- Posted by Riccardo Gnudi
- On June 1, 2021
- 0 Comments
- Electronic nose, iQonic, Partners, SACMI
In this series of articles we take a deeper look into the activity of iQonic project partners.
An opportunity to understand and review the competences and excellences gathered by iQonic.
What is the core activity of your company and which technology is mainly developed in the iQonic project?
SACMI is a large international and multi-business group whose core business is the production of machines and complete systems for the ceramics, metals, packaging, food and beverage industries. The mainly involved sector in the iQonic project is the Quality & Process Control unit, which is dedicated to the development of inspection systems for quality control of the final products and process control along the production line.
Which progresses do you expect from the iQonic project?
The iQonic project will bring mainly two progresses. The first one is the development of an electronic nose that will be integrated in a larger sensorial network for in-line process control. This solution could be easily adapted to other sensorial networks to be applied in different manufacturing plants. The second progress is the opportunity to enter the expanding market of optoelectronics manufacturing. These progresses together represent a large potential expansion towards new markets for SACMI electronic noses, that now are mainly limited to environmental control.
Which technologies have you developed and what is their potential uset in the optoelectronic industry ?
In iQonic, we develop an electronic olfactory system (or electronic “nose”) for the detection of contaminants in optoelectronic assemblies. The main contaminant that can be found in these devices was identified as the epoxy resin that is used to fix the optical components. Sometimes this glue is deposited in excess or it does not polymerize completely, causing misalignment or interfering with the transmission of light. The electronic nose is part of the iQonic sensorial network that will be responsible for online defect detection and material evaluation.
An advantage of this technology is that the electronic nose can be adapted and trained to identify a wide variety of chemical gas contaminants in real time, both in optoelectronic manufacturing and in other production lines as well.
Which activities have you carried out in the iQonic project?
At first, an “optimal” set of six gas sensors was identified through laboratory testing of their stability and sensitivity to the emissions of the target compound. The electrical response of the gas sensors was recorded in presence of increasing quantities of epoxy resin in polymerized and non-polimerized state. Some of the selected sensors were realized in our laboratory by serigraphic printing, while the remaining are commercially available. Then, these sensors were assembled inside an electronic nose that was “trained” to identify the presence of contamination.
In parallel with laboratory testing required to set-up the device, it was established a remote communication protocol between SACMI electronic nose and the project partner Sensap. Data collected from the nose are stored in real-time in a web database. Sensap can retrieve data from this database, gather them with data coming from other components of the sensorial network and route this information towards the Holonix iLike platform.