Controlled by our flexible process control software,
our machines become much more than just the sum of their parts
ficonTEC has consistently retained a unique modular approach to its machine design, but this development path is not only true of the hardware, but also for the software. ProcessControlMaster (PCM) is ficonTEC’s user-friendly and process-oriented application software and control interface that is shipped with all turn-key, ready-to-use machines and multi-machine assembly lines.
PCM features an intuitive machine/process GUI that includes all machine vision, active positioning and system management routines required to reliably and repeatably drive passive/active alignment and bonding process hardware. It also comes already fully enabled for automated electro-optical test and characterization tasks, including common tests such as optical power insertion losses, spectral measurements, electrical/optical bandwidth, temperature dependence measurements, as well as for more complex modular instrumentation such as tunable laser sources, multi-channel power meters, optical switches, etc.
Flexible and scalable options already enable customized assembly and testing solutions suitable for early device development, for new product introduction, and for production. And having already addressed the issue of the increasing complexity of combined electro-optical testing with the transition to more integrated photonic devices, PCM is already tried-&-tested in high-volume environments.
For traceability requirements, testing protocols and automated testing sequences gain benefit from direct interfacing to an SQL database, providing the user with access to statistical analysis of the data.
And lastly, PCM enables as much or as little operator intervention as required, even remotely – from fully flexible, to fully automatic, to fully remote, respectively.
Fully configurable assembly and testing processes
Advanced editable process sequencing
Recipe-based management of process parameters
Pre-loaded with algorithms for machine vision and passive / active assembly
SW drivers for direct interfacing to a wide range of instrumentation
Component tracking from input/output trays and wafers
Flexible data import and export for process/yield monitoring
SQL database storage of process parameters and component data
Remote service and software upgrades via internet
System-wide implementation across all machines, for consistent ‘look & feel’
By collaborating closely on the specific manufacturing steps,
the process sequence and cycle time can be optimized
As volume requirements increase, ficonTEC can help customers with their process optimization at all stages of development and realization. By working closely with the customer and understanding their needs properly, we can lever our own extensive experience together with our combined technical process control expertise to assist in the production process design – including those aspects relating to software control. This is of particular importance in translating manual assembly and testing protocols during the migration from prototyping / low volume to full mass production.
The PCM software platform provides powerful and adaptable process tuning and sequencing that can be subsequently further optimized post-qualification by, for example, drawing on the statistical data stored in the SQL database. Yield, cycle time, device performance and cost per part can all be optimized within the available parameter space allowed by the production process, within a single cell machine or across entire production lines comprising multiple in-line machines.
Finally, for high-volume demands employing multiple identical lines, a Revision Control Server (RCS) can be implemented to synchronize process parameters across all lines, thus enabling maximum repeatability and consistency of performance and yield. Again, as for PCM, the RCS can be managed locally or remotely, the latter with obvious benefits for global players within the photonics market.
Taken together – i.e. starting to optimize each step right from the design phase, introducing innovative processes, utilizing high levels of advanced automation for even the most demanding assembly tasks, and holding it all together with tried-&-tested software control – ficonTEC provides a reliable and tried-&-tested route to high-volume manufacture.