A Solution for Shell Chemical: Conax’s Retractable Sensor Assembly

To conform to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation Subpart Ja for Flare Stack Sulfur Emissions, Shell Chemical in Mobile, Alabama installed a new port into a 24” pipeline. They needed to complete the job without interrupting production.

Solution: Conax’s Retractable Sensor Assembly (RSA)

Conax’s RSA with a Retractable Thermowell was installed into the pipe. The unit was designed for a flare gas flow stream at 375 ft/sec (256 miles/hr) at 50 PSIG at 850 degrees F. Shell was able to meet the EPA’s guidelines without interrupting production.

Do you have a challenge? Conax can customize a solution.

Coated TCs can lower the cost of ASM® EPSILON® reactor ownership

Recently, we announced the launch of our new EtchDefender™ coating, which is now available on all Conax quartz thermocouple sheaths for ASM® EPSILON®
reactors. Exclusively from Conax, this patent-pending technology extends the life of quartz thermocouple sheaths in ASM® EPSILON®
reactors up to 3X longer.

What does that mean for ASM® EPSILON®
reactor owners in terms of dollars and
cents?

Even though TCs coated with EtchDefender™ cost more per thermocouple, ASM® EPSILON®
reactor owners can reduce their overall spend with:

  • Lower cost of TCs—Using fewer thermocouples at a higher price point, you could lower your annual TC spend by as much as 30%.
  • Less reactor downtime—By eliminating 1 to 2 maintenance cycles, you could save $500 to $10,000 per cycle.
  • Higher wafer productivity—Wafer throughput increases by 2% to 5% for a total of $25,000+ per reactor, per year.
  • Higher wafer quality—Reduced likelihood of wafer contamination due to opening chamber for thermocouple changes is invaluable! Plus, there’s no change to the susceptor ring or recipe.

View our EtchDefender™ video below or click here to download a white paper. If you have questions, email Mike Ferraro.

ASM® and EPSILON® are registered trademarks of ASM® International. Neither Conax Technologies nor its products are affiliated with, approved by or sponsored by ASM® International.

February’s Industrial Economic Indicators Highest in Decade

The Economic Indicators have been on the rise for the last several months, and February is no exception. The highest since February 2006, this month’s numbers show promise for the industry. A number over 50 indicates increased activity or growth. Conversely, a number below 50 means less activity or growth. All numbers were over 50, and the change in number of request for quotes from December to January surpassed 60. February’s index numbers are below.

  • Change in number of request for quotes from Dec. to Jan. – 60.6
  • Change in number of orders from Dec. to Jan. – 59.5
  • Change in backlog from Dec. to Jan. – 54.8
  • Expected change in the health of the industry through Feb. – 59.7

For more information, check out Industrial Heating.

Conax to attend SEMICON China

Team members from Conax Technologies will head to Shanghai to participate in the world’s largest gathering of semiconductor experts. From March 14th through March 16th, SEMICON China brings together semiconductor professionals from all over the world to discuss the latest technology and industry trends.

In addition to over 800 exhibitors, this 3-day event will feature a variety of expert speakers from all over the world.

To learn more about SEMICON China, visit http://www.semiconchina.org.

If you’re attending, visit us at Booth 2150 in Hall W2 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

Introducing ground-breaking technology for the semiconductor industry

Conax has developed exclusive, new technology that lowers the cost of ASM® EPSILON® reactor ownership.

After eight years of development and testing, Conax introduces EtchDefender™ coating that protects quartz thermocouple (TC) sheaths during the epitaxial process in ASM® EPSILON® reactors—extending TC life up to 3 times longer.
The epitaxial process takes place at one of the highest temperatures of any in the manufacturing of integrated circuits. Because the ASM® EPSILON® single-wafer epitaxial tool uniquely utilizes thermocouples that are installed inside the reactor chamber for process control, the thermocouples are exposed to two temperature cycles that can range from 600°C to 1200°C for each wafer processed.

The second temperature cycle is the etch process, which is used to clean the chamber and all the internal components with hydrochloric acid at extremely high temperatures. As thermocouples are subjected to these cycles and corrosive hydrochloric acid etches, the quartz sheath is attacked and ultimately fails, requiring a maintenance cycle to replace them.
“Our goal was to develop a solution that protects the quartz sheath during the etch process and slows devitrification to extend its life and eliminate maintenance cycles needed solely to replace thermocouples,” said Conax Technologies Business Unit Manager, Mike Ferraro. “With EtchDefender™, we hit on the right formula.”

 

Testing in the laboratory and at a major Fab has shown that:

  • EtchDefender™ coating is well adhered and will not flake from the quartz substrate, which causes particle contamination to the wafer.
  • The coating does not decompose, out-gas or sublimate under vacuum at high temperature.
  • EtchDefender™ greatly slows the devitrification process typical of quartz sheaths used in the EPSILON® by retarding the loss of oxygen from the SiO₂ quartz sheath at temperatures more than 900°C.
  • The coating greatly retards the erosion process caused by hot corrosive gases flowing at high concentrations and velocities. This is most relevant in extending the life of the Center Thermocouple.

 

“Using TCs coated with EtchDefender™ allows a tool to run continuously and reduces maintenance cycles,” said Ferraro. “This results in increased process uptime and reduced process variation for our customers, so more wafers can be produced per tool with higher consistency.”

 

To download our White Paper on our exclusive EtchDefender™ Technology or to view a brief video, click here.

ASM® and EPSILON® are registered trademarks of ASM® International. Neither Conax Technologies nor its products are affiliated with, approved by or sponsored by ASM® International.

Industrial Heating Economic Indicators Surpass 50 in December

Industrial Heating’s economic indicators for December were all over 50, an increase over November. A number over 50 means increased activity or growth. Conversely, a number below 50 means less activity or growth.

December’s index numbers

  • Change in number of request for quotes from Oct. to Nov. – 54.9

  • Change in number of orders from Oct. to Nov. – 51.4

  • Change in backlog from Oct. to Nov. – 50.3

  • Expected change in the health of the industry through Dec. – 55.5

The furnace and autoclave industry is one of the five market segments Conax serves. We manufacture standard and customized temperature sensors, as well as pressure and vacuum fittings and feedthroughs used on these tools.

See more about Industrial Heating’s monthly economic indicators.

Conax welcomes Alex Siegel, Director of Sales, International

Alex brings a multitude of experience and an entrepreneurial spirit to Conax. As a specialist in Operations Management and Sales Operations, his previous titles include Vice President of Operations, General Manager for Shared Services, Interim Sales Operations & Productivity Lead for Asia Pacific, Management Consultant, and personal business owner.

His career path has provided him with a deep-seated knowledge and experience in international sales management, marketing, and business development, having lived on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

Alex’s proven track record of success, commitment to team performance, and extensive experience with industrial products and industrial applications throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa make him well suited as Conax’s Director of Sales, International.

Welcome, Alex!

Silicon wafer shipments on the rise

In a quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry by SEMI® Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG), worldwide silicon wafer shipments increased during this year’s third quarter. SMG is an independent special interest group of SEMI members whose efforts focus on issues related to the silicon industry. Specifically, SMG focuses on the development of market information and statistics about the silicon industry and the semiconductor market.

Silicon wafers are the building material for most electronics, like computers, cell phones and tablets. Shaped like round disks, silicon wafers can be from one inch to 12 inches in diameter.

What it means for Conax and the consumer

Approximately 20% of all wafers produced begin with the addition of an epitaxial layer. To meet the higher demand, Conax is increasing production capacity of its epitaxial wafer thermocouples. We’re also manufacturing a new version of the thermocouples for the ASM® EPSILON® tool, which will significantly increase thermocouple life and lower the cost for our customers.

To read more about wafer shipments, visit semi.org.

ASM® and EPSILON® are registered trademarks of ASM® International. Neither Conax Technologies nor its products are affiliated with, approved by or sponsored by ASM® International.

Conax to exhibit at Power-Gen International

The world’s largest power generation event

Conax is thrilled to head to Orlando, Florida to exhibit at the Power-Gen International trade show December 13-15. We’ll join 1,400 companies to present industry trends, technology and challenges facing the power generation sector to over 20,000 attendees.

Attendees observe recent innovations in power generation and learn how to put them to use in their own businesses.

For over 60 years, Conax has designed and manufactured temperature sensors and compression seal fittings for a broad range of applications across the Power Generation industry, including:

  • Bearing temperatures
  • Air inlet temperatures
  • Compression discharge temperatures
  • Exhaust gas temperatures
  • Blade path sensors
  • Wheel space sensors
  • Disc cavity
  • Balance of plant applications, such as skids and oil sumps and ancillary equipment

Industry leaders trust Conax to provide long-lasting reliable solutions that help lower costs and reduce installation and maintenance time. Our comprehensive solutions have been applied to all power generating equipment, with a focus on gas turbines, steam and hydro turbines, heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), and balance of plant products.

Conax is AS9100 certified meaning all products are manufactured according to the highest quality standards.

If you’re attending, visit us at booth #3362.

Conax receives FMC Technologies Stamp of Safety

Conax Technologies, an industrial leader in the oil and gas industry, recently completed an extensive quality and safety audit. The result: Our stringent quality control and safety practices met the requirements to become an approved FMC Technologies supplier.

FMC Technologies services Exploration and Production (E&P) customers, which includes offering support for challenges with onshore and offshore drilling, completion and production technologies and services.

The Supplier Quality Analyst at FMC Technologies said, “I am very impressed with the quality system that Conax Technologies has implemented and have no hesitation offering my recommendation to add Conax as an approved supplier.”

As an approved supplier, Conax will have added visibility at all FMC Technology facilities. As a leading provider of compression and seal fittings and thermocouples for the oil and gas industry, we value this partnership and the confidence we’ve earned from FMC Technologies.

To learn more about FMC Technologies, visit http://www.fmctechnologies.com.