Process fingerprint for zero-defect net-shape micromanufacturing (MICROMAN)
Duration: May 2015 – May 2019
Significant growth in demand for high-precision, complex, micro-components is inevitable. The growth is driven by expansion of medical applications and consumer goods, which require micro-lenses, micro-gears, micro-moulds, etc. The micro-components find their application in many products, such as smartphones, hearing-aids, watches, hand-held computers, etc. Thanks to advances in manufacturing technology, various types of micro-components can be produced. At this point, regardless how advances the manufacturing technology may be, metrology is the bottle-neck for further progress of the technology. Only by using metrology can the process be improved or the component’s quality can be assured.
Coordinate metrology, mostly using tactile coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), has established itself as a common way to measure the geometry or form of components. However, part accessibility and slow measurement speed are the main drawbacks of tactile CMMs when used for geometric measurement of micro-parts and to be integrated for in-line metrology. Also, surface texture measurement for micro-components is often critical because the functionality of a component’s, e.g. wear resistance, is highly correlated to its surface texture. The project aims to develop a fast and high-accuracy non-contact measuring system which can be integrated in-line into a micro-manufacturing system, producing high-precision and complex component. The developed optical instrument will address both form and surface texture metrology. In addition, calibration methods and a performance verification infrastructure will be developed to ensure the optical instrument’s traceability.
Example of focus-variation microscopy integrated with micro-EDM machine for online inspection and process parameters compensation to assure the accuracy of part’s geometry. Courtesy of ALICONA