A technology module is reducing waste enormously
Together with partners from industry, the Fraunhofer IPT has developed a new approach to the production of optical micro-lenses. It reduces what until now has been an extremely high reject rate to a fraction of what it is currently.2 Nov 2019 Barbara Rusch
In the production of micro-optical systems, the reject rate is often around 40% because of the high level of precision required. In order to reduce this rate, increase product quality and lower investment costs, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) in Aachen together with Innolite GmbH and Polyoptics GmbH has developed an approach to production in which the systems are constructed in modular fashion from several individual lenses with different focal lengths. This allows compensation for optical deviations; the reject rate then falls to a percentage in the low single digits.
For this purpose, the consortium is opting, among other things, for a tool concept for injection molding suitable for series production, by means of which plastic lenses of the highest quality can be produced. Characterization of the individual micro-optics with measurement technology and transfer of the information to the assembly line facilitates assembly of the entire system for mass production while meeting the highest tolerance requirements. With the aid of a tolerance matching process, suitable lenses can be combined with one another in such a way that deviations in the tolerances of the individual lenses balance one another out.
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