Dr Stephen Ormrod, Chief Technology Officer, and Nigel Schofield, Technical Manager for Core Technology will consider the key drivers behind today’s vacuum pump technology and discuss future developments in a paper entitled ‘Vacuum Processing for the 21st Century’ on Monday 9th November. Edwards believes product design will be driven by the demands of a few critical and rapidly growing applications: semiconductor and solar panel manufacture, scientific instrument development and high purity steel processing. Nigel Hunton, Chief Cxecutive of Edwards said: “Vacuum processing has come a long way since it was first developed for lamp manufacture at the beginning of the 20th century. The inventors of the early mercury based technology would hardly recognise today’s dry and turbo molecular pumps, and we now use vacuum in a vast range of industrial applications. Edwards believes pump safety and reducing the carbon footprint will play a significant role in the future and designers will need to consider reducing purge dilution gases and reducing pump power consumption, to reduce the contribution of vacuum pumps to global warming.