Fraunhofer IPA tests cleanroom robot made in Korea

A team is examining whether the six-axis robot would be suitable for use in cleanrooms for the production of microchips or pharmaceuticals

Fraunhofer IPA, the Stuttgart-based research organisation, has received a robot from VDE Korea for testing cleanroom compatibility. VDE is a technology services company and a member of VDE Testing and Certification Institute of Korea. The company has sent the unit to get the Fraunhofer Tested Device seal.

Led by Frank Bürger, who heads up the Cleanroom-Compatible Equipment and Components Group at Fraunhofer IPA, a team is examining whether the six-axis robot would be suitable for use in cleanrooms where products such as microchips or pharmaceutical substances are manufactured.

"There is high demand in Korea since leading electronics manufacturers there such as Samsung and LG produce microchips, displays and optical parts in cleanrooms and they require certification of equipment and devices from their suppliers," said Bürger.

Fraunhofer IPA has been offering cleanroom compatibility tests collaboration with VDE Korea for ten years. This January, the collaborative work with VDE was formalised with a cooperation agreement for the next five years.

Udo Gommel, head of the Ultraclean Technology and Micromanufacturing Department at Fraunhofer IPA, explained: “Our collaboration with VED Korea, who are connected to many Korean high-tech companies, has proved successful in the past. With the new cooperation agreement, we hope to further strengthen and expand this collaboration."

Gommel believes that the outcome is a clear win-win situation: “We have the testing technology, while VDE Korea, who market the tests, have the contact with clients."

Over the next five years, the collaborative partners aim to acquire contracts worth over a million euros.

At the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, researchers can conduct over 60 different tests. For example, they test how many particles are released into the air or settle on surfaces when wiped or where lubricants are used.

All tests are conducted in accordance with ISO 14644 standards or other regulations, (VDI [Association of German Engineers], SEMI, VDMA, etc.). Afterwards, the “Fraunhofer Tested Device" seal confirms cleanroom compatibility.

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