Compact, High-Performance Linear Guides for Semiconductor Applications

Compact, High-Performance Linear Guides for Semiconductor Applications

When selecting linear guides for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, it can be challenging to find a unit that meets stringent accuracy and rigidity requirements and fits into a smaller installation space. The machine tool industry was an earlier adopter of the IKO roller design for their larger, heavy-duty machines due to its high precision and high rigidity. However, it’s possible to find smaller rolling-type linear guides that deliver the high precision that semiconductor equipment demands.

One such family of linear motion rolling guides — the Super LRX and MX Series — comes in a wide range of sizes with track rail widths as small as 10 millimeters, assembly heights as low as 13 millimeters and side/block widths as small as 20 millimeters. These Super X guides feature four rows of cylindrical rollers arranged in parallel, and the rollers make contact over a large area on the raceway. The result: high accuracy, high rigidity, high load capacity and ultra smooth motion. In fact, the higher load capacity and rigidity of Super X rolling motion guides versus ball types of the same size means you can downsize to a smaller Series LRX or MX guide for your designs. For example, you can select a 12-millimeter rail to handle the same load that would otherwise require a 15-millimeter ball-type rail and thereby reduce the size of your equipment. IKO also offers the series in both standard as well as IKO C-Lube maintenance-free designs

Additional benefits for semiconductor equipment include:

  • Excellent vibration damping. Thanks to the higher rigidity, elastic deformation is low under repeated fluctuating, vibration and shock loads. This is particularly attractive for semiconductor fabrication applications, where even a minor variation in motion can ruin expensive chips and wafers.
  • High-speed response. With low frictional resistance, naturally high frequency and fast vibration damping time, the guides respond quickly to motion commands to allow highly accurate positioning.
  • Long life. Roller-type guides offer a larger basic dynamic load rating than ball-type guides, resulting in longer lifetimes.
  • Stainless steel versions. Miniature, 10-millimeter-width track rail Super X guides are available in stainless steel versions for exceptional corrosion resistance in cleanrooms and applications where rust prevention is important.
  • Innovative lubrication options. We solve the difficulty of relubricating smaller guides in hard-to-reach equipment with C-Lube — a built-in lubricating element. C-Lube Linear Roller Way Super MX guides incorporate a built-in capillary system to provide long-lasting, maintenance-free operation. Another innovative option, Liquid Crystal Lubricant, offers improved lubrication life and minimal evaporation compared to conventional greases. This new lubrication technology exhibits exceptional outgassing performance at 10-5 Pa during tests.

Taken together, these attributes make a smaller-size Super-X linear motion rolling guide an attractive choice for dynamic applications. Here are just two examples:

  • Chip mounting machines. High accuracy and fast cycle times are the most important aspects of chip mounting. LRX and MX linear motion rolling guides offer low frictional resistance against preload and load conditions, enabling fast response to micro-feeding for accurate positioning.
  • 3D transport lines for liquid crystal glass. In order to transport liquid crystal glass smoothly for rough cutting, the linear guide must have high rigidity and high mounting accuracy. With four rows of cylindrical rollers arranged in parallel, the LRX linear motion rolling guide is ideal for this application.

When your dynamic application calls for a highly accurate linear guide in a compact size, you don’t have to sacrifice performance. Be sure to speak to an IKO sales engineer to determine the best Super X high-rigidity linear motion rolling guide for the job.

For more information, visit our product page.

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