Conventionally, robotic arms or automated guided vehicles are employed to move or handle large TFT-LCD glass substrates. In the manufacturing process, glass substrates typically are exposed to the transfer platform (or rollers). However, contact and friction between the substrates and surfaces may generate static electricity or chip, crack, damage, or contaminate the surface of the substrate, which negatively affects yield and product quality. In addition, many technical challenges remain unresolved for the adoption of roller transfer. These challenges hinder the production efficiency of large glass substrates significantly and are in dire need of improvement. An effective solution would be replacing traditional contact-type transfer with no-contact transfer approaches, such as the application of air-floating tables.
Transfer using no-contact air floating tables:
No-contact conveyance and transfer equipment alleviate a number of transfer issues that have emerged as larger glass substrates are produced. In no-contact transfer and handling processes, the substrate is not exposed to the equipment, thereby avoiding substrate contamination, stress damage, and static electricity build-up. Moreover, the porous material drastically reduces airflow while creates an evenly distributed air cushion that can be adjusted to meet floating height requirements.
Advantages of air floating transfer systems:
1. Zero friction
2. Zero wear
3. Supports linear transfer and rotation
4. Silent and smooth operation
5. Higher damping
6. No lubricants required
7. High-speed operation