It is now possible to automate transport processes with automated guided vehicles (AGV) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in cleanrooms – thanks to Wiferion’s etaLINK 3000 inductive charging system. The wireless charging solution has been certified for ISO Class 4 by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation (IPA). The safe use of transport robots in highly sensitive production environments is thus possible now for the first time.
Supplying power to AGV and AMR in a cleanroom
In semi-conductor production, in the pharmaceutical industry or in medical technology – the automation of sensitive transport tasks by AGV and AMR in cleanrooms is gaining ground. In higher ISO cleanroom classes in particular, however, the systems have until now reached their limits because of the mechanical battery charging functions. Charging processes with sliding contacts always create copper abrasion. The particles disperse in the production environment and, in extreme cases, can damage whole batches of valuable semi-conductor substrates (wafers) or contaminate medications.
Encapsulated and does not require mechanical contacts
Almost all the major robot manufacturers therefore opt for contact-free power transfer using Wiferion’s etaLINK 3000 system. “Our wireless charging solution is encapsulated and does not require mechanical contacts. Particle abrasion and contamination of the production environment are thus almost impossible”, states Julian Seume, former CSO of Wiferion and now director of the PULS Wireless Business Unit. Certification by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation (IPA) now also provides users officially with the assurance that the charging process does not pose a risk to their production. The inductive charging system was tested under specific test conditions according to ISO 14644-1 and certified for use in ISO Class 4 cleanrooms.
“With this certificate, we are laying the foundations for ensuring that mobile transport robotics can also be used in sensitive areas. We feel that there is great potential here and are already engaged in meaningful discussions for expanding this segment further”, comments Julian Seume.