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Article August 31st, 2005 (Glass Processing Days 2005) 0
Michael Andreasen, Steven Nadel, Jim Rietzel & Michael Perata, VACUUM COATING Technologies, Inc.
Large area architectural glass coaters currently available are largely restricted to fixed sputtering source and pump configurations and are limited to the use of a specific type of high vacuum pump. The latest type of coater now available from VACUUM COATING Technologies, Inc. (VACT) has been developed so that any compartment can perform any desired function. This allows quick and easy reconfiguration of pumps and cathodes on demand. Any compartment can be a pump compartment, configured with Turbomolecular or Diffusion pumps (direct or tunnel pumped), as a gas isolation compartment, or as an enhanced gas isolation compartment. Also, any compartment may be a coating source compartment, supporting all types of coating sources including planar cathodes, rotatable cathodes and ion sources. Reconfiguring the layout of sources and pumps with a minimum of downtime is possible since pump covers, plenum assemblies and coating sources may be moved quickly and easily from one compartment to another. Support utilities automatically follow such changes. The computerized control system itself identifies the presence and type of source or pump and reconfigures the operating interface automatically. This easy reconfiguration allows users to respond rapidly to changing market demands and implementation of new coating stacks.