• Innovation is Key to Success

    INNOVATION IS KEY TO SUCCESS

    At Fit-Line Global we constantly push ourselves to develop the highest-quality products, achieve efficient processes, and meet the evolving needs of our customers.

    For over twenty-five years, we’ve worked tirelessly to understand those customers’ needs and develop solutions to support their KPIs and “go-to-market” strategies. That’s why we expect our associates to be innovative. We want to find ways through our business practices to change the way we do business. That’s the culture we are trying to drive. Where everyone feels free to express themselves in areas that bring out the best in Fit-Line Global.

    We believe in the importance of innovation and the spirit of human ingenuity. By supporting innovation to push the limits of what can be done, we enable advancements in technology on a global scale.

    In 2015, SEMI published the new industry standard for measuring the amount of iron contamination in PFA materials (tube, valves, fittings, resin) used in the semiconductor industry for liquid chemical distribution. And, in response to that, we made several capital equipment investments to push the boundaries of what we can offer our clients.

    In 2018, only two and half years after the new standard was published, we successfully announced that our innovative manufacturing process was successful in meeting the SEMI C90-1015 standard. Meeting the standard has officially made Fit-Line Global the first organization in the world to become C90-1015 compliant for PFA fittings. The announcement was recently posted to the SEMI website (http://www1.semi.org/en/press/fit-line-global-becomes-first-develop-high-purity-semi-c90-1015-compliant-pfa-fittings)

    Our goal is to have a culture around innovation where every associate feels like their efforts help to make Fit-Line Global a better place and help make our customers more successful. That way they really feel engaged in what they’re doing every day and what they do matters.

    To learn more about Fit-Line Global, visit www.fit-lineglobal.com.

  • First to Develop High Purity Semi C90-1015 Compliant PFA Fittings

    Fit-Line Global becomes first to develop High Purity SEMI C90-1015 Compliant PFA fittings

    There are certain moments in an organization’s history that define the company and the path it is on. Monumental moments of accomplishment and innovation. At Fit-Line Global, one of those moments has occurred.

    Fit-Line Global is proud to announce that it has become the first high-purity component supplier to become SEMI C90-1015 compliant.

    SEMI C90-1015 is the new industry standard for measuring and limiting the amount of Iron contamination in PFA materials used in the semiconductor industry for liquid chemical distribution systems. The company achieved this monumental development through its proprietary manufacturing process, which includes injection molding, a 5-stage cleaning process, and packaging in a Class 1000 Clean Room.

    Several PFA fitting samples were tested by Balazs™ NanoAnalysis in accordance with the SEMI C90-1015 specification. All samples passed well below the limits of 5 µg/m².

    “At Fit-Line Global, we are committed to meet the future needs of industry leading integrated device manufacturers that require consistency and quality control of all the products for high-volume manufacturing use,” said George Alvarado, vice president and general manager. “Becoming C90 compliant was achieved through a significant capital equipment investment by the company and amazing ingenuity from our team of engineers and process technicians. This is a proud and momentous achievement for Fit-Line Global and the semiconductor industry.”

    The new industry standard for measuring the amount of Iron contamination in PFA materials (tube, valves, fittings, resin) used in the semiconductor industry for liquid chemical distribution was first published by the SEMI organization in 2015.

    To learn more about this break-through achievement, contact a Fit-Line Global representative today.

  • FLG Brand Fit-Line Inc. rebrands to become Fit-Line Global

    Fit-Line Inc. Rebrands with New Name, Logo, and Brand Identity

    Change is good. Change is important. Change helps to companies evolve to become something bigger and better than once perceived. For us at Fit-Line Inc., change has come in the form of a new brand identity, including a modernized name, logo, website, and refreshed look and feel for all branded experiences. We have officially changed our name to Fit-Line Global™. The name change is a result of an extensive rebranding effort designed to mirror the success and impact of our organization.

    “Fit-Line is an instantly recognized name in the semiconductor industry; however, the brand’s identity hasn’t evolved over the past 25 years,” said Frank Hayes, president and founder. “To thrive in this industry, product delivery and quality is imperative. We wanted to modernize and elevate the brand in a design that is simple, yet unquestionably Fit-Line.”

    The name Fit-Line Global takes into consideration our many partners and wide distribution network located in many countries around the world. Designing a brand mark to work seamlessly across all platforms and in multiple countries, while preserving the history was key to the overall effort. The new website (fit-lineglobal.com) is built on the latest responsive technology and is designed to be user-friendly and tell the complete story of Fit-Line Global’s history, product offerings, and service to the semiconductor industry.

    The success we have had during our 25-year history can be attributed to our commitment to quality products, delivered with the fastest lead time in the industry, and at a fair price. With these new changes, we bring forth a renewed and expanded commitment to our customers and relationship. In the spirit of rebranding, we will continue to bridge new gaps while simultaneously expanding our resources and capabilities across the semiconductor industry.

    The new brand identity is now live and will be integrated in all products, systems, and experiences over the next 60 days.

    To learn more about Fit-Line Global , contact a Fit-Line Global representative today.

  • TruFASTEN Torque Wrenches - Fit-Line Global Product Three Key Factors to Create Leak-Free Fitting Assemblies

    Three Key Factors to Create Leak-Free Fitting Assemblies

    Operational efficiency is a critical factor in the fluid processing industry. The synergy of fitting components and assembly technology to achieve this objective is the focus of Fit-Line Global (Fit-Line). Applying extensive polymer technology and injection molding expertise, the company has analyzed the design, tooling and manufacturing processes required to create high-performance solutions for demanding high-purity fluid processing applications. Through extensive R&D, testing and evaluation, Fit-Line Global has isolated three variables that need to be addressed to ensure leak-free fitting assemblies.

    Variable #1 – Fitting Quality

    The first variable is the quality of fittings. Producing fittings for the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, biotech, life science and ultra-pure water industries requires adherence to extremely stringent quality standards. Fit-Line Global manufactures FlareLINK standard and custom PFA and PVDF fittings using precise design, high-quality resins and advanced injection-molding technology. From engineering to packaging, all processes are handled in-house for maximum production quality control and fast order turnaround. To eliminate cross-contamination, dedicated molds and process equipment are used exclusively in component production. Proprietary cleaning and packaging processes are conducted in an ISO 14644 Class 1000 Clean Room.

    Variable #2 – Tube Flaring Quality

    The industry-accepted standard process of flaring tubing on-site using a handheld heat gun can introduce several quality control issues. Research has shown that the problems inherent to this fabrication method include inconsistent and uneven heating of tubing circumferences, limited repeatability and the excessive amount of time required to create precise tube flares.

    To eliminate errors and reduce rejection rates, the use of well-designed, semiautomated hot tube flaring systems has proven to be an effective method to create precise, standard and repeatable tube flares.

    Fit-Line’s uniquely-engineered bench top and mobile TruFLARE systems feature custom heaters and mandrels that form and rapidly create flared tube ends for standard size fluoropolymer tubing. A key advantage of these systems is that the flared tube ends do not require immediate assembly, which is often the case with other rudimentary hot flaring systems.

    Application results using this flaring technology have demonstrated significant improvements over alternative flaring methods. In studies measuring fabrication time, it has been reported that high-throughput tube flares can be created substantially faster. Customer applications show that time required to create accurate tube flares can be reduced to five minutes or less. In addition, it has been reported that the use of TruFLARE technology has resulted in measurable decreases in rejection rates and material cost savings.

    Variable #3 – Nut Tightening Methods

    The final variable isolated by Fit-Line in the pursuit of leak-free fitting assemblies is the method used to tighten assemblies to the required torque value. Hand tightening, a commonly-used practice, will not produce a consistent and accurate flared assembly seal. This method is dependent on a person’s hand strength. To eliminate this variable and correctly tighten nuts to a required torque value, a separate torque wrench and nut adapter is used.

    While the use of a torque wrench and nut adapter can provide more consistency, this combination is more complicated. This requires additional training and time for torque calculations. The wrench design offerings prevalent in the high purity fittings industry present an ergonomic challenge, since they must be properly aligned with nut splines.

    To avoid calibration difficulties and labor-intensive processes, skipping the use of a torque wrench and overtightening to ensure a tight seal might seem like the best approach. However, overtightening creates stress on the plastic that might not be apparent immediately, but when in use will result in leaks.

    After extensive engineering and market research, Fit-Line developed TruFASTEN, a proprietary technology designed to ensure leak-free assemblies. Simplicity of use is an important characteristic of this tightening solution so that the procedure can be readily adapted into the production process. Calibrated to preset torque values based on nut size, the wrench claw clicks over when required torque value is reached. A quick ratcheting action allows the nut to be rapidly tightened. TruFASTEN’s compact design fits easily into hard to reach spaces and is available in five different sizes. Wrenches are color-coded for use with PFA and PVDF nuts.

    To validate the integrity of Fit-Line fittings assembled with TruFLARE tube flaring systems and TruFASTEN torque wrenches, we performed a series of temperature and pressure tests using PFA fittings with PVDF and PFA nuts.

    Temperature and Pressure Cycle Test

    Purpose

    The objective of this test is to determine the best assembly methods required to maintain a leak-free flare assembly while withstanding mechanical stresses induced by alternating high and low temperature and pressure cycles.

    Scope

    The test applies to ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, ½-inch, ¾-inch and one-inch fitting assemblies. A master assembly that includes all five fitting sizes along with PFA tubing is to be pressurized with deionized water from 20 psi to 120 psi and water temperature to be cycled from 18⁰C to 95⁰C.

    Test

    A master assembly was built to test a series of fitting assemblies that included five sizes, ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, ½-inch, ¾-inch and one inch. Refer to Figure 1. Each tube was flared using Fit-Line’s TF416 and MTF416 TruFLARE units and each nut was tightened using TruFASTEN torque wrenches. Each nut was tightened at room temperature.

    Fig 1. Test Setup

    The master assembly was subjected to the following two temperature cycles:

    1. Cycle 1 was set at 18⁰C for 80 minutes with intermittent pressure cycles at 20 psi and 120 psi. Each pressure cycle was held for 5 minutes. In summary, Cycle 1 subjected the master assembly to 18⁰C at 20 psi for 40 minutes and 120 psi for 40 minutes.
    2. Cycle 2 is the same as Cycle 1, except the temperature was set at 95⁰C.

    The difference in temperature and pressure was created to expand and contract the connections within the master assembly to test the integrity of the seals.

    Table 1 – Cycle 1

    Table 2 – Cycle 2

    Test Results

    The fittings and flared connections were stressed by expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and varying pressures for 150 hours. None of the fittings leaked upon the conclusion of the test. One notable observation was made: under Condition D (95⁰C at 120 psi), the one-inch tubing expanded by five percent, 1.00 to 1.05. Tube sizes ¼-inch to ½-inch expanded by three percent and ¾-inch expanded by five percent. The tubing expansion and contraction verifies that each fitting connection experienced cyclic stresses without any leaks.

    Conclusion

    This research demonstrates the critical relationship between quality assembly elements and innovative production methods, as well as how they contribute to efficient, leak-free fitting assemblies.

    To learn more about how Fit-Line’s focus on innovative engineering can help you achieve maximum productivity and the highest levels of quality processing, contact a Fit-Line Global representative today.