- Posted by iqonic
- On June 6, 2022
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On May 17th members of the iQonic project consortium met at FILAR Optomaterials SRL in Tortoli, Sardinia, to discuss the implementations and outcomes of the two use cases of the pilot within the project both connected to crystal manufacturing and assembly. The partner present at the event were FILAR, HiLASE, Fraunhofer, Sensap, Polimi, PRIMA, ficonTEC, Holonix and Core.
The first use case was presented by Georgios Kouzas for Sensap, concerning the crystal manufacturing at FILAR. This process is a complex chain of procedures, comprising crystal growth, drilling out rods from the bulk crystal, and finally manufacturing rods and discs like components by shaping the rod via cutting lapping and polishing. Although crystal growth itself already poses a high potential for image processing closed-loop control of the growth process, as pointed out by Mahmoud Aburish-Hmidat, Technical Production Supervisor at FILAR, within iQonic project the partners focus on the rod drilling process. An ultrasonic drilling machine is equipped with various types of sensors (temperature, humidity, ultrasonic frequency, grinding liquid composition) to monitor the ultrasonic enhanced drilling and grinding process in more detail, aiming for a more stable drilling and grinding process, which is at the moment the quality limiting factor. Sensor data are gathered by Daedalus gateway, deployed by project partner Sensap, and are currently collected and analysed in collaboration with the partners Holonix (KBS, middleware layer) and Polimi (data consumer).
Figure 1: The ultrasonic drilling and grinding machine
The second use case of the pilot presented by Erik Beckert for F-IOF and HiLASE, consists of the assembly of thin disc crystals on heat sinks, for high power disc laser applications proposed by the project partner HiLASE Centre. Fraunhofer IOF reported about the assembly process, using a pick&place bonder by partner FiconTEC, and about the data that is gathered there for contamination, bonding force and alignment accuracy. Challenges for achieving a high-power stable, thin and homogeneous bonding gap between the crystal disc and the heatsink were illustrated and discussed.
The FILAR I+II use case covers both component manufacturing and integration, and relevant data gathered during specific technological processes within both parts of the manufacturing chain. It is the only use case where component’s manufacturing is directly involved, the type of data thus broadens the scope of iQonic project from components characterization and integration data towards direct bulk manufacturing data – linking these data to later performance indicators potentially enables the full control along the photonics value chain.
To conclude, the exploitation opportunities of the use case results were also discussed. FILAR is one of the SMEs within the iQonic consortium, however, the results can also be deployed to other components manufacturers (very often other SMEs), in particular for the gateway provided by Sensap and the overlaying Knowledge Base System and middleware layer deployed by Holonix. There will be also an exploitation opportunity for the thin disc assemblies, which is currently investigated by partner HiLASE Centre.
Figure 2: Happy together during lunch break