Automatic Controls Patents (Class 134/56R)
  • Patent number: 6158447
    Abstract: A cleaning equipment generally comprises: a cleaning bath 30 for storing therein a cleaning solution to allow a semiconductor wafer W to be dipped in the cleaning solution to clean the surface of the wafer W; a cleaning solution supply pipe 33 for connecting the cleaning bath 30 to a pure water supply source 31; a chemical storing container 34 for storing therein a chemical; a chemical supply pipe 36 for connecting the cleaning solution supply pipe 33 to the chemical storing container 34 via an injection shut-off valve 35; and a diaphragm pump 37 for injecting a predetermined amount of chemical from the chemical storing container 34 into pure water flowing through the cleaning solution supply pipe 33. The temperature of the cleaning solution in the cleaning bath 30 is detected by, e.g., a temperature sensor 44.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Yuji Kamikawa, Naoki Shindo, Shigenori Kitahara, Miyako Yamasaka
  • Patent number: 6129098
    Abstract: An apparatus for injecting constant quantitative chemicals which is capable of injecting a chemical solution into ultra pure water without generating particulate contamination, and furthermore, the injection interval of the chemical solution to the cleaning nozzle is controlled in units of seconds within a range of a few seconds to 10 or more seconds, and the switching of the type of chemical solution and the changeover to ultra pure water cleaning can be conducted in a short period of time of approximately 1 second.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Ultraclean Technology Research Institute, Fujiken, Inc.
    Inventors: Nobuhiro Miki, Takahisa Nitta, Tadahiro Ohmi, Nobukazu Ikeda, Naofumi Yasumoto
  • Patent number: 6109278
    Abstract: Disclosed is a liquid treatment for an object to be processed, such as a semiconductor wafer or a glass LCD substrate, which is designed to remove any chemicals remaining in chemical supply nozzles and also improve the rinse capability and throughput. To that end, a processing liquid supply means is configured as jet nozzle pipes 40, a bottom surface 40c of each of the jet nozzle pipes 40 is inclined so as to slope downward from a chemical supply side thereof to an end portion, and the end portion is connected to a drain pipe 55 by a waste liquid orifice 40d and a drain valve 54. A chemical is supplied from nozzle orifices 40b of the jet nozzle pipes 40, the chemical is brought into contact with wafers W, and a treatment is performed thereby. Thereafter, a chemical-removing agent such as pure water or N.sub.2 is supplied through the jet nozzle pipes 40 to remove any remaining chemical from the jet nozzle pipes 40, then pure water is brought into contact with the wafers W to wash them.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Naoki Shindo, Miyako Yamasaka, Yuji Kamikawa
  • Patent number: 6109277
    Abstract: A parts washer is disclosed. The parts washer includes a housing that has a washbasin defining an inner cavity and chargeable with a volume of fluid. A spray tube is rotatably positioned within the housing and has an axis of rotation. The spray tube is configured to define a volume of rotation as it rotates about its axis of rotation. A support structure configured to support parts to be washed is positioned within the housing and is substantially within the volume of rotation of the spray tube. The parts washer further includes a pump connected to the spray tube. The pump delivers fluid under pressure to the spray tube. The spray tube includes a plurality of outlets configured to direct fluid towards parts to be washed on the support structure and at least one outlet configured to direct fluid in a direction to cause fluid-propelled rotation of the spray tube about its axis of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Landa, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul W. Linton, Bill George Epperson, Jr., Hal W. Hardinge, David Alan Bergerud
  • Patent number: 6074491
    Abstract: Provided is a parts washer that includes a multi-tiered basin, a cleaning fluid and a biological component, living within the fluid, that breaks down organic waste. The multi-tiered basin includes a sink member with a false bottom, and a support grid and filter are interposed between the false bottom and a bottom panel of the sink member. The false bottom, support rid, and filter are readily removable from the sink member. The tank is partially filled with the cleaning fluid and a pump and conduit assembly direct a flow of the cleaning fluid to the basin. The cleaning fluid discharged into the basin flows through a drain hole in the false bottom, through the filter and support grid, and then through a drain hole in the bottom panel of the sink member back into the tank for reuse. The cleaning fluid includes, at least, a surfactant that functions to remove organic waste from the parts being washed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignees: Chemfree Corporation, Advanced Bioremediation Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James C. McClure, Thomas W. McNally
  • Patent number: 6065482
    Abstract: A compact chain belt-type conveyor for conveying articles along a non-linear path through an industrial washer and drier. The chain belt-type conveyor provides an article sensing means wherein the sensing means is responsive to the presence of an article at a predetermined station along a predetermined non-linear path. A signalling means, responsive to the sensing means, signals a driving means to stop the conveyor when an article is present at the predetermined station for a predetermined amount of time and starts when an article is absent from the predetermined station. The signalling means ensures that each article will only be placed through one washing and drying cycle. An article holding means may be provided to secure the articles along the conveyor and provide proper orientation of the articles through the washing and drying process. A chain mesh construction conveyor may also be utilized to support and carry articles without the use of the article holding means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2000
    Assignee: GraPar Corporation
    Inventor: Harold W. Parslow, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6059891
    Abstract: An apparatus for washing a substrate comprises a spin chuck for holding and rotating a substrate, washing brush mechanism for supplying a washing liquid onto a surface of the substrate held on the spin chuck, and applying a physical force to contaminants present on a surface of the substrate so as to remove contaminants, a supporting arm for supporting the washing brush mechanism, an arm driving mechanism for driving the supporting arm to move the washing means along the surface from a central portion toward a peripheral portion of the substrate, and a control device for controlling the operation of at least one of the washing means, the spin chuck and the arm driving mechanism so as to control the physical force acting on the contaminants present on the surface of the substrate depending on the state of the contaminants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Minoru Kubota, Kenichi Miyamoto, Hideya Tanaka, Ryoji Higuchi
  • Patent number: 6055994
    Abstract: In this underbody washing device for motor vehicles, on a frame which is movable relative to the vehicle (F) in the latter's longitudinal direction (L) there are provided two pairs of spraying arms (3a, 3b; 4a, 4b) fitted with multiple spray nozzles, which arms are each pivotably disposed about a vertical pivoting axis (A1, A2) near to the ground on opposing sides (1a, 1b) of the frame. To the spraying arms (3a, 3b; 4a, 4b) are assigned actuating motors (6a, 6b), by means of which the spraying arms can be swung in under the base of the vehicle into their swung-in position running transversely to the longitudinal direction of the vehicle (L) and swung out into a second, swung-out position running parallel to the longitudinal direction of the vehicle (L).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: Wesumat Fahrzeugwaschanlagen GmbH
    Inventor: Wolfgang Decker
  • Patent number: 6044852
    Abstract: A parts washer is disclosed. The parts washer includes a housing that has a washbasin or wash chamber defining an inner cavity and chargeable with a volume of fluid. A spray tube is rotatably positioned within the housing and has an axis of rotation. The spray tube is configured to define a volume of rotation as it rotates about its axis of rotation. A support structure configured to support parts to be washed is positioned within the housing and is substantially within the volume of rotation of the spray tube. The parts washer further includes a pump connected to the spray tube. The pump delivers fluid under pressure to the spray tube. The spray tube includes a plurality of outlets configured to direct fluid toward parts to be washed on the support structure and at least one outlet configured to direct fluid in a direction to cause fluid-propelled rotation of the spray tube about its axis of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Landa, Inc.
    Inventors: Bill George Epperson, Jr., Paul W. Linton, Hal W. Hardinge, David Allan Bergerud
  • Patent number: 6041795
    Abstract: Apparatus for and method of cleaning golf clubs (including grips and club heads) using an ultrasonic golf club cleaning machine including four bays to allow a complete foursome to clean the clubs simultaneously while they are waiting for their turn to play golf.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Inventor: Sidney B. Steiner
  • Patent number: 6039055
    Abstract: The improved methods and apparatus for cleaning semiconductor wafers and other planar substrates using megasonic cleaning are characterized by the use of monitoring of gas content (i) the liquid flowing to the megasonic cleaning environment, (ii) the liquid in the megasonic cleaning environment, and/or (iii) liquid leaving the megasonic cleaning environment. The methods use information obtained from directly monitoring of the gas content to control the supply of gas-containing liquid to the wafer-cleaning environment to achieve improved cleaning performance on the application of megasonic energy to the cleaning liquid. The gas content information may be used to control the supply of gas containing liquid in real time or may be used to pre-program the controller to achieve a desired gas content in the cleaning bath liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Hiroyuki Akatsu
  • Patent number: 6029681
    Abstract: An apparatus for descaling semi-finished products, such as thin slabs or steel strips in rolling mills by highly pressurized water that is sprayed through a nozzle device onto the surface of the semi-finished product is characterized in that the nozzle device is movable with a vertical component above the surface of the semi-finished product by means of a drive. The drive can be controlled by a control device that receives a target distance as input value and an actual distance between the nozzle device and the surface of the semi-finished product detected by means of a distance sensor. The control device supplies an output signal via a signal line to the drive for resetting any deviation to zero. Hence, the nozzle device is always kept at a desired target distance even if humps such as bulgings occur on the surface of the semi-finished product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Hermetic Hydraulik AB
    Inventors: Jurgen Gaydoul, Wolfgang Gieseler
  • Patent number: 6019110
    Abstract: Provided is a parts washer that includes a multi-tiered basin, a cleaning fluid and a biological component, living within the fluid, that breaks down organic waste. The multi-tiered basin includes a sink member with a false bottom, and a support grid and filter are interposed between the false bottom and a bottom panel of the sink member. The false bottom, support grid, and filter are readily removable from the sink member. The tank is partially filled with the cleaning fluid and a pump and conduit assembly direct a flow of the cleaning fluid to the basin. The cleaning fluid discharged into the basin flows through a drain hole in the false bottom, through the filter and support grid, and then through a drain hole in the bottom panel of the sink member back into the tank for reuse. The cleaning fluid includes, at least, a surfactant that functions to remove organic waste from the parts being washed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignees: Chemfree Corporation, Advanced Bioremediation Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James C. McClure, Thomas W. McNally
  • Patent number: 6016818
    Abstract: A recirculating parts washer is disclosed that features a vertically mounted base and a sink and lid rotatably connected to the base. The recirculating parts washer features a cleaning fluid supply container which is separate from the sink but connected to it via a supply line and a drain line.Cleaning fluid is circulated to the sink via the supply line by means of a submersible pump submerged within the cleaning fluid inside the cleaning fluid supply container. Cleaning fluid returns to the supply container via the drain line, thus enabling the cleaning fluid to be reused over and over again until it is exhausted.By having the sink and lid rotatably mounted to the base of the recirculating parts washer, the bulk of the assembly can be conveniently pivoted upwards and back against the wall when not in use. The recirculating parts washer also features a direct current power supply assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: NCH Corporation
    Inventors: Jose E. Evaro, Dale V. Kiplinger, David L. Varnell, Don A. York
  • Patent number: 5975096
    Abstract: A liquid waste disposal and canister flushing system includes a cabinet with a sink for receiving the canister and a subsink for receiving a lower portion thereof. The subsink is connected to a drain line. A plunger subassembly includes a stopper which functions as a drain valve for the canister. An injection jet is connected to water and cleaning solution sources and discharges diluted cleaning solution into the canister for flushing same. The injection jet engages the plunger subassembly for ejecting the stopper from a canister drain opening. A control system includes a programmable microprocessor which can be programmed to provide drain and flush cycles of predetermined duration. A method of liquid waste disposal and canister flushing utilizes the microprocessor for delaying the flush cycle until completion of the drain cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Dornoch Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James L. Dunn, Timothy A. Carty
  • Patent number: 5945068
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for sterilizing hands includes a sink containing ozonated water. Water is continually circulated through said sink past an ozone generator which continually injects ozone into the sink. The individual sanitizes his hands by simply immersing his hands in the ozonated water for a period of time effective to destroy germs. Upstream of the sink is a secondary water circulation system which includes a second ozone generator which maintains a constant supply of ozonated water which can be added to the sink when necessary. An infrared sensor can be added to detect when individuals are using the sink and further to determine when make-up water is required. The present invention optionally will include an ozonated air hand drier or an ozonated air applicator for towels. This system is designed to ensure that individuals in, for example, food service operations maintain sanitary conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Inventor: Daniel A. Ferone
  • Patent number: 5937876
    Abstract: A rinsing system used in a photoresist coater to remove a brim portion of the formed photoresist layer on a substrate. The rinsing system has capability to avoid a reversed pressure effect. The rinsing system includes several distribution ducts, which are coupled to a solvent container. Each duct includes an one-way valve, an automatically-releasing-gas filter, and a pump with sequential couplings from the solvent container. The pump is used to transport solvent to the substrate to rinse the photoresist layer. The pump also induces the reversed pressure effect, which can be avoided by the automatically-releasing-gas filter, the one-way valve, and the solvent container. The one-way valve includes a spring to hold a ball-like stopper of the valve so that the reversed pressure effect is consumed by the spring force. The automatically-releasing-gas filter contains a gas and includes a releasing-gas valve to release the gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: United Microelectronics Corp.
    Inventors: Kuei-Hsi Lai, Ching-Chih Cheng, Hung-Lung Ma
  • Patent number: 5913984
    Abstract: The invention relates to equipment for cleaning objects such as tanks, pipeline systems etc. in a food treatment plant. The equipment includes a liquid conveying system which is arranged to convey a variable controlled amount of liquid at a variable controlled flow rate. In series with this means system there is a volume and/or flow rate metering device and a control device connected to the volume and/or flow rate metering device and receiving a signal from the metering device. The control device is arranged to actuate the conveying system in response to this signal so that the desired amount of liquid is conveyed at a desired flow rate. The conveying system and the volume and/or flow rate metering device are arranged in a flow path supplying rinsing or cleaning liquid to one or several objects to be cleaned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1999
    Assignee: Alfa Laval AB
    Inventor: Jan Lofdal
  • Patent number: 5901717
    Abstract: A liquid waste disposal and canister flushing system includes a cabinet with a sink for receiving the canister and a subsink for receiving a lower portion thereof. The subsink is connected to a drain line. A plunger subassembly includes a stopper which functions as a drain valve for the canister. An injection jet is connected to water and cleaning solution sources and discharges diluted cleaning solution into the canister for flushing same. The injection jet engages the plunger subassembly for ejecting the stopper from a canister drain opening. A control system includes a programmable microprocessor which can be programmed to provide drain and flush cycles of predetermined duration. A number of different container and accessory embodiments are disclosed. A method of liquid waste disposal and canister flushing utilizes the microprocessor for delaying the flush cycle until completion of the drain cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Dornoch Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James L. Dunn, Timothy A. Carty
  • Patent number: 5896874
    Abstract: In a semiconductor manufacturing process or a liquid crystal board manufacturing process, a resist stripping solution blending an organic alkali and an organic solvent is used for stripping the resist completely from the board. An apparatus for controlling this resist stripping solution comprises a resist stripping solution discharge device for discharging the resist stripping solution by detecting the dissolved resist concentration in the resist stripping solution by using an absorption photometer, a source solution and water replenishing device for replenishing the resist stripping source solution and pure water by detecting the liquid level of the resist stripping solution by a liquid level gauge, and a source solution and/or water replenishing device for replenishing at least one of the resist stripping source solution pure water by detecting the water concentration of the resist stripping solution by using an another absorption photometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignees: Hirama Rika Kenkyujo Ltd., Nagase & Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshimoto Nakagawa, Kouzo Tsukada, Shu Ogawa, Takahiro Houzan, Yoshitaka Nishijima
  • Patent number: 5894851
    Abstract: A method of vapor degreasing workpieces using a refrigerated vapor degreasing system. The system has a tank for containing a bath of degreasing solvent, a heater for vaporizing the solvent, a primary solvent condenser, a secondary solvent condenser, and a single refrigeration unit which can be switched to operate in two different modes. Workpieces are loaded and supported within the tank. The degreasing solvent is heated and evaporated in the tank. Refrigerant is cycled in a closed-loop, single compressor refrigeration system as low-pressure/low-temperature vapor, high-pressure/high-temperature vapor, high-pressure/low-temperature liquid, low-pressure/low-temperature vapor, and low-pressure/low-temperature liquid. A degreasing zone is formed around the workpiece and a primary evaporation barrier is formed above the workpiece by circulating low-pressure/low-temperature refrigerant from the refrigeration system through the primary solvent condenser located above the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Inventor: Albert V. Hartman
  • Patent number: 5882589
    Abstract: A device for cleaning, disinfecting, and/or drying an endoscope consists of a basin supported on a base. The basin forms a channel that defines a teardrop shape. The device includes a lid that sealingly engages the basin. During operation, the endoscope to be cleaned is completely immersed in cleaning solution in the basin. The basin includes injectors arranged so as to create a rotating flow of cleaning liquid and sterile rinsing water or recycled drying air within the channel. The vessel also includes injection nozzles that attach to various inlets of the endoscope to inject products at specified pressures and to continuously test the tightness of the seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: Leon Shipper
    Inventor: Bernard Mariotti
  • Patent number: 5875800
    Abstract: A cleaning device for cutlery, includes a cleaning chamber with a spraying device acting in the cleaning chamber, the cleaning chamber being disposed so that it can be removed from the cleaning device. Also in a method for cleaning and disinfecting cutlery, the disinfecting and the cleaning are carried out consecutively in this or in the reverse order in the same cleaning chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Inventor: Jan Hendrik Hulskotte
  • Patent number: 5873947
    Abstract: A technique for cleaning a hard disk using a novel support device 502. The technique includes immersing a disk in a liquid comprising water. The disk has a front face, a back face, an edge, and a center region. The method also includes providing a substantially particle free environment adjacent to the front face and the back face as the liquid is being removed. A step of introducing a carrier gas comprising a cleaning enhancement substance during the providing step also is included. The cleaning enhancement substance dopes the liquid which is attached to the front face and the back face to cause a concentration gradient of the cleaning enhancement substance in the attached liquid to accelerate fluid flow of the attached liquid off of the disk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: YieldUP International
    Inventors: Raj Mohindra, Abhay Bhushan, Rajiv Bhushan, Suraj Puri, John H. Anderson, Sr., Jeffrey Nowell
  • Patent number: 5865198
    Abstract: A refrigerated vapor degreasing system for cleaning workpieces. The system has a tank for containing a bath of degreasing solvent, a heater for vaporizing the solvent, a primary solvent condenser, a secondary solvent condenser, and a single refrigeration unit which can be switched to operate in two different modes. The primary solvent condenser creates a degreasing zone above the solvent bath around work pieces supported therein and creates a primary barrier preventing the vaporized solvent from escaping the tank. The secondary solvent condenser creates a cold air blanket above the degreasing zone which acts as a secondary barrier preventing the vaporized solvent from escaping the tank. The single refrigeration unit simultaneously provides low-temperature refrigerant to the secondary solvent condenser and the primary solvent condenser in a first mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Inventor: Albert V. Hartman
  • Patent number: 5857472
    Abstract: The invention concerns a device for rinsing a fluid-storage space that is provided with a rising chamber fillable with a fluid arranged in the region of the high point of the storage-space floor, which chamber, when the storage space runs empty, abruptly lets the fluid run out through a rinse opening as a rinsing torrent. The rinsing device has a container that serves to hold the rinse fluid; the container is either raisable, so that rinse fluid floods out through its bottom opening, or else the upper edge of the container is lowerable, so that the rinse fluid, coming forth from here, can flood out radially.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Inventors: Lothar Steinhardt, Jorg-Michael Steinhardt
  • Patent number: 5845660
    Abstract: A substrate washing and drying apparatus comprising a processing section for holding wafers, to which process solution to wash and vapor for drying the wafers are introduced, a supply/discharge port for introducing solution to the process section, and discharging the solution from the process section, a solution supply mechanism for selecting one from a plurality of kinds of solution, a drying vapor generation section having a heater for generation vapor for drying, a discharging solution mechanism having an opening for rapidly discharging the solution from the processing section, resistivity detecting means for detecting a resistivity value of the process solution, and a controller for controlling the supply of solution to the process section based on the resistivity value detected by the resistivity detecting means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Naoki Shindo, Yuuji Kamikawa, Shori Mokuo, Yoshio Kumagai
  • Patent number: 5845225
    Abstract: An electronically controlled carbon-cleaning apparatus for removal of carbon deposits in internal combustion engines. A microcomputer and associated electronics controls the solenoid valve and pump motor. The microcomputer performs all user interface functions. Firmware provides self test, automatic voltage verification and a variety of safety features. The apparatus includes a fill feature whereby a solution tank is filled automatically. The apparatus is designed to gradually provide power to the pump so that leaks or faulty connections can be detected before the pump reaches full pressure. The apparatus circulates a fuel-cleaner solution through the fuel injection system of the engine while it is operated, thereby saving the time and cost associated with the removal and hand cleaning of injectors. Fuel-cleaner solution level and run time are continuously monitored by the microcomputer and displayed on a LED display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Inventor: Frederick A. Mosher
  • Patent number: 5842491
    Abstract: A semiconductor wafer cleaning apparatus includes an internal cleaning tank having an inlet for introducing and an outlet for removing a cleaning solution, and an external cleaning tank surrounding the internal cleaning tank and having a plurality of inlets and outlets for introducing and removing the cleaning solution. First and second circulation pumps each disposed in the middle of the first and second circulation pipes for connecting the inlet and outlet of the internal cleaning tank with the plurality of inlets and outlets of the external cleaning tank are also provided. A baffle plate may also be disposed within the internal cleaning tank for fixing and separating a cassette having a plurality of wafers contained therein from the bottom of internal cleaning tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: LG Semicon Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Suk Bin Han, Yun Jun Huh
  • Patent number: 5803099
    Abstract: The present invention provides flexibility in the shape and material of the cleaning vessel, enables high-power transmission of ultrasonic waves, and reduces audible noise generation. An ultrasonic cleaning machine according to the invention comprises an acoustic lens mounted above an ultrasonic transducer which is immersed in oil held within an external tank as well as a cleaning vessel holding a cleaning liquid further above the acoustic lens so that ultrasonic waves produced by the ultrasonic transducer converge at a point within the cleaning liquid. In one form of the invention, the cleaning vessel is eliminated and the cleaning liquid is held directly in the external tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignees: Matsumura Oil Research Corp., Furuno Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shinichi Sakuta, Genzi Mori, Toyoki Sasakura, Yukio Morimoto
  • Patent number: 5803098
    Abstract: The vehicle washing installation comprises at least one conveyor chain (1) in the form of a sprocket chain, by means of which the vehicles are moved through the installation, and a plurality of treatment units arranged along the path of movement of the vehicle for washing and optionally drying the vehicle. At least one of the treatment units is mounted in a carrier adapted to move forwards synchronously with the vehicle over a path length and to be moved back by means of a resetting device to its starting position. The carrier can be coupled mechanically to the conveyor chain (1) for the forward movement. The coupling device comprises a coupling member (8) which can be brought into direct engagement with the conveyor chain (1). The coupling member (8) is of comb-like form and comprises a plurality of teeth (8a) spaced in the longitudinal direction (L) of the chain at a distance (b) from one another, with gaps (8b) therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Wesumat Fahrzeugwaschanlagen GmbH
    Inventor: Wolfgang Decker
  • Patent number: 5776260
    Abstract: A liquid waste disposal and canister flushing system includes a cabinet with a sink for receiving the canister and a subsink for receiving a lower portion thereof. The subsink is connected to a drain line. A plunger subassembly includes a stopper which functions as a drain valve for the canister. An injection jet is connected to water and cleaning solution sources and discharges diluted cleaning solution into the canister for flushing same. The injection jet engages the plunger subassembly for ejecting the stopper from a canister drain opening. A control system includes a programmable microprocessor which can be programmed to provide drain and flush cycles of predetermined duration. A method of liquid waste disposal and canister flushing utilizes the microprocessor for delaying the flush cycle until completion of the drain cycle. The control system can provide drain and flush cycles of predetermined durations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: Dornoch Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James L. Dunn, Timothy A. Carty
  • Patent number: 5759288
    Abstract: It is known to wash dispersion noodles in a `batchwise` fashion in which the noodles are retained in a kettle or kettle and water is sprayed onto the surface of the noodles. Agitation is achieved by bubbling air into the kettle from the bottom. Described herein is a method and apparatus for continuously washing dispersion noodles. The apparatus includes continuous pipe work in which the noodles are washed, the pipe work including at least one separating device (10) for separating the noodles from the water in which they have been washed. The device (10) comprises a housing (12) having an inlet (14) and an outlet (16). A separating element (22) is located in the housing (12) between the inlet (14) and the outlet (16) and is surrounded by a collection chamber (24), the element (22) comprising a tube of mesh material through which water passes into the collection chamber (24) and which is then drained off through drain (32).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: David John Young, Edward Charles Glover
  • Patent number: 5749383
    Abstract: A compact chain belt-type conveyor for conveying articles along a non-linear path through an industrial washer and drier. The chain belt-type conveyor provides an article sensing means wherein the sensing means is responsive to the presence of an article at a predetermined station along a predetermined non-linear path. A signalling means, responsive to the sensing means, signals a driving means to stop the conveyor when an article is present at the predetermined station for a predetermined amount of time and starts when an article is absent from the predetermined station. The signalling means ensures that each article will only be placed through one washing and drying cycle since a washed article must be removed from the predetermined station of the conveyor before the driving means will continue to drive the conveyor. An article holding means may be provided to secure the articles along the conveyor and provide proper orientation of the articles through the washing and drying process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Grapar Corporation
    Inventor: Harold W. Parslow, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5743280
    Abstract: An improved apparatus for cleansing a semiconductor wafer which is capable of separating an inner tub into an upper and lower portion, for thus adjustably forming the inner tub, so that it is possible to fold the upper portion of the inner tub when cleansing the wafer, for thus reducing the cleansing space, whereby it is possible to reduce the amount of the cleansing liquid and increasing the cleansing effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: LG Semicon Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Suk-Bin Han
  • Patent number: 5722441
    Abstract: A process apparatus for processing semiconductor wafers. It includes a process vessel in which process solution is contained. In the process solution, the wafers are immersed and processed. A supply pipe extends from the process vessel to solution storing vessels. Component solutions are stored in the component solution storing vessels and supplied from them to the process vessel to keep the concentration of each component in process solution. A supply pump is attached to the supply pipe. Valves for adjusting the amount of each component supplied are attached to the supply pipe. The adjusting valves are electrically connected to a CPU. Data representing that concentration of each component in process solution which changes with passage of time are previously stored in the CPU. The CPU controls the adjusting valves on the basis of the data to supply component solutions into the process vessel so as to meet any change in the concentration of each component in process solution in the process vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignees: Tokyo Electron Limited, Tokyo Electron FE Limited
    Inventor: Masashi Teramoto
  • Patent number: 5720307
    Abstract: In order to quickly and inexpensively rinse recyclable acid bottles which contain acid residues or decontaminate pieces of apparatus which are contaminated with acid, the interior of the bottles or apparatus is rinsed with an alkaline solution and then with water. The exterior of the bottles or apparatus is rinsed with water. The alkaline solution is stored in fiberglass canisters and is displaced to spray nozzles by the application of air under pressure. Valves which control the supply of water and alkaline solution are controlled by either solenoids or by air-activated devices. In the case of air-activated valves the air under pressure which is used to force the alkaline solution toward the spray nozzles can be used to operate the valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignees: Sony Corporation, Sony Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Engelking, Robert R. Sanchez
  • Patent number: 5706840
    Abstract: A precision cleaning apparatus and method. The precision cleaning apparatus includes a cleaning monitor further comprising an acoustic wave cleaning sensor such as a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), a flexural plate wave (FPW) sensor, a shear horizontal acoustic plate mode (SH--APM) sensor, or a shear horizontal surface acoustic wave (SH--SAW) sensor; and measurement means connectable to the sensor for measuring in-situ one or more electrical response characteristics that vary in response to removal of one or more contaminants from the sensor and a workpiece located adjacent to the sensor during cleaning. Methods are disclosed for precision cleaning of one or more contaminants from a surface of the workpiece by means of the cleaning monitor that determines a state of cleanliness and any residual contamination that may be present after cleaning; and also for determining an effectiveness of a cleaning medium for removing one or more contaminants from a workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1998
    Assignee: Sandia Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas W. Schneider, Gregory C. Frye, Stephen J. Martin
  • Patent number: 5706841
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an arrangement for automatically cleaning heat-exchanging passageways, particularly the coolant passageways of tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1998
    Assignee: Lars Werre
    Inventors: Lars Werre, Johan Adler
  • Patent number: 5682913
    Abstract: A cleaning apparatus for cleaning chemically processed articles between chemical processing steps. The cleaning apparatus includes a sealable pressurization vessel. After a chemical process step, an article, such as a semiconductor wafer is placed in the vessel. The vessel is sealed. Vessel pressure is adjusted. Solvent in the vessel is heated to a boil forming a vapor. Solvent vapor is recondensed by a primary condensing coil. Condensed solvent rains onto the article, washing it. After the article is clean, it is dried when a secondary condensing coil condenses the solvent vapor, causing the distilled solvent to rain into and be collected by a collection tray. Collected solvent is channelled into a storage reservoir. The storage reservoir is sealed after all of the solvent is collected. The vessel is opened to remove the cleaned article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 4, 1997
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Margaret Jane Lawson, Edward Joseph Leonard, Jon Howard Nansen
  • Patent number: 5681400
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for programming a controller to vary the concentration set-point of an additive as a function of time. The present invention insures that the additive is injected to the machine at proper times to allow for optimum efficiency and lowest cost. To vary the set-point according to the input parameters, the invention combines the features of a data entry device, a microprocessor, a clock, a controller, and sensors into one unit. The user may enter a time setting and set point into the controller, along with control parameters which allow the machine to control the additive injection based on different user-defined scenarios. The microprocessor then reads the settings and outputs an appropriate set-point value from the microprocessor to the controller. Thus, the user can manually or automatically change the response function if and when conditions change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 28, 1997
    Assignee: Ecolab Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel F. Brady, John E. McCall, Jr., Clyde A. Bailey, James L. Copeland
  • Patent number: 5673713
    Abstract: An improved apparatus for cleansing a semiconductor wafer which is capable of reducing the cleansing space by providing an inner tub made of a shape memory alloy and deforming the shape of the inner tub into the shape of the wafer, for thus reducing the cleansing space. The apparatus includes an outer tub having a supply tube for supplying a cleansing liquid and a discharge tube for discharging the cleansing liquid, an inner tub including an upper portion made of a shape memory alloy and disposed within the outer tub, a temperature control member for controlling the temperature of the cleansing liquid, a baffle plate for controlling the flowing amount of the cleansing liquid supplied to a wafer through the supply tube, a pump disposed in the supply tube for supplying the cleansing liquid into the inner tub, and a filter for filtering the cleansing liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 7, 1997
    Assignee: LG Semicon Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Suk-Bin Han
  • Patent number: 5671760
    Abstract: A resist stripping solution is used in the stripping of resist in a liquid crystal board manufacturing process or semiconductor manufacturing process. The apparatus for controlling the resist stripping solution comprises a resist stripping solution discharge device for discharging resist stripping solution by detecting the dissolved resist concentration in the resist stripping solution using an absorption photometer, first replenishing device for replenishing organic solvent and alkanolamine such as MEA or the like by detecting the liquid level of the resist stripping solution using a liquid level gauge, and second replenishing device for replenishing at least one of organic solvent and alkanolamine such as MEA or the like by detecting the concentration of alkanolamine such as MEA or the like of the resist stripping solution by an absorption photometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1997
    Assignees: Hirama RIKA Kenkyujo Ltd., Nagase & Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshimoto Nakagawa, Kouzo Tsukada, Shu Ogawa, Yoshitaka Sato, Shinichiro Shiotsu
  • Patent number: 5669981
    Abstract: A vehicle washing system includes an arch frame that moves on rails over and along the length of a vehicle. A rack support arm is rotatively connected to a horizontal cross member of the frame and a rack with vertically depending cleaning strips is connected to the support arm. Prior to activation, the vertically depending cleaning strips are located on the side(s) of the frame so that an unobstructed vehicle entry and exit way is provided. Once activated, the cleaning strips are rotated into position in contact with the vehicle. Thereafter, the rack support arm is reciprocated to move the strips back and forth across the vehicle as the frame moves. A dual-rod cylinder provides movement of the rack support arm into an active position with the cleaning strips in contact with the vehicle and also provides the reciprocating action. A rocker panel cleaning assembly is provided to clean the sides of the vehicle as the frame moves and the rack support arm reciprocates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Assignee: Magic Wand Inc.
    Inventors: Michael David Stinnett, William T. Daugherty, William W. Rambo
  • Patent number: 5628971
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for storing and sterilizing objects is provided. The apparatus includes a housing, and a tray supported within the housing for storing the objects to be sterilized. A sterilizing solution is located within the housing and below the tray. An elevator assembly lowers the tray downwardly to immerse the objects in the sterilizing solution, and lifts the tray upwardly to remove the objects from the sterilizing solution for further storage until use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 13, 1997
    Inventor: Geraldine U. Norman
  • Patent number: 5613509
    Abstract: An improved system and method are provided for removing material coatings or contaminants such as paints from a structure. The system and method include a radiant energy source, such as a flashlamp, for irradiating the target area of the structure with the radiant energy sufficient to initiate the pyrolysis and/or ablation of the coating or contaminant and a low temperature carbon dioxide stream which is directed at the target area to disperse the material from the structure, clean the exposed surface and cool the underlying substrate. The low temperature carbon dioxide stream is formed from a liquid carbon dioxide from a liquid carbon dioxide source which undergoes phase transition to yield a predetermined amount of low temperature carbon dioxide gas and carbon dioxide snow. The system and method eliminate the need for a carbon dioxide pelletizer, a carbon dioxide pellet transport hopper, and a compressed carrier gas which are used in related systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Maxwell Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan C. Kolb, Leonard W. Braverman, Cyril J. Silberman, Richard R. Hamm, Michael C. Cates
  • Patent number: 5609171
    Abstract: A lipstick molding mold cleaning apparatus including a water level controller to automatically control the level of water in a washing tank, a plurality of sensors to detect the position of the lipstick molding mold under cleaning, and sets of nozzles controlled by the sensors to respectively wash the lipstick molding mold with washing water, clean the lipstick molding mold with detergent, rinse the lipstick molding mold with rinsing water, and dry the lipstick molding mold with air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1997
    Inventor: Fu-Chin Kuo
  • Patent number: 5601100
    Abstract: To obtain a washing machine capable of sanitarily effecting washing with fresh water at all times and reducing a washing time and a drying time. Tap water supplied from a water feed pipe in association with sensing means is pressurized to predetermined pressure by a pressurizing pump, supplied to water injection nozzle pipes and injected into a washing space through water injection nozzles. The user inserts tableware held by hands between the nozzles, energising the sensor mechanism. A high speed water flow injected from the nozzles collides against the tableware and washes the tableware by removing stubborn dirt from the tableware. On the other hand, an air flow from a blower passes though the air nozzle pipes and is discharged from the air nozzles to remove the drops of water attached to the tableware by forced air action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 11, 1997
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kunihiko Kawakami, Yasunori Kurahashi, Takao Morisaki, Osamu Monma, Seiji Sato, Akihiro Hayashi, Hideho Taguchi, Keiji Kameishi, Naoto Minamikawa, Koji Ogawa, Masanori Kato, Hirotaka Abou
  • Patent number: 5601101
    Abstract: A washing system for in place washing of a machine or equipment. The washing system includes a supply valve arrangement (21) that is connectable to at least one source (16) of washing fluid, wherein the valve arrangement is operable to regulate a flow of washing fluid to the machine or equipment to be washed. A doser unit (10) having a linear actuator (14) is coupled through a valve (26) to a source (24) of cleaning additive. A control unit (29) is coupled with the valves (21, 26) and the doser unit (10) via a sensor (27) such that controlled changes in the flow of washing fluid and the addition of cleaning additive to the washing fluid can be effected. When the supply is formed by two sources of washing fluid, one source is at a higher temperature than the other. The control unit (29) is further able to change the pressure of the flow of washing fluid to the machine or equipment such that controlled changes in the pressure can be effected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 11, 1997
    Assignee: Precision Dispensing Systems Limited
    Inventors: Robert D. Grapes, Mark R. Bell-Booth
  • Patent number: 5558110
    Abstract: A method for controlling the effective velocity of a spray of cleaning material in order to remove particulate matter and other contamination from a surface of a workpiece. The surface under treatment is moved relative to the position of a sprayhead in order to increase or reduce the velocity at which the spray impacts the surface. In one embodiment, the workpiece is mounted on a disk-shaped support plate. The sprayhead tracks across the support plate to direct the spray over the entire workpiece. The support plate is rotated towards the sprayhead to increase the effective spray velocity, and away from the sprayhead to decrease the effective spray velocity. Another embodiment of the invention adjusts the speed of rotation of the support plate in such a manner that the spray maintains a constant effective velocity as the sprayhead is moved radially across the support plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1996
    Inventor: John F. Williford, Jr.