On-Demand MEMS Device Production System by Module-Based Microfactory
Kiwamu Ashida, Shizuka Nakano, Jaehyuk Park, and Jun Akedo
Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI), National Institute of Advanced Industrial and Science Technology (AIST), 1-2-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8564, Japan
Many micro-scale devices have been developed by applying micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology, but MEMS production facilities are large and costly, making it difficult to develop small numbers of trial devices. The novel on-demand MEMS device production system we developed applies two major concepts – that of the microfactory and the introduction of non-MEMS processes in microfabrication. These two concepts have made manufacturing more ecological, economical, agile, and flexible through downsizing, forming an automated production line by connecting standardized unit-processing cells, each of which has a desktop process, a part transfer robot, and a standardized connection interface. These enable any process cell to be connected in any sequence that the target product requires. Four unit-process cells were developed – the micropress cell for fabricating microstructures from thin sheet metal and the miniature aerosol deposition (AD) process cell for fabricating high-performance piezoelectric (PZT) ceramics actuators. The feasibility of the on-demand MEMS production system was demonstrated by the fabrication of a MEMS-like micromirror scanner, proving the potential of on-demand MEMS production in diversified small-lot production.
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