Recent advances in intelligent, multi-DOF micro-robotic mechanisms have reduced the time required for submicron multichannel alignment by a factor of 100. Today these subsystems are successfully reducing costs and time-to-market for device manufacturers. Two paths have emerged for implementation in assembly automation tools: custom, often in-house machine development, and flexible systems from dedicated toolmakers. We discuss these two paths, the similarities to the semiconductor industry’s evolution. and solutions that are enabling both paths. The impact of the coronavirus is putting a focus on this worldwide as players seek contract manufacturing capability outside of China.
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