A billion seconds
Stories from the home of ALD
When you visit our factory in Espoo and enter the clean room area where we keep our 40 ALD machines, one thing you will notice is the constant ticking sound from the conventional batch ALD equipment. Those are the pulses of precursor gases in the equipment chambers ticking. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Combined with the humming background noise of the ventilation system and the vacuum pumps, it is a rather relaxing sound. It is one of the very characteristics that define the atmosphere of the factory floor.
Almost 32 years and still ticking
Our factory was officially opened in 1984 and started as a display factory for electroluminescent displays of Lohja corporation. It has a very long history in the field of atomic layer deposition, from early ALD research to today’s thin film coating services, and from the design of world’s first industrial ALD equipment to the manufacturing of thin film electroluminescent displays, which is still going strong under the same roof. That is over 30 years of ALD equipment ticking at the premises.
The time between the ticks is approximately one second, give or take. One day a few weeks ago, somebody walking through the factory floor wondered out loud: how many ticks like that would fit in the almost 32 years we have run ALD equipment in this building?
Naturally, we had to count, and it turns out that the answer is – you guessed it – one billion.
World’s largest ALD factory
Today, our factory is the largest ALD factory in the world. In a way, the factory defines what Beneq is. It is the common denominator of everything we do.
In one corner, we have our own ALD research with a steady flow of innovations and IPR. In the next, the Beneq services, the home of bespoke ALD development for our customers, and in the third, the R&D of our world-leading ALD equipment business. Then we have the Lumineq displays, our own proof of concept about how ALD can be applied to industrial mass production, running in the fourth corner of the building. And the cycle closes with a feedback loop from the production lines back to the ALD research again. This house lives and breathes ALD.
In one billion seconds, the factory has seen a lot of stories and plenty of success (a few failures, too), but most of all a huge amount of projects, products and talented people that have resulted in an extraordinary pool of cumulative ALD experience that is unique in the world.
Sharing those stories and that experience is the purpose of this blog.
Towards a thinner world
The plan is to publish in the blog news about our latest products of course, but also to write background stories about the people and technology behind our services. We also want to share our vision about where we believe the business is heading, and report where our displays are used and what our customers do with the soon two hundred Beneq ALD machines around the world.
In short, the blog will be about us, the factory, and all things thin. It is about the world of Beneq in all its variety and all the interesting stories we encounter on our way towards a thinner world.
If you want to keep up with the latest in atomic layer deposition and electroluminescent displays, we invite you to follow this blog and participate in the life of the home of ALD. You can also subscribe to one of our newsletters (we have separate ones for the Lumineq displays and Beneq services and equipment) and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. It would also be great if you could give us feedback about the blog and let us know what we should write about.
So there you go: A billion seconds of ALD experience from the home of ALD at your service. Quite a ride it’s been. We are really looking forward to the next billion. We hope you enjoy the story!