Collaboratively Designed Custom Solutions to Address Unique Specifications

At Hine Automation, we pride ourselves in the ability to rapidly engineer and productize innovative material handling systems. This competence has been demonstrated time and again across a multitude of diverse opportunities. One example in particular involving the Star SL-200, single-wafer transport system, is worthy of a closer look.


Problem Statement

In this circumstance, the subject equipment manufacturer needed a semi-automated, precision, single-wafer transfer system with a few notable custom features:


Unlike conventional material handlers of its kind, a custom, detachable paddle was required in lieu of a traditional robot end-effector. Furthermore, a simple, low-cost, yet reliable mechanism was needed to facilitate the docking and undocking of the wafer paddle subsequent to each substrate transfer.


Z-axis motion control having a minimum of four-programmable positions was also necessary in this case (e.g. wafer-load & unload, paddle-dock & undock).



The Star SL-200 was considered ideal for this project. In short order, the pre-existing z-axis motion, sufficient for the vast majority of typical market requirements, was augmented from two to four programmable positions. Moreover, our seasoned engineering staff developed an ingenious, precision docking mechanism which, to this day, continues to provide stead-fast service in a manufacturing environment.


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