Some of the world’s most difficult high-technology markets demand essential instruments such as ultra-high vacuum (UHV) chambers. There is an abundance of application areas that rely on high vacuum components to maintain a contaminant-free environment and a low pressure for optimal control and quality control such as cryogenics, photonics, semiconductor manufacturing, and surface science research.
The pressure regime of the UHV extends below 10-9 mbar. Exhausting gases with a pumping system is necessary to create these conditions in a hermetically sealed chamber. It is then necessary to conduct tests or manufacturing procedures with custom high vacuum components such as interlocks or UHV-compatible feed-throughs.
This is necessary to acquire data or adjust the process conditions in-situ. Thanks to the high tolerances of specialized vacuum environments, many high vacuum components are manufactured on a custom basis. In this article, the method that Allectra uses to manufacture UHV components is illustrated in more detail.
The Market for High Vacuum Components
Allectra was founded in 2002 in Berlin. Its founders, two entrepreneurial scientists, had settled upon a new approach towards the process of selling high technology components to scientific markets. As Allectra developed from largely distributing high vacuum components to manufacturing them in dedicated and owned sites, the founders’ aim to develop a range of electrical feedthroughs specialized for high and ultra-high vacuum regimes has been in development ever since.
From distribution and assembly of vacuum systems, Allectra began to develop and manufacture its own product variety with their investment in a UK facility. This investment allowed Allectra to retain the manufacturing of its high-vacuum components in-house.
Prior to this, Allectra relied on having to liaise with external suppliers for machine parts, and subsequently shipping them to their equivalent European facility for the processes of welding, cleaning, and leak-checking. Today, Allectra has total control over quality and assurance of its components, thanks to its specifically designed facility, which can accommodate production, design and administration functions.
Each of these capabilities is vital in the manufacturing of high vacuum components to be sold to challenging markets. Allectra is now able to offer guarantees to customers on critical aspects from product consistency to delivery times.
Allectra has witnessed multiple companies driving towards the cheapest possible products in an attempt to improve their own ROIs. The manufacturing process at Allectra is based upon quality and consistency and provides noteworthy long-term cost savings thanks to exceptional product performance. This practice has seen the growth of many successful global relationships with high profile customers, including:
- Diamond Light Source
- Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
- Synchrotron Soleil,
- UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council
Allectra has worked closely with these and many others to develop unique instruments for both academic and industrial users.
Allectra’s expertise in high vacuum component manufacturing has also seen the adoption of Allectra-designed products by European synchrotrons as an industry standard. They supplied scatter guards, water-cooled masks, and cooling circuits for the 102 Versatile Macromolecular X-tallography in-situ beamline at Diamond Light Source, as well as a series of hard radiation switches for ITER.
High Vacuum Components from Allectra
Allectra is one of the global market leaders and one of the fastest-growing manufacturers of UHV and high vacuum components worldwide. It offers unparalleled solutions to the high technology marketplace, with a firm commitment to consistent product quality and continual development.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Allectra Limited.
For more information on this source, please visit Allectra Limited.