Fully automated station for MEMS is a first

The Onyx32 provides extreme precision and accuracy for reworking tiny photonics and MEMS devices. Proprietary hot-bar nozzle technology with integrated hypodermic vacuum pick-up uses ramp-controlled conductive heating, which prevents thermal shock and keeps devices as close as 0.010 in away from reflowing. Motion control is via FireBlox modules (not shown) from Adept Technology.
The Onyx32 provides extreme precision and accuracy for reworking tiny photonics and MEMS devices. Proprietary hot-bar nozzle technology with integrated hypodermic vacuum pick-up uses ramp-controlled conductive heating, which prevents thermal shock and keeps devices as close as 0.010 in away from reflowing. Motion control is via FireBlox modules (not shown) from Adept Technology.

A rework station with enough accuracy to handle MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) is billed as the first to be fully automated. The Onyx32 from Air-Vac Engineering Co. Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., incorporates an overhead Cartesian robot that moves in X, Y, Z and θ. The machine automatically zeros in on chip features to within 4 microns thanks to vision software called HexSight from Adept Technology Inc., Livermore, Calif.

The base software package identifies objects and patterns regardless of their orientation or scale. Automated alignment takes place through "model matching," recognition of chip features from stored patterns or from CAD data. Air-Vac also customizes the software to handle special geometries that crop up in MEMS, photonics, RF ICs, and high-density chip packages.

A force-measurement system automatically controls final Z-axis positioning. Ultralow force placement (5 gm) is a key attribute with the MEMS and photonic devices the tool normally works with. Position control takes place through use of a servomotor controller called FireBlox-1, also from Adept Technology. The controller is so named because it employs IEEE-1394 (FireWire) networking. Each FireBlox module contains amplifiers to drive two servomotors plus I/O. The small size and mass of the modules also lets them reside on moving axes if need be, near the sensors and motors they power.

The positioning system lets the Onyx32 handle rework and assembly tasks commonly arising with laser diodes, thermistors, detectors, submounts, and similar components. A toolchanger automatically changes nozzles to handle jobs such as precise pick-up and place, selective hot-gas soldering and desoldering, fluxing, and cleaning.

Make contact:


Adept Technology Inc., Livermore, Calif., (925) 245-3400, www.adept.com
Air-Vac Engineering Co. Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., (760) 438-9363, www.air-vac.com