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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Modular Exhaust Gas Header and Method of Incorporating Same in Design Layout for a Manufacturing Process...

September 3, 2014



Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Modular Exhaust Gas Header and Method of Incorporating Same in Design Layout for a Manufacturing Process Machine", for Approval

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Tarr, Adam L. (Colchester, VT); Beers, Andrew J. (Liberty Hill, TX); Mastro, Joseph E. (St. George, VT), filed on April 14, 2014, was made available online on August 21, 2014.

The patent's assignee is NEHP Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The installation of semiconductor fabrication machines or process tools used in the semiconductor fabrication industry involves connecting each process tool and its support equipment to exhaust gas piping or ductwork that carries chemical gases used or generated in the semiconductor fabrication process away from the process tool. Such gases are transported to either an environmental treatment and control device or to a chemical recovery and recycle process. Fabrication of process piping or ductwork in situ on the manufacturing floor can compromise the integrity of the clean room, delay and extend hookup of process tools, and interfere with process qualification. This 'site-built' fabrication of exhaust gas piping or ductwork also reduces standardization of maintenance and complicates process troubleshooting.

"Process machines, also referred to as systems or tools, may require or generate different types of gases, depending upon the process being conducted. Even when carrying out identical processes, a process tool from one manufacturer may contain a number of exhaust gas points of connection (POC's) that differs from the number of POCs on a process tool from another manufacturer.

"The differing nature of exhaust gases emitted from process tools often requires some segregation of exhaust gas handling systems. Some exhaust gases are caustic and corrosive, some are volatile solvents, and others are at high temperature. These different physical and chemical characteristics can impose engineering challenges regarding design of exhaust gas piping or ductwork systems."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one implementation, the present disclosure is directed to a modular exhaust gas header system for use with a semiconductor processing machine having plural exhaust gas points. The system includes a plurality of branch ducts, each branch duct configured at a first end to be connected to at least one the exhaust gas point of the semiconductor processing machine in fluid communication therewith; a pressure sensor configured to measure pressure in a selected one of the plurality of branch ducts; a plurality of impulse lines connected to the branch ducts, with at least one the impulse line fluidly coupling each of the plurality of branch ducts with the pressure sensor; and at least one primary exhaust gas duct connected to the plurality of branch ducts at a second end to receive exhaust gas therefrom.

"In another implementation, the present disclosure is directed to a modular exhaust gas header system for use with a semiconductor processing machine having plural exhaust gas points. The system includes a plurality of branch ducts, each branch duct configured at a first end to be connected to at least one the exhaust gas point of the semiconductor processing machine in fluid communication therewith; at least one flow control device disposed in each of the plurality of branch ducts to adjustably control exhaust gas flow through each the branch duct; at least one the impulse line connected to each of the plurality of branch ducts between the first end and the at least one flow control device; a multi-position valve fluidly connected to each the impulse line opposite the respective branch ducts for fluid communication with the branch ducts through the impulse lines, the multi-position valve configured for selection of one of the connected impulse lines; a pressure measurement device fluidly communicating with the multi-position valve for fluid communication with the selected impulse line; and at least one primary exhaust gas duct connected to the plurality of branch ducts at a second end to receive exhaust gas therefrom.

"In still another implementation, the present disclosure is directed to a modular exhaust gas header system for use with a semiconductor processing machine having plural exhaust gas points. The system includes a header unit configured to transport one or more of high-temperature gases, corrosive gases and gases with volatile solvents produced in semiconductor processing, the header unit comprising a plurality of branch ducts connected to at least one primary exhaust gas duct for fluid communication there between, each the branch duct having at least one flow control device disposed therein to adjustably control exhaust gas flow through the branch duct, and the branch ducts being configured to be fluidly connected to at least one the exhaust gas point of the semiconductor processing machine at a first end opposite the connection to the at least one primary exhaust gas duct; a pressure sensor configured to measure pressure in a selected one of the plurality of branch ducts; and at least one the impulse line connected to each of the plurality of branch ducts at a connection disposed between the first end and the at least one flow control device to fluidly couple each the branch duct with the pressure sensor.

"In yet another implementation, the present disclosure is directed to a method of designing an exhaust gas system for a manufacturing facility having at least one manufacturing process tool with a plurality of exhaust gas points of connection and an exhaust gas handling system. The method includes determining the location of a manufacturing process tool in a manufacturing facility; selecting a modular exhaust gas header built outside the manufacturing facility for use with the manufacturing process tool, the modular exhaust gas header having a plurality of branch ducts, at least one for each of the exhaust gas points of connection in the manufacturing tool, so that each of the exhaust gas points of connection of the process tool may be connected to a corresponding respective one of the plurality of branch ducts, the modular exhaust gas header having a primary duct fluidly connected with the plurality of branch ducts; determining the location of the modular exhaust header with respect to the process tool; and designing any ductwork connections required for connecting the primary duct with the exhaust gas handling system and for connecting the branch ducts with the exhaust gas points of connection.

"In still yet another implementation, the present disclosure is directed to a method of installing an exhaust gas system. The system includes designing a modular exhaust gas header for use with a first manufacturing process tool having a plurality of exhaust gas points of connection and intended for installation in a manufacturing space, wherein the designing step is performed with respect to the first manufacturing process tool but not with respect to the manufacturing space in which the header will be installed; fabricating a modular exhaust gas header in a facility separate from the manufacturing space, the header having a plurality of branch ducts, each one of the plurality of branch ducts being designed for attachment to a corresponding one of the plurality of exhaust gas points of connection of the manufacturing process tool; fluidly connecting the modular exhaust gas header to an exhaust gas handling system for the manufacturing space so that exhaust gases present in the header may be transported to the exhaust gas handling system; and connecting the modular exhaust gas header in the manufacturing facility to the manufacturing process tool so that each exhaust gas point of connection is fluidly connected to the header so that exhaust gases emitted from each exhaust gas point of connection may be transported to the modular exhaust gas header.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"For the purpose of illustrating the invention, the drawings show aspects of one or more embodiments of the invention. However, it should be understood that the present invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown in the drawings, wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a semiconductor manufacturing process tool with modular exhaust gas headers;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of the modular exhaust gas headers shown in FIG. 1 and proximate piping or ductwork, including impulse lines to pressure instrumentation;

"FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a three-branch modular exhaust gas header;

"FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the modular exhaust gas header of FIG. 3;

"FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a modular exhaust gas header having three primary ducts connected together;

"FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a eleven-branch modular exhaust gas header showing impulse lines with multi-port switch and a pressure monitoring device; and

"FIG. 7 is a flow chart of a design process utilizing modular exhaust gas headers."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Tarr, Adam L.; Beers, Andrew J.; Mastro, Joseph E. Modular Exhaust Gas Header and Method of Incorporating Same in Design Layout for a Manufacturing Process Machine. Filed April 14, 2014 and posted August 21, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2159&p=44&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140814.PD.&OS=PD/20140814&RS=PD/20140814

Keywords for this news article include: NEHP Inc., Electronics, Semiconductor.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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