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AHAA

Advanced Handling, Assembly and Testing Technologies for Mini/Micro Systems

At early stage, the micro components were simple and normally could be integrated directly to the products. To satisfy the broad requirements of different users and applications, the recent development in microsystem technology results in large variety of micro components made from different materials and technologies - including both complex monolithic structure and hybrid components. Thus, the demand of visual quality control, handling and testing of those micro components increases dramatically.

Handling and inspection of mini/micro systems is different from conventional procedures; the main reason is the adhesion forces - such as van der Waals forces, electrostatic forces and capillary forces - which become more dominant than inertial and gravity between those tiny components. Such change of dominant physical quantities is commonly referred as the scaling effect. When we handle micro components, normally it is easy to pick up the component but releasing and accurate placement is difficult. Manual handling of micro components is extremely difficult and time consuming, if not impossible. Quality control of the mini/micro systems is challenging due to factors such as the small scale, positioning accuracy, adhesion forces, inhomogeneous surface properties and various disturbances. The environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and mechanical vibration can greatly influence the performance of actuators, sensors, handling and quality control tasks. To make a high-performance system for handling and inspection of micro components, we need a controllable environment, suitable precision micromanipulation devices, high accuracy microscopic machine vision, and intelligent algorithm implemented with software that tackles all of the tasks.

In this project, we develop advanced inspection and handling systems and methods for mini/micro products and components. The objective of the project is to develop advanced technologies for handling, inspection and quality control of MEMS, optoelectronical and microfluidic components, based on the previous research results.

The research will stress the requirements of end-users, both industries and research institutes. The research topics include inspection and quality control of micro components, intelligent 3D manipulation/positioning system based on sensors and machine vision, novel self-aligning/positioning/assembly methods, environmental influences on handling of microparts, and measurement of distribution of surface forces.

Research partners: Tampere University of Technology. Industrial partners: VTT Industry Systems, VTI Technologies, Wallac Perkin Elmer, Modulight and ZET Systems. Financed by: National Technology Development Agency of Finland (TEKES).

Staff