Effective immediately IMTEC will no longer manufacture tanks using a molded vessel.
Background: Currently Imtec offers static and recirculating tanks using two different construction methods. One type uses a tank based on a molded quartz vessel and the other uses a tank that is fabricated from semiconductor grade quartz plate. There are a limited number of mold sizes up to single 200mm. Larger tanks and any custom sizes are always made from plate. Up till 200mm wafers were introduced, the majority of tanks were based on molds but now they comprise a much smaller percentage.
The change: Effective immediately Imtec will no longer manufacture tanks using a molded vessel but will be able to supply a comparable product. In most cases, the customer will have two choices. These are:
1. Convert to a QZL Series Tank: The QZL series tanks were designed as a low cost alternative to molded vessel tanks. They are manufactured from 4mm thick semiconductor grade quartz and offer a limited number of features and options in order to keep manufacturing costs to a minimum. All functional dimensions (I.D., O.D.) are identical to the molded versions. The QZL series will work for most customers as a replacement to a molded tank and can be provided at a lower cost. In some cases, minor modifications may be required such as changing the drain connection. A QZL replacement will have a different part number from your current tank.
2. Convert to a QZ Plate tank: QZ plate tanks are manufactured with 5mm plate like we have always used for non-molded models. A QZ plate tank can be ordered with any available option and can be configured as a plug and play replacement for any molded vessel tank Imtec has ever offered. Depending on size, the cost will typically be slightly higher than the molded tank it is replacing. You will continue to use the same part number, which will be revised for the change to a plate vessel.
As orders for tanks based on molded vessels come in, we will discuss with you the different options and supply you with any information you need to make an informed decision. Lead time for replacement should be the same as they have been in the past.
Q: Why is Imtec making this change?
A: The change is being made for two reasons. One is cost. There are few sources of molded vessels and for various reasons their cost has been climbing steadily for many years to the point where it is no longer cost effective to use them. By contrast, Imtec fabricates tanks in house so we are better able to control costs going forward. Secondly, plate quartz has a smoother surface finish and is considered to be superior to molded for chemical processing.
Q: Will you still repair tanks made with molded vessels?
A: Yes. As long as the molded vessel is in good condition, we will continue to repair and rebuild them.
Q: How can I tell if my tank uses a molded vessel?
A: There are two main differences between the two. For one a molded vessel has rounded corners on the walls and on the bottom. Plate tanks have square corners. Secondly molded quartz has an opaque milky appearance where plate quartz is clear like window glass. Below is a picture showing a molded tank on the left and a plate tank on the right.
Q: What are the exact differences between a QZL series tank and a QZ plate tank?
A: The main difference is the quartz plate thickness, which is 4mm for the QZL and 5mm for the QZ plate tanks. The 4mm will have a more efficient heat transfer. Secondly, QZL tanks are made only in certain sizes. Essentially they are designed primarily to be a cost effective replacement for molded tanks. Lastly, the number of options is limited. As an example, there is one type of drain connection, which is a ¾” flaretek. Previous tanks had flaretek elbow connections standard with numerous other options.
Q: I have a Nitride Etch system that uses a molded tank. Will my existing collar and lid work with either plate tank?
A: Yes, the collars and lids will fit onto either a QZL or QZ plate tank the same way as they fit onto the original tank. From a process standpoint, a QZ plate tank will be an identical match to your current tank, whereas a QZL may require some controller calibration to get good temperature/concentration control. A QZ Plate tank will also have a slightly longer life when used with Hot Phosphoric or other chemicals that etch quartz due to the plate thickness.
Q: I am still not sure which is right for me. Who can I contact for more information?
A: Feel free to call Imtec at 510-770-1800 and talk to a sales or technical representative. Specific questions can also be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
About Imtec Acculine:
Since 1972, Imtec Acculine has consistently provided high quality products for rapidly changing markets and technologies. The company has a broad customer base that includes companies of all sizes, OEMS, labs, and universities from all over the world. Innovation is a hallmark of Imtec and the company has many industry firsts to its credit. It was the first to introduce the quartz re-circulating bath and continues to be the world’s leading supplier of quartz constant-temperature baths. Imtec was also the first to obtain UL safety recognition and CE approval for its bath products. As a result of having supplied high-quality products to a customer base of more than 500 semiconductor-related companies, Imtec Acculine’s modules and systems are constantly optimized. Consistent with its ISO 9001 certification, Imtec Acculine is continually involved in product improvement, evolution and new product development, allowing the integration of leading-edge developments in system applications.
The company’s mission is to produce consistently high-quality products that solve real problems for its customers. As such, Imtec Acculine is committed to the international semiconductor and related industries by providing the finest wet-processing modules and systems.