huge loss of profit.
Along with machines, car wash owners and operators must be mindful of car care applications. Modern chemical systems are essential to wash performance. Running out of soap or wax can also lead to downtime. The ability to monitor liquid levels can ensure the car wash process is performing at an optimum pace. These liquids can also be affected by variables beyond control, such as the weather. The most important agents, soap and water, under the most extreme conditions can induce havoc on a car wash facility. Car washes can shut down from frozen waterlines, ice buildup, bay door malfunctions or equipment freezes. Being offline temporarily can have permanent consequences for owners and operators.
Despite industry advancements, car washes remain subservient to other variables such as air pressure and water temperature. Innovations in advanced condition monitoring and the advent of the internet of things (IoT), equip owners with data and analytics to diagnose machine health, detect issues before they arise and monitor equipment in all weather conditions.Condition monitoring for car wash facilities
One car wash equipment manufacturer for automotive dealerships wanted to provide preventative maintenance on its systems. They were seeking a remote monitoring solution that would allow them to monitor a variety of conditions:
Real-time information would enable technicians to effectively and efficiently service equipment. Additionally, the capability to sense chemical levels would allow owners to know exactly when soap, conditioner, pre-soak and other cleaner replenishments need to occur, reducing system downtime and lost revenue.Preventive maintenance ensures continuous operations and machine performance
The local Parker distributor suggested a continuous remote monitoring solution that could monitor the system including liquid level sensing. SensoNODE™ Gold Sensors and Voice of the Machine™ Software is a low-cost monitoring system with superior flexibility that can be incorporated throughout the car wash process in new or existing systems. By installing the wireless SensoNODE Gold Sensors, service technicians can monitor the bay for changes in pressure, temperature and humidity with instant data and conduct accurate diagnostics to pinpoint any potential issues without having to be on-site.
Chemical levels can be tracked with Parker’s liquid level sensor which identifies chemical fluid levels within barrels. This sensor is non-invasive and attached to the outside of the chemical container. This reduces the opportunities for spillage and employee health mishaps. This helps alleviate material and equipment issues while also providing service technicians with critical information to know exactly when they are needed to be on location.
Together, SensoNODE Gold Sensors and Voice of the Machine Software create a touch-free experience for the dealership as up-to-date machine measurements and chemical levels are available to be viewed via an internet connection. Access to this information eases concerns over inadequate car washes, equipment malfunctioning or low chemical levels. Learn more.
Article contributed by Westin Siemsglusz, IoT market sales manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
Parker Global publishes news from inside the company that focuses on our efforts to be a good corporate citizen around the world and illustrate our commitment to deliver on our brand promise to partner with our customers to increase their productivity and profitability.
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