AEi was contracted to provide a comprehensive solution for the automated manufacturing of fiber optic transmitters and receivers for a high end aerospace application. This included design for manufacturing services and substantial process development and validation, in addition to the complete automation systems.

Platforms & Products:

  • FlexAuto
  • Photonics Module Align, Assembly and Test (PMAT)

Processes & Tools:

  • Active Alignment
  • Epoxy Dispense and Cure
  • Laser Processing

Application Requirements:

  • Clip design to allow for post-weld re-bend
  • Design for manufacturing analysis
  • Process prototyping
  • Interchangeable tooling
  • Vision guided pick and place of components
  • Laser welding
  • Post-weld re-bending of ferrule clips
  • Epoxy dispense and cure
  • Solder reflow

AEi used a full-featured version of its PMAT optical assembly system for this application. This included both the laser weld process and epoxy attach and cure options to automatically find first light and peak power, automatically weld and epoxy multiple optical elements, and perform post-weld re-alignment using force feedback. All test and process equipment was fully automated and integrated into the system. Four digital cameras performed a wide range of machine vision processes, including pick and place of components from gel and waffle packs. The machine vision incorporates pattern recognition for improved process reliability and repeatability.