One of the key considerations in any micro manufacturing project is “design for manufacture” (DFM). All too often, innovative designs end up on the scrap heap as they are impossible to manufacture, and this can cost companies millions in wasted time and effort. With this in mind, it is vital to make the right selection of your micro manufacturing sub-contract partner well and early. Engaging a well-qualified partner early will avoid the pitfalls that many companies encounter, and ensure that all DFM considerations are addressed and overcome. Micro Engineering Solutions (MES) understands that the preparation required for micro components at the design stage carries through all the way to automated assembly. Because the tolerances are critical and reduce down to microns and sub-microns, the stack-up tolerances of the micro components and their design criteria are scrutinized. Early on in the project the appropriate method of manufacturing for long-term, high volume production must be considered. Very often we are dealing with micro components that are fully functioning specks of dust, and this requires an intimate understanding of all aspects of micro assembly, testing, and inspection. Handling these components is a constant challenge. It requires high-speed automation capable of capturing such minute parts; in-line metrology and vision systems to ensure form, fit, and function; and positional accuracy of these components to one another to sub-micron tolerances. Such joining/assembly considerations and techniques include: Avoidance of handling: facilitated by combining geometry into the least number of parts in a micro assembly, minimizing the need for part handling Two-Shot Micro Molding / Over-Molding: two-shot molding (using 2 injection barrels with two different materials) injecting into a mold at two different locations or in the same location with a rotating mold Laser Welding: careful control of laser energy and power densities that can be used to selectively clean and strip materials such as wires quickly and non-destructively Ultrasonic Welding: very tiny (70-100 um) weld beads are possible with custom low-energy boosters and ultrasonic horns Solvent Bonding: appropriate solvents must be used that are compatible with the materials being solvent-bonded, especially if the assembly is to be used as an implantable device Staking: crimping or staking is a very common practice that generates good seals thereby preventing costly fluids from escaping the micro vessel MES is expert in the most appropriate micro manufacturing and assembly techniques for your medical/pharmaceutical project. In all successful projects, MES is engaged early and is a strategic partner in our client’s micro manufacturing and assembly endeavours.
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