Inventor’s Corner

Preparing pre-filled plastic syringes

To prepare contamination-free, pre-filled plastic syringes under clean conditions, this invention is designed to allow preparation in a less cumbersome and more efficient manner than previous methods, obviating the need for subsequent treatment steps, such as water washing. The process includes providing a syringe barrel (A) that is molded under clean conditions, free of pyrogens and viable and non-viable particles. A tip seal (B) is capable of sealing the nozzle of the barrel (C), and a piston (D) is capable of sliding in the barrel and sealing the open end of the barrel (E) opposite the nozzle. The piston is depressed to move liquid or semi-solid contents of the syringe through the nozzle end. The liquid may then be sealed by inserting the piston, optionally followed by a terminal sterilization step.
Patent number: 6,719,733
Date granted: April 13, 2004
Inventors: Gayle Heffernan, Middlesex, N.J.; Allen Welsher, E. Brunswick, N.J.

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Workpiece-handling robot

Designed to offer precise positional accuracy and repeatability, this sealed wafer-handling robot offers improved transporting of workpieces, such as semiconductor wafers and flat planel displays, between process tolls or workpiece storage areas within a fab. The robot includes a base (A) comprising a rigid backbone for providing a significant degree of structural stability. The base also includes a mast, a linear drive system for translating the mast and a shoulder drive system for rotating the mast. (The shoulder drive system includes a harmonic drive reduction system for providing a stiff, smooth and precise output rotation of the mast section.) The robot also includes a proximal link (B) fixed-mounted to the mast for rotation with the mast, and a distal link (C) rotatably mounted to the proximal link. An end effector (D) for supporting various workpieces is rotationally mounted to the distal end of the distal link.

Torque is transmitted from an elbow drive to the distal link by steel straps wrapped around a drive pulley from the elbow drive and a drive pulley in the distal link. The various components are scaleable to handle 200-mm and 300-mm requirements.
Patent number: 6,634,581
Date: October 21, 2003
Inventors: Anthony Bonora, Woodside, Calif.; Roger Hine, San Carlos, Calif.; Michael Krolak, Los Gatos, Calif.; John Grilli, Palo Alto, Calif.

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Supporting a raised floor and tool

This invention supports a raised cleanroom floor near a semiconductor, biotech, food processing or other industrial tool, without requiring a frame and without drilling or welding the tool support. The method supports at least a portion of the raised floor and the tool by adjusting a portion supporting the floor, which may then be locked in place. The support includes a top member (A) that supports the tool by resting the tool on it. A second component (B) supports a raised floor, and a third component (C)—a channel made from steel, iron, plastic or other material capable of supporting the expected load—is supported by a base (D) and coupled to the first and second components, featuring an adjustable attachment structure allowing at least an initial position adjustment of the second component relative to the first. In one embodiment of the invention, a small hole is cut in a section of the raised floor (E) at the location of each support member (C) placed on a sub-floor (F). Multiple ledger plates (B) may be attached to a single support member to support the raised floor around the ledger plate. The tool would be supported at or near the top of the support (A), above the subfloor. This prevents the raised floor from compressing or otherwise being damaged by the weight of the tool.
Patent number: 6,745,524
Date: June 8, 2004
Inventor: Lane Weinberg, Portland, Ore.

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