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Managing Mass Balance

Achieving full precious metal accountability and reducing costs are of key importance to our customers in managing mass balance.  Materion Best Practice Audits are just one of the ways we identify all precious metals usage and provide guidance for lowest cost of ownership modeling. We can manage your full mass balance of PVD tools including targets, refine streams, shield recovery, parts cleaning and refining services.

Assistance Offered

With our 100 years of experience in refining, recycling and recovery of precious metals, we have unique expertise in managing metal life cycles from Consumption (product) to Recovery (shield/refining). We:

  • analyze data to maximize recovery and offer higher precious metal returns from the deposition loss stream
  • provide a refine summary for each kit to better understand where each tool is consuming precious metals
  • deliver a full report with our recommendations for full PM accountability and cost reduction initiatives
  • offer parts cleaning and refining to support a full mass balance approach
  • account for amount of precious metal return from shield cleaning

Tracking Precious Metal Usage

Materion tracks precious metal at every stage of its usage cycle for full accountability. From the point of target installation to post sputtering process (spent target) to the amount of sputtered material on either the product (wafers) or on the chamber shields, to any by-products such as scrapings, bead blast, etc.  Review an example for precious metal audit in our Precious Metal Flow Chart.

Audit Accounts for All Precious Metal

Materion’s Best Practice audit is performed on-site in collaboration with the customer’s representatives.
Inventories are scheduled quarterly and will document all customer precious metal flow.

The electronic tracking will follow shipping of all incoming/outgoing metal. The audit will:

  • explain refine settlements/terms
  • audit waste stream
  • evaluate recycling value
  • segregate material types (precious metals)
  • review audit settlements

Materion works side-by-side with customers operations, engineering, and purchasing teams to highlight the importance of mass balance analysis and the cost saving opportunities possible. For more information on the critical function of managing Mass Balance, contact:  Jim McMullen, Product Manager – Precision Parts Cleaning Services, at:  James.McMullen@Materion.com.