Depending on the industry, some companies might have next to nothing to spend on automation, while others can't afford not to automate everything. Plasma-Therm, which makes etch and deposition tools, works with the whole range -- from LED manufacturers who can barely afford the capital to buy manually loaded wafer systems to one customer that could easily justify the cost of an entire barcode scanning system and custom software solution.
Plasma-Therm, around in one form or another since 1975, is our March OEM Spotlight. Read about the automation and control philosophy they've taken over the years, and the challenges that they face in high-tech industries as diverse as MEMS and renewable energy.
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