Machine Platforms

A Modular Approach to Machines

Around 700 machines delivered globally,
and increasingly highly-customized, highly-automated solutions

Since starting in 2001, and now with around 700 systems in the field, ficonTEC has become the market leader when it comes to individually customized solutions for automated micro-assembly and testing of photonics-based components, micro-optic assemblies and opto-electronic devices.

Our machines employ established and industry-recognized assembly technologies – micro-positioning, active/passive precision alignment, attachment via welding, soldering and/or bonding, and optical inspection. ficonTEC also provides a suite of test capabilities for individual components and assembled hybrid opto-electronic devices. Moreover, with everything being orchestrated by our flexible process control software, the product platforms described below become so much more than just the sum of their parts.

The technologies available to ficonTEC and implemented in both the stand-alone and newer in-line machine platforms translate into a broad and established spectrum of production process capability. We are continually refining capability, modularity and design so that these systems reliably and cost-effectively meet strict efficiency and yield requirements even for cutting-edge production processes.

For the team here at ficonTEC, these tasks are already simply everyday challenges.

Product Platforms

Platforms suitable for R&D proof-of-process
through to complex, high-volume and even multi-line production

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Stand-alone machines

Traditionally our most popular and proven machine format, ficonTEC’s stand-alone machines are designed to provide as much multi-functional, multi-step assembly, bonding or testing capability as is necessary in a single cell format. With world-class performance, comprehensive customization options, and exceptional real-world reliability, these machines are best suited to complex production requirements requiring multiple process steps within a single machine system (stand-alone).

The stand-alone systems traditionally utilize machine housing formats of 300, 500/1000, 1500/2000 and up – the higher the number, the greater the available workspace and resulting modular layout flexibility. 1000er systems and above are feed-system-capable, and different feed and cassette philosophies can be implemented to best suit the exact application.

Availability: Classified according to their primary function, machine type availability includes ASSEMBLYLINE, FIBERLINE, BONDLINE, CUSTOMLINE, TESTLINE, INSPECTIONLINE, STACKLINE and WELDLINE systems.

Suitable for R&D development all the way through to volume manufacturing. Additional special purpose cells and robotic systems can be flexibly designed and incorporated to suit customer requirements. See individual product lines below for more feature details.

In-line machines

ficonTEC’s next-generation in-line machine systems utilize a newly-designed housing format, improved modularity and state-of-the-art feed-in/out capabilities in order to be in-line-capable from the ground up. These machines primarily address increasing customer demand for greater versatility together with higher volume requirements for photonic device production.

The new machine systems are available in specific in-line configurations for production line applications. They can be supplied individually as a versatile production cell designed to slot into an existing or proposed production line. Alternatively, task-optimized machine segments comprising several different systems can be supplied. In principal, even entire production lines can be envisaged, encompassing the full suite of processes required for photonics assembly and test.

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The in-line systems utilize newer machine housing formats: 400, 800, 1200, 1600 and up – the higher the number, the greater the available workspace and resulting layout flexibility.

Availability: Classified according to their primary function, the in-line machines are currently available as ASSEMBLYLINE and BONDLINE – other functional types available on request.

Suitable for R&D & NPI, cassette-to-cassette and in-line high-volume manufacturing, as well as for multiple production line set-ups operating in parallel and in sync. All in-line systems can be re-configured after product end-of-life, and thus be re-purposed for other (e.g. emerging) applications. Additional special purpose cells and robotic systems can be flexibly designed and incorporated to suit customer requirements. Please enquire for more details.

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Entry-level systems & desktop units

ASSEMBLYLINE A300 is an entry-level system designed to provide results representative of the more highly-specified stand-alone machines. A small number of optional modules are available. Typical use includes low-volume, semi- or fully-automatic high-accuracy assembly of opto-electronic and fiber-optic components, for example in micro-optical packages or onto PICs or other chip substrates.

BONDLINE B300 is a single-function desktop system providing some of the modular capabilities developed for our larger format BondLine-series. The cost-of-ownership is low, and the customizable options are limited. These units are primarily intended for laboratory use, R&D, proof-of-concept manufacturing and other low-complexity applications.

Product Lines

Just some of the machine types that form either complete,
or just part of the photonics production solutions provided by ficonTEC

Automated Photonics Assembly – ASSEMBLYLINE

High-precision, fast-active alignment stand-alone and in-line assembly solutions designed for automated production (‘align-&-attach’) of photonic devices. They uniquely combine active alignment capabilities and flexible attachment configurations with a tried and tested software control interface, all in an industry-proven design. Optional modules provide additional features (multi-functionality), with the high-end models providing automatic tool changing, beam testing capability and wafer processing.

All AssemblyLine machines utilize our AutoAlign multi-axis motion systems (see below) – high-end stages with multiple degrees-of-freedom (from 3 up) combined with state-of-the-art real-time motion controllers, guaranteeing easy and accurate sub-µm pivot-point positioning.

Stand-alone machines: ficonTEC’s stand-alone ASSEMBLYLINE machines are designed to provide as much multi-functional, multi-step align-&-attach assembly capability as possible in a single cell format. These machines are best suited to complex production requirements requiring multiple process steps within a single machine system.

In-line machines: ficonTEC’s new, next-generation ASSEMBLYLINE machine systems utilize a re-designed housing format and state-of-the-art feed-in/out capabilities in order to be production-(in)-line-capable from the ground up. They can be supplied individually as a versatile production cell designed to slot into an existing or proposed production line. Alternatively, they can be supplied in combination with additional functional type systems as task-optimized production segments.

Availability: Stand-alone as AL300, AL500/AL1000, AL2000 and as an entry-level A300-series system. In-line from A400 and up.

AL300 AL500 ASSEMBLYLINE
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Automated Fiber-Optics Assembly – FIBERLINE

FIBERLINE machines are high-precision, fast-active align-&-attach systems ideally suited for fiber-optic and waveguide-based components and devices, including fiber ribbon/arrays and silicon photonics. Various alignment lasers can be configured when attaching fibers to passive optical component such as photodiodes, PLCs, or AWGs. The wavelengths needed can be chosen from the typical bands around 1310 nm or 1550 nm. For fiber arrays multiple lasers can be controlled simultaneously. All common fiber connector types are catered to.

Like the ASSEMBLYLINE systems, FIBERLINE also utilizes our AutoAlign multi-axis motion systems (see below) – high-end translational and rotational stages with multiple degrees-of-freedom (from 3 up to 12 or more) combined with state-of-the-art real-time motion controllers, guaranteeing easy and accurate sub-µm pivot-point positioning and alignment.

The F1200 system makes use of the new in-line housing format, with all the benefits that brings (see ASSEMBLYLINE above), and also enabling a ‘re-configure & re-purpose’ pathway for continued use following product ‘end-of-life’.

FIBERLINE‘s modular and expandable concept is customizable with a range of optional modules providing additional functionality, including testing or qualification. Automated fiber handling functionality is available in other product lines on request.

F300
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Automated Precision Die Bonder – BONDLINE

Precision die bonder cells focused on passive high-resolution chip/die positioning coupled with thermal attachment (position-&-attach), with accuracies down to the micron and even sub-micron range. Feature-rich functional modules provide thermal management, multiple bond force modes and eutectic/epoxy/soldering attachment capability, thus catering to a wide range of individual bonding requirements.

BONDLINE is intended for chip-on-submount (CoS), MEMS/MOEMS and sensor assembly, as well as for other optical components, including laser diodes and hybrid assemblies on silicon photonics and other PIC devices. Optional modules provide additional features (multi-functionality), with the high-end models providing optional automatic tool changing and wafer processing capability.

Stand-alone machines: ficonTEC’s stand-alone BONDLINE machines are designed to provide as much multi-functional, multi-step position-&-attach capability as possible in a single cell format. These machines are best suited to complex production requirements requiring multiple process steps within a single machine system.

In-line machines: ficonTEC’s new, next-generation BONDLINE machine systems utilize a re-designed housing format and state-of-the-art feed-in/out capabilities in order to be production-(in)-line-capable from the ground up. They can be supplied individually as a versatile die bonder cell designed to slot into an existing or proposed production line. Alternatively, they can be they can be daisy-chained with additional functional type systems as a series of task-optimized systems for extended production segments. In principal, even entire production lines can be envisaged.

Availability: Stand-alone as BL300, BL500/BL1000 and BL2000 and as an entry-level B300-series system. In-line from B400 and up.

BL300 BL500
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Adaptable Die Bonder Platform CUSTOMLINE

Sporting the largest range of optional modules available to any ficonTEC machine system, the CustomLine (previously known as CompactLine) is our most adaptable and versatile die bonder platform. These machines are designed to provide diverse ‘quasi-off-the-shelf’ pre-configurable solutions for customers in the semiconductor and photonics assembly and packaging sector.

Comprising modular, multi-purpose die bonder cells, CustomLine can be configured for a broad range of tasks in a wide range of industrial production environments. The base systems include a pre-configured, high-precision gantry motion system that carries the tools for die bonding, beam testing capability and/or wafer handling, and already provide everything needed for an outstanding range of applications. A variety of configurable functional modules together with clean-room compliance (ISO 6) makes the system an ideal, general-purpose and industry-capable photonic device production cell.

Currently available as stand-alone systems, providing optional automatic tool changing and wafer processing capability. Designed for industrial production environments and especially suited to new product introduction (NPI).

Availability: Stand-alone as CL1500/2000. In-line formats form part of the product roadmap.

CL2000
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Opto-electronics Chip Tester – TESTLINE

Fully-automated test systems for full LIV testing as well as spectral and near-/far-field beam characterization of single laser chips, VCSELs, unmounted laser diode bars, and chip-on-submount (CoS) sources. Also available for a variety of other complex tasks, including singulated chip testing, automated optical inspection, and more. High-end models can be equipped with an optional wafer table for wafer-level testing tasks.

A more recent addition to TESTLINE capability is compatibility with PXI-based optical instrumentation modules that leverage National Instruments’ LabVIEW graphical programming environment, making integration seamless and enabling the creation of sophisticated and fully-automated, combined electro-optical test solutions to match individual requirements. A similar goal can also be achieved within non-LabVIEW and alternative instrumentation environments using modular benchtop and IOT-focused test equipment.

Stand-alone machines: ficonTEC’s stand-alone TESTLINE machines are designed to provide as much multi-functional test-&-qualify capability as possible in a single cell format. These machines are best suited to complex testing requirements requiring multiple steps within a single machine system.

TL2000
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Fully-automated Inspection – INSPECTIONLINE

Fully-automated, multiple-camera-based systems available for a variety of complex and thorough inspection tasks, achieved by acquiring high-resolution pictures of all surfaces of interest and performing optical inspection based on the user’s criteria. Available with side, top and bottom wall camera-based inspection modules. Intended also for use with coated facets of semiconductor chips and PICs. Wafer table option available. Different feeding philosophies are optionally available.

Availability: Stand-alone as IL2000.

IL2000

 

 

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Laser Diode Bar Stacking – STACKLINE

A unique machine providing fully-automated stacking and/or unstacking of laser diode bars. It can handle any combination of laser bars and spacers (dummies), generating flush or staggered stacks. It can be optionally equipped with fully-automated visual device inspection for sorting bars into the designated GelPaks or WafflePaks based on the inspection results.

Availability: Stand-alone as SL2000.

More info
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Laser Welding – WELDLINE

A 2 or 3-beam vertical configuration laser welding machine cell utilizing a fiber-coupled Nd:YAG laser and additionally featuring automatic alignment, device characterization and testing capabilities as well as sophisticated component tracking throughout the entire machine process. As standard the system includes ficonTEC‘s exclusive AccuView target viewing laser processing heads.

Availability: Currently stand-alone only.

More info
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Sub-µm multi-DOF with pivot point positioning

High-end stages combined with state-of-the-art real-time motion controllers guarantee easy and accurate positioning

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The AUTOALIGN series is ficonTEC’s range of multi-axis positioning modules, with varying degrees of translational and rotational freedom. These modules form the high-precision core of the all-important motion systems for our automated assembly machines, providing accurate and rapid positioning versatility, reliable and reproducible alignment as well as in-line process pick-&-place capability.

Starting with a ‘300’ 3-axis configuration, the AUTOALIGN systems can easily be scaled up to machines with 12 and more degrees of motion. Advanced interpolation firmware enables both fast-active alignment as well as the concept of a ‘pivot point’, the latter defining a specific reference point in space for a given component, rather than specifying single-axis coordinates. Nanometer resolution coupled with 50 nm or even 20 nm repeatability.

Some tasks require an emphasis on translational positioning, others rotational, so in every case the appropriate choice can be made to best suit the application. Wherever an exceptional placement or movement precision is required, the AUTOALIGN systems are the motion systems of choice.

AUTOALIGN systems are supplied complete with motion controllers as well a computer installed with ficonTEC’s ProcessControlMaster (PCM) user-friendly and process-oriented application software and control interface. They are shipped without a pre-installed process.