SEMI-GAS® Systems, an industry-leading provider of ultra-high purity gas delivery equipment, recently broadened the capabilities of its custom Xturion™ Blixer™ gas blender product line.
The new options include system auto-purging and a dynamic stream gas analyser to facilitate the blending of highly corrosive gases into gas mixtures, as needed in semiconductor and microelectronics fabrication processes.
Based on a preset component ratio, Blixer receives regulated process gases from two or more independent gas sources and blends them to the desired composition in the system’s on-board accumulator tank. The system then draws from the accumulator tank and delivers the uniform gas mixture through the process gas outlet to a tool or gas distribution manifold.
To oversee all of these system operations, Blixer utilises a SEMI-GAS GigaGuard™ PLC controller with an ergonomically front-mounted eight inch color touch screen. In addition, the PLC controller manages the electrical components and pneumatically actuated valves for process gas delivery and fully automated purging sequences.
Mass flow controllers regulate the volumes of component and balance gases to be blended according to the controller’s pre-programed blend recipe. Recipe percentages can be adjusted by the system’s operator through the touchscreen, allowing for on-site process modifications.
To ensure a highly accurate blend composition, the GigaGuard PLC works in conjunction with the system’s dynamic stream gas analyser by continuously withdrawing a small sample from the accumulator tank. If the analyser signifies the mixture is outside of the preset tolerance range, the system will automatically adjust the blend percentages to approach the set point value.
Should the system recognise an error, external system lights and audible alarms will commence, signaling operators of warnings and/or shutdown conditions. To provide emergency manual shutdown, an externally mounted UL-approved Emergency Off (EMO) push button is provided. Remote shutdown options are also available with an optional kit that can communicate via an Ethernet network, enabling centralised, facility-wide equipment monitoring and data collection.
Like all SEMI-GAS custom Xturion™ systems, each unit is user-configurable to accommodate application-specific flows, pressures, mixture percentages, and blending accuracies. Various analyser configurations are also adjustable to precisely tailor the system’s operational needs for each application.
All Blixers meet SEMI S2 and Uniform Fire Code requirements and are equipped with UL-approved fire sprinklers, a quarter-inch high-impact polycarbonate plastic safety viewing shield, and gas identification labels. The standard enclosure is constructed of powder coated 11 gage cold rolled steel and is 87 inches tall, 40 inches wide and 28 inches deep, including an eight-inch exhaust collar for venting to the facility’s ducting.
Internal panel components are autogenously welded, helium leak tested and certified to the highest purity standards. All valves, regulators, transducers, tubing and fitting bodies are 316L stainless steel to prevent deterioration from the corrosive process gases and resulting mixtures.
Jim Murphy, SEMI-GAS’ Division Manager, said, “Not only does the new SEMI-GAS Blixer model provide a technical solution for highly corrosive gas mixing, but it is also economically beneficial for our customers. On-site gas mixing reduces or completely eliminates the labor and manufacturing downtime required to monitor and exchange pre-mixed gas cylinders. At SEMI-GAS we are always developing new equipment to solve technical problems, and when these products also help our customers to minimise time, save money, and reduce potential safety risks, we know that we have hit a homerun.”