AssemblyBlog is intended to be a forum for commentary on manufacturing issues, as well as a venue for letting you know about cool, er, interesting and innovative technology. This posting falls into the latter category.
The Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has introduced a microfactory for automated assembly of watches, sensors, medical devices and other small, complex products.
The microfactory consists of a series of miniature robotic modules. Each module is a cube with 100-millimeter sides. The module consists of a ultrasmall delta robot, a transfer system, a feeder mechanism, and any tools, such as a dispensing valve, that are specific to the application. When connected in a series, the modules form a complete miniature factory.
The robot, PocketDelta, is a pint-sized version of such robots as the Quattro from Adept Technology and the IRB 340 FlexPicker from ABB. The work envelope of the PocketDelta is 60 millimeters wide, 60 millimeters long, and 30 millimeters high. The robot can move with three or four degrees of freedom. It has a maximum acceleration of 10 g, and it has a repeatability of less than 2 microns.
For more information on the microfactory, click here. You can see nifty videos of the robot at work here.