Basics of Maintenance and Troubleshooting of Vacuum Diffusion Pumps

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by Bill Foley, Varian Inc.

While vacuum issues alone are not among the top contributors of
unscheduled downtime, vacuum system performance is a critical factor in
achieving process repeatability and optimizing overall tool operation. Proper
maintenance of the vacuum pump, the key element of the vacuum system, is
necessary to sustain desired performance.

The objective of this paper will be to discuss general maintenance and
practical steps that can be taken to troubleshoot vacuum diffusion pumped
systems, minimizing unscheduled downtime and helping to ensure optimal
performance in a production environment.

The discussion that follows includes a brief diffusion pump overview,
discussion of safety and a basic troubleshooting guide.

Please note that it is always best to follow procedures and processes
established by the equipment manufacturer, and that the operation manual
for a particular diffusion pump should be consulted. It is always critical to
review the operational manual for vacuum equipment, as different
manufacturers may specify more detailed operational settings.

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