Next Generation of High Throughput Architectural Glass Coaters

The overall demand for sputter coated glass products has outpaced the demand for flat glass products for at least two main reasons:

• the energy efficiency of buildings as an important decision criterion for investors,

• national regulations foster the market penetration of heat insulating low emissivity (Low-E) and solar protective coatings such as Double and Triple Low-E (DLE and TLE) to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint. Therefore the next generation of architectural glass coaters has to be upgradable to more complex coatings and higher throughput.

This article will focus on the recent trend to raise throughput with a new generation of pre-vacuum pumps. These pre-vacuum pumps seem to have a similar potential in improving the pump performance and operation as the change from diffusion pumps to turbo-molecular pumps in former years.