A Technology Innovator with High Risk Manufacturing Processes
NanoGram Corporation, an established Silicon Valley technology innovator, manufacturers advanced materials and solutions for a wide range of applications, including flat panel television displays and solid-state lighting.
The corporation uses a precise nano particle manufacturing process which combines highly reactive toxic gases and materials, increasing the chances for a possible explosion. These applications and processes involve a substantial amount of H2 as a byproduct. Handling these reactive materials and toxic gases requires the use of rupture discs to relieve cyclical pressure spikes on the equipment. However, due to the increasing cyclical pressures inherent to the system the company was forced to replace their discs frequently.
“The way our process works requires back-pulsing of our filter elements in the collection systems,” said Bernard Frey, Director, Equipment Engineering. “These cyclical pressure spikes shorten the life of our rupture discs and they typically needed to be replaced after a 3 to 6 month usage. If we needed to do excessive back-pulsing, we usually took off the rupture disc and capped off the port, which helped prolong the discs’ life.”
Maintaining Safety Solutions with Cost-Effective Rupture Discs
When it was time to reorder the rupture discs, NanoGram discovered that the replacement discs used had incurred a significant price increase. Additionally, the lead time to replace the discs was also extended longer than anticipated, prolonging the downtime for the process.
Researching alternatives, NanoGram contacted Qcon, a reputable and long-time Fike representative. Qcon President, Ram Shamarao, visited the facility and suggested that using Fike’s Axius SC rupture discs would be a perfect fit for their applications and could be delivered well within the required turn-around time.
“With no special clamps required, Axius SC discs are designed to be used directly in standard sanitary fittings which is a perfect solution for Nanogram,” Shamarao stated. “Axius SC rupture discs are fabricated using Fike’s proprietary manufacturing technology that allows the disc to cycle from full vacuum to 95% of its marked burst pressure even in extreme applications.”
NanoGram discovered that the Axius SC disc, when used with a standard gasket configuration, essentially worked as a “ready-to-use” solution. This meant that they could use existing ferrules with Fike’s Axius SC rupture discs, eliminating additional hardware costs.
NanoGram, impressed with the technology and significant update in the disc cycle life, plans to change over all the discs to the Axius SC at various monthly intervals.
“Working with Qcon and Fike has been a very positive experience for us. We’re very pleased with the disc’s lead time, competitive price, and services that we’ve received,” said Frey. “We highly recommend Fike’s products and I can clearly stand behind this statement.”
Critical Success Factors for NanoGram
- Fike’s Axius SC rupture disc to help reduce costs and shorten lead times on NanoGram’s applications.
- Fike’s Axius SC worked as a “ready-to-use” solution for NanoGram’s applications eliminating the need to change existing configurations.
- NanoGram was impressed with the significant improvement the cycle life of the Axius SC.