New SlimLine force sensor monitors semiconductor production

Winterthur, September 2022 - Kistler has launched the new SlimLine force sensor 9132CD, a force transducer that is nine times more sensitive than comparable SlimLine sensors. It comes with a new, highly flexible and durable connecting cable. This makes it ideal for the high-precision measuring of low forces where constructional space is limited, as in semiconductor and 3C applications.

In increasingly complex production environments, the demands on process control are also rising. Precise process control is the key and, over the past years, piezoelectric dynamic force measurement has proven to be a highly efficient method for monitoring, controlling and optimizing production processes, especially where applied process forces are a critical factor.

Semiconductor manufacturing processes will benefit from the new SlimLine force sensor from Kistler.
Semiconductor production processes including die sorting or flip chip bonding will benefit from the new SlimLine sensor 9132CD from Kistler.

When rigidity meets flexibility

Two unique features of the new 9132CD SlimLine sensor meet the requirements for force measurement in complex manufacturing processes, namely the piezoelectric material and the flexible connection cable, The piezoelectric material at the heart of the 9132CD is a special crystal developed and grown from Kistler at its headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland. Like the traditional quartz material, its rigidity makes it highly responsive to rapid force changes. But its sensitivity of 35 pC/N makes it nine times more sensitive than current SlimLine sensors. As a result, it can measure even the smallest, highly dynamic force changes with very high accuracy.

Yet a sensor is only as good as its connecting cable. In demanding production environments, the connecting cable may be under of lot of stress and become a vital factor in production speed. This happens when the sensor is placed, for example, in a rapidly moving pick and place station with very short cycles times. Should a cable break, production would be stopped and there would be downtime for the duration of the cable replacement. The 9132CD answers this challenge with an integrated highly flexible connecting cable that can withstand at least 10 million cycles in the drag chain under a bending radius of 30mm.

A small giant

Due to these features and its small, lightweight design, the 9132CD SlimLine force sensor is suitable for many demanding fields of application. Besides measuring forces on automatic assembly plants and pick and place stations, the sensors can be used in chip bonding machines in the semiconductor industry, intricate joining processes in the medical sector or for contact measurements of keys, switches and relays. “We identified a requirement in the market where lowest forces need to be measured in highly dynamical processes in very small places. Combining existing concepts, such as the design of our SlimLine C series, with the new crystal first employed in the high sensitivity sensor 9323AAA, we were able to to solve the problem. This is a typical example how we drive innovation at Kistler,” says Stefan Schaefer, product manager at Kistler Group.