New Way Air Bearings Company Profile
Reduce Contact. Increase Yield. New Way® Conveyor Air Bearings provide non-contact control of your FPD glass handling.
New Way Air Bearings is a Philadelphia-area manufacturer that has carved out a unique niche in the Information Display arena. In 2005, the company introduced a line of conveyor air bearings at the SID Show in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. These new products enabled FPD manufacturers to maintain effective, non-contact control of their glass during the manufacturing and inspection processes.
The concept is pretty simple, really. Every time FPD glass touches down, manufacturing yield goes down, too. Whether a process uses wheels, rollers, or even air bars, frequent contact during glass handling can destroy a manufacturer’s productivity.
To address this critical issue, New Way applied its Porous Media® air bearing technology, forcing air pressure through millions of sub-micron-sized holes to create a bearing surface that virtually eliminated contact for even Generation 10 glass and beyond.
Further, vacuum pre-load helps to control the glass, holding it precisely for AOI, direct-write lithography, probing, repair, and any number of other applications. This combination of air and vacuum is also ideal for non-contact conveyance between processes, even at high speeds (2m/sec). Not only does this level of control provide significant throughput improvement, it also enables manufacturers to move offline inspection online, preventing serial defects and even more yield degradation.
New Way’s original line provided three different FPD products, the H-Series for high-speed applications, the L-Series for applications where low airflow is a requirement, and a porous media Precision Chuck for processing or inspection zones and other areas of interest.
These products were so successful that New Way Air Bearings immediately set out to design the next generation. This new product, the C-Series, was launched in July 2008. It is a hybrid that combines the advantages of its two predecessors, providing high speed capability with low air consumption requirements.
Furthermore, New Way engineered this new product line for efficient manufacturability, also enabling the company to significantly reduce the cost-per-unit. And because of the performance advantages it provides, fewer C-Series conveyors are required for a typical system.
Each of New Way’s modular air bearing components are robust and easy-to-use in scalable arrays.The arrays themselves are simple to align and adjust. The elegant simplicity of this solution has made an impact on the FPD industry, and on New Way Air Bearings as well.The company, founded in 1994, had sales of $7.6 million in 2007.This year, New Way projects $9.2 million in sales and appears to be ahead of schedule according to its management team. A significant portion of this growth can be attributed to the company’s FPD market success.
New Way was named to both the 2007 and 2008 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the USA. Further, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce selected the company as a recipient of its prestigious Technological Excellence of the Year Award for 2008.
Contact New Way today for non-contact control of your FPD glass handling.