April 28, 2017
On April 24, 2017, the ISA Edmonton Section was given a rare glance into Micralyne's high-tech MEMS fabrication facility and their ultra high purity class 10 clean rooms.
Their 55,000 square foot facility boasts 20,000 square feet of Class 10 Clean Rooms and nearly 100 employees - of which they currently hire from the U of A Nanotechnology Program and from around the world! The clean rooms are extremely sensitive, anything taken in can cause a yield loss and possible shutdown for cleanup purposes.
Their main areas of focus include medical, optical and industrial. We heard about captivating technology projects that they've developed or that are currently in development - think drug delivery systems for vaccines without the use of needles and industrial sensors that can tell by acoustic sound what resources are underground.
The tour sold-out at 50 attendees within just a couple days. We reached out to some of the attendees to learn more about what they learnt on the tour and what caught their attention...
"I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Edmonton of all places has such a manufacturing facility - MEMS of all things - right here in our industrial oil capital. The potential and upcoming demand with the IoT seems extremely attractive. As for a manufacturing facility I was expecting a large automated facility, however most processes were un-automated due to a variety of factors. The breakthrough of optical MEMS devices was very interesting and the insulin patch possibility very promising; to think Edmonton and the U of A are involved in nano-technology manufacturing is a diversification Alberta needs in our current climate." - Ian Leach, Instrumentation Engineering, Projects/Plant Services, Sherritt International Corporation
"I didn’t realize the manufacture of silicon-based solid state products involved using very toxic chemicals and therefore many safety precautions. It was nice to hear that one of the only two facilities in the entire country is located in Edmonton (the other Montreal). 1000 components possible out of a single 6 inch diameter silicon wafer. Gold plating to 50 - 55 microns during manufacturing equates to only pennies worth of gold (as opposed to many dollars) used in the manufacture of the components from a single silicon wafer." - Gordon Meyer, Manager - Automation (SCADA), Suncor Energy Logistics Corporation
"I was amazed by the intricate process required to manufacture this type of technology. I was also proud to see a homegrown Alberta innovation company be so successful." - Paul Baril, Control Systems Network Specialist, Enbridge
"I was actually very surprised to learn there are manufacturing companies like Micralyne right here in Edmonton. I was very impressed and interested in the technologies and shocked by the level of detail that goes into them (ex. the molecular detail of wafer-level manufacturing)." - Richard Billows, Applied Automation Inc.
"It's great to see a local innovation company manufacturing at the micro and nano levels!" - Bob Bahniuk, ISA Automation & Expo Past Director
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