Are You Using Your Electron Beam Evaporation Equipment Efficiently?

This is a question that, perhaps, you should ask yourself. Often, customers are using production equipment to consolidate and refine raw input materials to make their electron beam evaporation sources. Essentially, they are tying up a very expensive piece of production equipment for a job that could be done in a less expensive way.

To decide whether it is more efficient to refine and consolidate your raw materials into evaporation sources using your electron beam evaporation equipment or to outsource this melting process, ask yourself these questions:

  1.  Are you having trouble meeting your deadlines?

If you have very expensive electron beam evaporation equipment, it might seem that you would get the best return on your investment if you ran it all the time for as many uses as you could think of. This isn’t always the case.

We have a client who spent a half million dollars on their electron beam evaporation equipment. At first, they made their evaporation sources as well as their end product using the equipment, thinking they would be using the equipment most efficiently that way. They quickly realized, however, that they were falling behind on filling their orders. The process of making the evaporation sources was taking too much time away from making their end product. It was actually more cost effective to outsource this melting process so they could concentrate on meeting the demand for their end product.

  1. Is equipment clean up time eating up your profits?

If you think that using your electron beam evaporation equipment to make your own evaporation sources is saving you money, maybe you should reconsider. Time is money. Have you factored in the cost of the time involved in cleaning out your vacuum chamber after making your own evaporation sources? Cleaning the equipment is essential to creating a high-quality, pure product. If cleaning the equipment is very time-intensive, it could reduce the time the equipment is available for production work. The big advantage of outsourcing the refinement and consolidation of raw materials is the elimination of downtime.

Sophisticated Alloys can refine your input material and consolidate it to make evaporation sources. Our equipment is designed specifically for melting and refinement.  Currently, we are refining rare earth fluorides for several customers. Additionally, over the years, we have modified our equipment to adapt to our customer’s changing design requirements. We think we can help you too.

The takeaway? Just because you can do vacuum melting in your electron beam evaporation equipment doesn’t mean you should.

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