Navigating the End of ZEISS Support for LEO SEMs: How SEMTech Solutions Can Help

ZEISS has announced they are discontinuing support for their LEO line of scanning electron microscopes (SEMs). The company has been supporting LEO SEMs for the past 20 years with ongoing and preventive maintenance. If you’re operating a LEO SEM, what does this change mean for you and the overall health and performance of your SEM?

Why Is ZEISS Ending Support for LEO SEMs?

Since 2004, LEO has been operated completely under ZEISS. The company has continued to service LEO machines, providing ongoing parts and maintenance services as necessary. However, this is coming to an end; ZEISS has already ended support for many LEO models, and they will be ending support for the majority of these LEO SEMs in the near future. Why are they ending support?

Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) introduce “end of life” terms for their legacy tools. It’s essential to recognize that each OEM operates under its unique set of rules and contracts, which can vary from one company to another. Therefore, the terms of support and maintenance are often dictated by specific agreements between the OEM and its customers, not by a universal industry standard.

A widespread misconception among SEM users is that manufacturers are required to provide support for a minimum of five to seven years. However, this is not the case — OEMs are only obligated to offer support as outlined in their individual contracts, meaning that support can end at any time as long as it doesn’t contradict contractual agreements in place.

This case-by-case approach to maintenance and support allows OEMs like ZEISS to make strategic decisions about when to discontinue services for older models and focus efforts on their newer systems.

What Does this Mean for LEO Users?

ZEISS has been supporting LEO models since the acquisition in 2004, but they have now made the decision that contract holders will no longer be able to renew for continued service. If you’re a current LEO user, what does this shift mean for you?

If your upcoming budget can support it, you might consider purchasing a new or refurbished SEM, as a newer piece of equipment will be supported for years to come. But what if your current SEM model is still serving its purpose, and an upgrade simply isn’t in the budget right now? What happens next?

In the short-term, you may find that nothing has changed. Your LEO SEM will still work as it has been. However, as any SEM user knows, routine maintenance is important and should not be ignored. When it’s time for preventive maintenance or emergency repairs, ZEISS may not be able to provide this support, so it’s essential that you have a plan in place.

What Are My Options for LEO Support and Maintenance?

Just because ZEISS is stopping support does not mean that your SEM is at the end of its life. If your SEM is still working, you may be able to work with another company that knows how to service your LEO SEM.

SEMTech Solutions stands ready to support LEO scanning electron microscopes. With over 20 years of experience servicing SEMs from all major OEMs, we offer comprehensive maintenance contracts tailored to meet the needs of LEO users.

Our maintenance services include:

  1. Per Diem Servicing: Access expert assistance as needed, whether for breakdowns or specific operational challenges.
  2. Preventive Maintenance: Regular routine services to ensure your SEM operates efficiently, reducing the risk of unexpected failures.
  3. Full Coverage Service: Yearly service support contracts are available for many LEO SEMs.
  4. SEMView8000 Technology Upgrades – Beyond basic maintenance, SEMTech Solutions can enhance your existing SEM with the latest technology. Our WIN11 SEMView8000 system offers advanced imaging and increased security features. SEMs upgraded with SEMView8000 are eligible for our full coverage maintenance contracts.

Working with the Right Partner

The end of ZEISS support for LEO SEMs is coming soon, whether or not you’re ready for it. The best way to protect your investment is to find a maintenance partner before your SEM needs parts or support.

SEMTech Solutions is here to ensure that your transition is as smooth as possible. We’re here to help you determine the best course of action for your SEM, and to guarantee that you have a partner you can count on when maintenance needs arise.

Don’t wait — contact SEMTech Solutions today. Our experts are ready to help you protect your SEM for years to come.