When it comes to electronics and microsystems, the trend towards miniaturization calls for adapted manufacturing and automation solutions. Today, scales have a reached a level no-one would have believed possible a decade ago. A transistor on an integrated circuit is smaller than any battery, sensors are just a few millimeters in size and some screws are so small you need a magnifying glass to see them.
This trend involves major challenges both for humans and machines in the manufacturing industry. For example, accuracy in the micrometer range has become a must in production and assembly processes, and optics and mechanics demand specific surface characteristics. Besides the challenge simply to achieve this degree of precision, it is essential that components, equipment and the surroundings are sufficiently clean to guarantee the necessary quality when a product is manufactured.
Manufacturers of electronic products, microsystems and industrial equipment are increasingly being faced with complex issues that demand an interdisciplinary approach. With its expertise in materials, surface engineering, microassembly, testing technology, automation, production control and logistics, as well as cleanroom and cleaning technology, Fraunhofer IPA provides manufacturers with the solutions they need.