ADEM Edge Grippers: an Intelligent Solution

ADEM's Intelligent Edge Grippers (IEG) have been specifically designed to overcome numerous disadvantages of pneumatic and vacuum end-effectors. MultiMetrixs´ engineering team combined patented sensing and gripping technology with a low profile plug and play design to achieve the most scrupulous wafer handling requirements. IEGs offer greater control, reliability, flexibility, and precision, all translating into significant cost savings and increased through-put.

Standard Features:

Soft-touch mechanism
Our patented soft-touch mechanism sets apart ADEM's Intelligent Edge Grippers (IEGs) from its competitors´. This unique feature means that gripping prism do not shoot on the wafer, but gently touch (hug) the wafer edge preventing any particles generation. The slightest contact between gripper tips and the wafer edge sends a signal to the device control mechanism, which in turn calculates and applies an applicable pre-programmed gripping force. Regardless of wafer diameter deviations, this feature enables secure hold with constant gripping force.

Programmable gripping force
All of ADEM's edge grippers feature an active and programmable gripping force, enabling you to utilize the same tool for both thick and thin wafers. With its closed loop force-feedback, the mechanism prevents wafer stress while holding the wafer gently and securely. This feature can help achieve higher throughput, by allowing optimization of gripping force while factoring in variables such as robot speed and wafer stiffness.

Motion control and communication
The electrical drives used in IEGs are significantly more reliable than pneumatic ones; they are cleaner in operation and do not require an exhaust line. For precise motion control, our edge grippers use electrical step motors and drive-box enclosed miniature controllers. The electrical step motors enable control of gripping force, operation of multiple wafer grippers on same robotic arm, and status definition of each individual gripper.

Safe lock
In case of EMO or power disconnect, the safe lock feature will automatically lock the gripping prisms in place holding the wafer securely. After the power is resumed, the mechanism verifies wafer presence preventing accidental wafer drop.

Rotating distal gripping tips
Rotating distal gripping tips is a feature that allows for random access of 200mm wafers into small pitch cassette, boat or any narrow gates. In 300mm edge grippers this is an optional feature.

Modular design
IEG modular design enables MultiMetrixs to manufacture edge grippers with superb reliability qualities. Additionally, the modular design reduces our manufacturing and testing time, enabling you to receive your custom-designed IEGs within two months of product order. To date, ADEM has built and successfully integrated over a dozen various designs into customers´ wafer handling solutions.

Optional Features:

Self-centering
ADEM IEGs can be configured to include a self-centering mechanism, which simultaneously moves the three gripping tips toward wafer center for holding, or away from wafer center releasing. This unique feature greatly reduces the numbers of particles generated during picking and placing of wafers, as it prevents them from sliding in a cassette or boat. In addition, the self-centering mechanism dramatically improves wafer placement accuracy, reduces wafer positioning time and allows for wafer misalignment of up to 5 mm.

Top-approach
IEGs can be configured to lift wafers from the top, while holding the wafer 0.5mm from its edge. It allows simplification of wafer handling in some processes (e.g. picking of hot wafer with increased sagging) while elimitating the necessity of lifting pins on OEM equipment.

Thru-beam mapping
ADEM has developed laser Class 1 thru-beam sensors that are easily integrated into its family of intelligent grippers. U-shape and Spade-type IEGs can be equipped with thru-beam for mapping in the FOUP or cassette. The top-approach IEG can be equipped with thru-beam to define wafer´s elevation for safe picking.

Rotating distal gripping tips
Rotating distal gripping tips can be incorporated into any 300 mm edge gripper to allow random access into small pitch cassette, boat or any narrow gates.

Leveling posts and adapter plate
For simple mounting and horizontal leveling of grippers, ADEM offers a variety of leveling posts and custom adapter plates tailored for any specific application and host robot´s mounting bracket.
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