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Automated Microassembly

Automated Microassembly

SmarAct is well known to manufacture complex, customer-specific positioning and manipulation systems. This includes fully automated microassembly stations, which require accurate positioning in multiple axes, as well as sophisticated gripping, aligning and joining solutions.
Active alignment routines with integrated and external positioning feedback are key features to get the maximum performance. Besides manipulators and controllers, SmarAct develops application-specific software and processes.
Whether you need individual components, a hand-operated station or a completely automated system, you define the level of automation and we will support you with our experience.

Active Alignment Applications

  • Fast and slow axis collimation
  • Diffractive optical elements
  • Micro lenses and micro lens arrays
  • Fiber and fiber arrays
  • Micro sensors
  • and more…

Process Control through Scripting Framework

Process control is achieved through our scripting framework. This includes movement sequences and triggering alignment routines. Each script is user-editable, and depending on the level of automation required.
In addition to interfacing SmarAct positioning systems third party hardware, such as camera sensors, power meters, as well as digital and analog I/O devices are already supported.

Case study: Automated FAC Alignment Station

The FAC Alignment Station automates the assembly of Fast Axis Collimation (FAC) lenses to laser diodes. The complete process, starting with contacting laser modules up to the final measurements of beam collimation after adhesive curing.
The alignment of the lens in front of a multi-emitter laser diode bar is achieved in less than 25 seconds.

Loading: Upon loading, the laser modules are centered and connected automatically. The laser mount serves as heat sink.

Dispensing: Adhesive is dispensed in just the right amount. Here we employ a needle valve dispenser.

Gripping: A SmarAct micro gripper is used to manipulate the lens.

Active alignment: Sensor feedback from the beam analysis optics is used to precisely align the lens in front of the laser using a SmarPod.

Post-cure measurement: After curing the final optical characteristics are measured.

Unloading: The assembled module is released to be unloaded.

Key Facts
    Laser diode bars
  • Visible and near infrared wavelengths
  • Operation at up to 50 W pulsed
    Alignment resolution using SmarPod
  • Down to 1 nm translational steps
  • Down to 1 µrad rotational steps
    Active alignment
  • Single and multiple emitters
  • Alignment in less than 25 seconds
  • Customized gripper jaws for deterministic gripping
  • Gripper jaws for objects from 50 µm to several cm
  • Force-feedback gripping for delicate objects
    Aligment station features
  • Automatic laser module clamping and referencing
  • Needle valve, volumetric or jet dispensers
  • Integrated UV-curing source
    Control software
  • User interface for monitoring and manual control
  • Scripting interface for process developement
  • Customized GUI for small series production