Revolutionary Magnetic Levitation Rotary Actuator For Zero-Contamination Vacuum Motion

Revolutionary magnetic levitation rotary actuator for zero-contamination vacuum motion

Tokyo, Japan — June 30, 2004. Rigaku Corporation today announced the introduction of a new rotary actuator system for use in contamination-sensitive applications. Unlike traditional ball bearing based actuators, Omni-Lev® is supported entirely by magnetic fields, eliminating contact between moving parts that can generate damaging particles. This invention (patent pending) resulted from a two-year development at Rigaku's vacuum business unit, Rigaku Mechatronics. Omni-Lev will be displayed at the Semicon West tradeshow, booth 5738, held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA beginning July 12, 2004.

Omni-Lev's non-contact mechanism not only eliminates particulate generation but also eliminates friction, resulting in very accurate positioning, ultra-low shaft runout, very long life and the virtual elimination of maintenance. Another important feature is the all-metal construction, allowing the actuator to be used in UHV-vacuum level environments as well as in corrosive gas or liquid settings, as commonly encountered in semiconductor manufacturing processes. Semiconductor chip companies drove the need for Omni-Lev development, which is a natural outgrowth of Rigaku's vacuum rotary motion feedthrough business.

Many industrial processes, such as the manufacture of semiconductor computer chips, are exceptionally sensitive to particulate contamination. Trace levels of such contaminants can dramatically reduce wafer yields. In addition to semiconductors, other sensitive manufacturing processes can also be compromised by vapors arising from lubricants and sealing oils. Broader applications for Omni-Lev may be found within any industry requiring motion without the generation of the contaminants found in traditional contact-type actuator solutions.

Rigaku—Leading With Innovation

Since its inception in Japan in 1951, Rigaku has been at the forefront of analytical and industrial instrumentation technology. Rigaku and its subsidiaries form a global group focused on life sciences and general purpose analytical instrumentation. With hundreds of major innovations to their credit, Rigaku companies are world leaders in the fields of small molecule and protein crystallography, X-ray spectrometry and diffraction, X-ray optics, as well as semiconductor metrology. Rigaku employs over 1,100 people in the manufacture and support of its analytical equipment. Its products are in use in more than 70 countries—supporting research, development, and quality assurance activities. Throughout the world, Rigaku continuously promotes partnerships, dialog, and innovation within the global scientific and industrial community.

For further information, contact:

Rigaku Vacuum Products
7a Raymond Avenue
Salem, NH, 03079
Tel: 603-890-6001
Fax: 603-890-6016