Synchronized Pneumatic Actuation


Senior’s innovators deliver on an “impossible” spec for wafer handling.

The Challenge

Our customer—a major manufacturer of semiconductor processing equipment—was looking to improve the performance of their wafer handling system. Their historical approach involved the use of an air cylinder and a welded metal bellows to seal the penetration into the vacuum chamber.

This multi-component approach presented problems that included a high parts count from multiple vendors and extensive calibration requirements at installation. Finally, components needed to operate smoothly across a very wide temperature range with extreme precision throughout the stroke.

The Solution

Senior provided a pneumatic pin lift that achieved multiple design improvements for our customer. The Senior Metal Bellow PRIME MOVER actuator integrates a metal bellows seal into the actuator, reducing the number of parts, eliminating the need for elastomeric seals—all within a compact unit.

The Results

100% Maintenance free operation, all welded construction, no elastomeric seals, hermetically sealed to 1 x 10-9 SCC/sec He, operation at temperature extremes, integrated position sensing, internally controlled decelerations.


“Just-right” solution delivers for IC manufacturer

An existing pneumatic actuator was repurposed by a major producer of semiconductor equipment for a new application. The existing actuator performed sub-optimally in the new application due to lower forces, higher operational life requirements, and more aggressive processing chemistries.

Read Case Study

Maintaining alignment under tough conditions

Unfortunately, tolerance stacks across the system would regularly force the pedestal off-center and out-of-alignment with the shower head resulting in quality issues and necessitating manual re-adjustments to the assembly.

Read Case Study

Toxic gases demand utmost care in handling

Moving highly toxic gasses from bulk storage to the point-of-use is a perennial challenge for many semiconductor manufacturers. Unfortunately, most conventional pumps rely on seals that are subject to wear—potentially risking harmful leakage and human exposure.

Read Case Study