Clean4Yield, an EU-funded project coordinated by Holst Centre, has developed the world's first contact cleaning system for thin films that can be used in high vacuum. Teknek, the world leader in contact cleaning, has introduced the Nanocleen vacuum system to the market. This system is ideal for use in roll-to-roll production of printed electronics, and offers excellent removal of nano-scale particles that could otherwise affect product yields. Teknek has already installed 16 systems at customer sites.
Nanocleen can be used in high vacuum conditions because it is the first ever silicone-free contact cleaning system, and so does not outgas. It delivers industry-leading cleaning performance, particularly for smaller nanoparticles, and this performance is not affected by exposure to high vacuum conditions. To make this possible, Teknek had to develop a new silicone-free adhesive and elastomer. That development was carried out under the Clean4Yield project.
"Being part of Clean4Yield was essential to the development of the Nanocleen vacuum system. The other project partners provided invaluable insight on market requirements for cleaning foils in vacuum. Moreover, the EU funding allowed us access to Holst Centre's excellent facilities for testing the performance and behavior of the new materials in vacuum conditions. Having Holst Centre validate our materials and the EU's name attached to the project has given us a lot of credibility among potential customers," says Sheila Hamilton, Technical Director at Teknek.
"Nanocleen is the first new product to hit the market from the Clean4Yield project. Pre-cleaning foils is essential in the roll-to-roll production of any printed electronics application. And the success Nanocleen is having in the market already shows just how important effective foil cleaning is. This is a great example of how EU-funded projects can bring partners together to benefit industry in Europe," says Clean4Yield Project Manager Juliane Gabel of Holst Centre.
The Clean4Yield project was launched in May 2012 to develop technologies for inspecting, cleaning and repairing moving foils, and so ensure cost-effective production of printed electronics. Funded through the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under Grant Agreement No. 281027, Clean4Yield brings together commercial and research partners from Europe and Israel and covers the entire value chain. For more information and the latest developments, please go to www.clean4yield.eu.
About contact cleaning
Contact cleaning was pioneered by Teknek 20 years ago and the company has remained at the forefront of the technology and innovations in this field ever since. The technology uses unique elastomer rollers to gently lift dry, unattached particles (down to below one micron in size) from the surface being cleaned. The contamination is then transferred to a reserve-wound pre-sheeted roll of adhesive for disposal. This method has been proven to be the most effective method of contamination elimination for critical processes as the roller makes direct contact with the substrate (without damaging it). The key benefits of contact cleaning are increased yields, improved quality and reduced waste.
Teknek is the global leader in contact cleaning equipment for a number of sectors including PCB, SMT, converting, printing, decorative surfaces and medical packaging.The equipment helps manufacturers increase production yields and reduce wastage by removing contamination. Over 90% of Teknek's equipment is exported.
Since July 2011 Teknek has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. With nearly 100 years of history, Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW) is a Fortune 200 global diversified industrial manufacturer. The Company's value-added consumables, equipment and service businesses serve customers in developed as well as emerging markets around the globe. ITW's key business platforms, including welding, automotive OEM, industrial packaging, food equipment, construction, polymers and fluids, test and measurement, electronics, decorative surfaces and automotive aftermarket, employ more than 65,000 people worldwide in 58 countries. ITW's revenues totalled $17.8 billion in 2011. To learn more, please visit www.teknek.com