Used Probe Stations
The Micromanipulator Company Inc., located in Carson City, Nevada, was founded a couple of thousand years ago and has been making probe stations for the semiconductor industry ever since. They manufacture sturdy, well rounded, reliable machines, which hold their value over time better than most other brands. With amazing foresight and marketing genius, they chose black for their machine colors, which we all know, not only looks cool, never goes out of style. Today, Micromanipulator not only manufactures Probe Stations and Positioners, they also build probe tips and holders, Thermal chucks and controllers, Light Shields, Emission Microscope systems, and if rumors are true, time travel devices.
Click above to view a list of some of the models from Micromanipulator that we have worked on and try to keep in inventory.
Signatone is a company that has been making excellent probe stations for over 30 years. Their machines are probably the heaviest duty machines out there. They were definitely developed with longevity in mind. Did we mention they are heavy? Signatone took the idea of if a little is good, a lot is better when they made their castings. These machines are stout! From a rebuilder's point of view, they are a little more difficult to work on than other brands, but from a users standpoint, you just care that these machines last, which they do.
Rucker & Kolls was established in 1968. Once a major player in the probing industry they have now shifted their core business to probe card manufacturing and repair. Although they still offer a few probe stations, repair stations and positioners their main focus is on the probe card industry.
SUSS MicroTec was founded as Karl Süss in 1949 as a distributor of optical equipment. Now they are a publicly traded company and produce coating and developing systems, proximity lithography systems, substrate bonders, device bonders and probe systems. Their probe stations are always cutting edge and have every option imaginable. As standard German tradition, they are also so over designed and assembled they would probably work underwater or in zero gravity. Though not cheap, they make amazing machines.
Cascade Microtech was established in 1983 when they developed the first ever microwave wafer probe. In 1995 Cascade acquired Alessi, the largest failure analysis supplier in the market. Since then Cascade has branched out to include probe stations, software, probe cards and many other high end products for the semiconductor industry.
Electroglas was founded in 1960 as Specialty Products, a producer of glass capillaries. They soon shifted their focus to wafer probing and changed their name to Electroglas. In 1964 they produced the first commercial prober for testing semiconductor die, the EG900.
In 1973, the EG 1034x became the first prober to use a sawyer motor, enabling frictionless, high-speed wafer positioning. This motor still sets the standard, the proof being all the 1034x’s out there still running to this day.
Between 1982-1985, Electroglas introduced the EG2001, the industries first fully automated prober. It could be configured as a base machine, with no material hander, or as a fully auto, with material handler and loader.
The 1034x and 2001’s are the machines we have concentrated on over the years because they are so rugged and long lasting. The forcer platen air bearing motors just seem to last forever. No lead screws to wear out or cause missed steps. With proper care and maintenance, these machines can last virtually forever.
Unfortunately, the 1034 has been out of production for so long that parts for these machines are getting very difficult to find anymore, mainly the IC’s on the boards, as well as technicians to support them. We still have a large inventory of parts available for users in need, but have decided not to try to restock anymore.
We are still supporting and selling the EG 2001x and plan to continue to. You can also check out our NexGen link below, which is a new prober we are currently developing based on the 2001x. We also have plans to manufacture and market an electronics upgrade kit utilizing the NexGen hardware for existing 2001’s. NexGen website