Low emission special cleanroom castor made by Blickle
… is a major player in the semiconductor technology industry and develops and manufactures equipment used in the production of microchips. The international company had a turnover of 972 million euros in the 2015/2016 financial year. The firm has around 2,800 employees worldwide, around 30% of which are involved in research and development.
The customer required trolleys capable of handling heavy loads as part of its manufacturing process for semiconductor lithography lenses. The lenses are produced in a cleanroom environment, i.e. a room with a very low level of particulates. As a result, all of the equipment and materials used in a clean room environment have to meet special criteria: special surfaces, antistatic, low abrasion, low maintenance, easy to clean.
A series of airlocks removes particulates from the air all the way up to the entrance to the cleanroom and through to the so-called “ultra-cleanroom”, where the level of particulates in the air is particularly low. The special cleanroom castors for the transport trolleys can only be fitted in one of these cleanroom air locks.
As part of the production process, the trolley is guided by guide rollers and has to pass through a U-shaped corridor. A high level of manoeuvrability is required due to the limited space. The lens manufacturer also requires a low mounting height, a high load capacity and a foot guard.
Blickle used its LSDFE-POTH series heavy duty spring-loaded twin wheel castors as the foundation for the special castor in order to meet all of the customer’s requirements related to load capacity, hygiene and manoeuvrability.
Under cleanroom conditions, all components must be handled in such a way that they release as few particles into the air as possible. As a result, all of the bolts are made from stainless steel. The entire bracket is nickel-plated to ensure a smooth surface. In addition to providing improved corrosion protection, this also makes dirt particles easier to recognise. Specialised grease is used to lubricate both the bracket swivel head and the ball bearings of the POTH wheels. The wheels themselves have a thermoplastic polyurethane tread and use a high-quality nylon wheel centre. The polyurethane springs are also specially treated to prevent outgassing.
The castors are assembled and packaged under special conditions in a particularly clean environment.
Emission tests confirmed that the Blickle special castor meets all cleanroom criteria. The trolley can be manoeuvred easily by a single person, while the foot guard provides peace of mind. This provides a very high level of safety and ergonomics, which will ultimately save the customer money.