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1. WO2007145904 - METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING A SUBSTRATE IN A HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION DURING CLEANING

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[ EN ]

THE INVENTION CLAIMED IS:

1. An apparatus for cleaning a substrate comprising:
a plurality of rollers adapted to contact and support the substrate in a horizontal orientation; and
at least one brush adapted to contact a major surface of the substrate while the substrate is supported by the plurality of rollers so as to clean the major surface of the substrate;
wherein at least one of the plurality of rollers is adapted to move between an opened position that allows the substrate to be loaded onto or unloaded from the plurality of rollers and a closed position in which the substrate is supported by the plurality of rollers.

2. The apparatus of claim I1 wherein at least one of the plurality of rollers is adapted to pivot between the opened and closed positions.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one of the plurality of rollers is adapted to move linearly between the opened and closed positions.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one brush includes a first brush adapted to contact a first major surface of the substrate and a second brush adapted to contact a second major surface of the substrate while the substrate is supported by the plurality of rollers so as to clean the first and second major surfaces of the substrate.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of pads adapted to support the substrate in a horizontal orientation when at least one of the
plurality of rollers is in the opened position.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the plurality of pads are pivotable and adapted to move between a supporting position in which the plurality of pads are positioned beneath and in contact with the substrate and a non-supporting position.

7. The apparatus of claim 4, further comprising:
a first pivotable brush arm coupled to the first brush; a second pivotable brush arm coupled to the second brush; and
a brush actuator coupled to the first and second pivotable brush arms;
wherein the brush actuator is adapted to pivot the first and second pivotable brush arms between a brush-opened position and a brush-closed position; and
wherein in the brush-closed position, the first and second brush arms pivot so as to press the first and second brushes onto the respective first and second major surfaces of the substrate .

8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
at least one fluid coupler adapted to provide a
cleaning fluid to the at least one brush.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of rollers includes at least one driver roller and at least one idle roller.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a lift arm movable between a- lifted position and a lowered position; and
a lift actuator coupled to the lift arm and adapted to move the lift arm between the lifted and lowered positions; wherein the lift arm is adapted to effect a lifting of the substrate in the lifted position.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the lift arm
comprises a lift plate coupled to a plurality of lift pins.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the lift plate is adapted to lift the plurality of lift pins in the lifted position.

13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the lift pins are substantially cylindrical in shape and adapted to support the substrate in the lifted position.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the plurality of lift pins include a shoulder adapted to engage and support the substrate in the lifted position.

15. A method of cleaning a substrate comprising:
supporting the substrate in a horizontal position via a plurality of rollers; and
contacting at least one major surface of the substrate with a brush while the substrate is supported in the
horizontal position so as to clean the major surface of the substrate.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising: moving at least one of the plurality of rollers from a closed position in which the plurality of rollers support the substrate to an opened position that allows the
substrate to be loaded onto or unloaded from the plurality of rollers.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
pivoting at least one of the plurality of rollers between the opened and the closed positions .

18. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
moving at least one of the plurality of rollers
linearly between the opened and closed positions.

19. The method of claim 15, wherein contacting at least one major surface of the substrate with a brush comprises contacting a first major surface of the substrate with a first brush and contacting a second major surface of the substrate with a second brush while the substrate is
supported by the plurality of rollers so as to clean the first and second major surfaces of the substrate.

20. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
providing additional support for the substrate in the horizontal orientation while at least one of the plurality of rollers is in the opened position.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising:
positioning a plurality of pads beneath and in contact with the substrate to support the substrate in a horizontal orientation when at least one. of the plurality of rollers is in the open position.

22. The method of claim 19, wherein contacting a first major surface of the substrate with a first brush and contacting a second major surface of the substrate with a second brush comprises :
pivoting the first brush toward the first major surface of the substrate; and
pivoting the second brush toward the second major surface of the substrate.

23. The method of claim 15, further comprising:
providing a cleaning fluid to the at least one brush.

24. The method of claim 15, further comprising:
moving the substrate vertically to a lifted position so as to allow a robot to engage and remove the substrate.

25. The method of claim 15, wherein the plurality of rollers are coupled to an edge of the substrate.