the systems view blog

Applying our perspective to industry topics and trends

March 28, 2019

From Component to Core Solution

Rethinking your perspective on the purifier

Purity is the lifeblood of high-precision production applications involving gas delivery. Systems used to store and distribute gases must be constructed with the utmost care to prevent contamination, ensuring that high and ultra high purity process gases maintain their purity specifications, from the source to the point-of-use.

While there are a number of factors that contribute to a system’s ability to achieve this level of pure reliability, there is one element that is integral to enforcing purity standards: the gas purifier.

Much more than a component, the gas purifier is in fact the lynchpin of your entire system’s operation—tasked with eliminating targeted contaminants that directly threaten production yield and process integrity. With impurities as little as 0.001% causing significant compromise to output, there is no room for error in your purification processes—or in selecting the right purifier for the job.

That means that you need to look beyond the component itself, and instead focus on finding the purifier solutions partner that can bring you:

Deep Application Insight

Contamination accounts for over 75% of yield losses in semiconductor IC device manufacturing alone. Therefore, it’s integral to understand precisely what contaminants need to be eliminated and to what degree of purity. Oftentimes, the contaminant in question is not a trace gas, but rather, moisture itself. Gas purifiers act as highly specialized participants in the purification process, removing specific chemical contaminants—including moisture—from the gas stream. Because both contaminants and required purity levels are largely application-driven, it’s not enough for your purifier partner to provide high quality components at a cost-effective price. They must also possess the rich application knowledge necessary to help you identify the right purifier solution that is able to uphold the level of purity your unique application needs.

Technical Systems Knowledge

Where does contamination begin? The answer is, ‘it depends.’ Sometimes, impurities from process lines and container valving within fabs are to blame. Other times, gas cylinders, which are susceptible to water absorption, are the culprits. In some cases, process gases in combination with other elements produce byproducts that compromise gas integrity. For example, at high pressures, carbon monoxide and tungsten hexafluoride become highly reactive with steel cylinders and tubing that contains even trace amounts of iron and nickel, and can result in the accidental production of volatile metal carbonyls. Understanding which inputs result in which outputs and the role the purifier plays in the larger system is integral to the success and safety of your operation. In addition to rich application expertise, your purifier partner must also possess the systems knowledge necessary to recognize the origin of impurities, employ the right purifier for the job, and place the purifier in precisely the right point in the process to eliminate impurity at its source.

Expert Analytical Services

Over time, high and ultra high purity delivery systems can change with the addition of new tools or even completely new production lines, increasing the demand for purified gases. It is of the utmost importance to monitor purifier performance and catch degradation proactively, before applications are compromised. Portable and stationary analytical solutions empower high and ultra high purity gas users to gauge purifier performance, with the most state-of-the art solutions analyzing trace impurities to the PPT levels. Key features such as touch-based HMI, multiple sample inject ports, and smart data acquisition set analytical solutions apart, allowing users to easily collect samples to send for testing or provide on-site to their systems partner. When searching for a purifier solution, make sure to identify a partner that is not only committed to providing the variety and value of purifiers you need, but also to ensuring pure performance over the lifetime of the component.

Purifier Lifecycle Service Offerings

Gas purifiers do not last forever. Designed and specified for continuous operation, they eventually reach end-of-life, typically as a result of obsolescence and resulting lack of support of critical system components. Luckily, gas purifiers can be refurbished, revitalized, and redeployed into existing systems, maximizing your return on investment over the long run. Yet, while aged purifiers may represent a ready opportunity for restoration, the latest advancements may offer greater efficacy from a net-new component. The right gas purifier partner understands the conundrum between maximizing your investment and optimizing your equipment. They are able to refurbish older gas purifiers while adding to them new features that enhance future functionality—ultimately preventing your investments from becoming obsolete.

A Pure Partnership with ARM & AES

We recognize that a gas purifier is more than just an isolated component—it’s the make or break for your most delicate production processes. ARM is a premier provider of gas purifier systems and services with more than 20 years of specialized expertise; and now it is a part of Applied Energy Systems.

With a legacy satisfying the gas delivery requirements for the world’s most complex applications, AES and ARM’s collective team of experts possess the in-depth system and application knowledge needed to optimize purifier use in every application. Plus, with advanced analytical services and the ability to refurbish old purifiers when efficacy wanes or technology advances, we are committed to upholding the purity performance you need to improve business outcomes.

Are you seeking a solution to optimize your application output? Don’t settle for any component; discuss your gas purification requirements with our team today.

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