ficonTEC revamps its optical component production strategy

Created October 5, 2018
News and Business

The rapidly-growing demand for ever more complex optical components in high volumes is rippling through every part of the industry, and the production line is no exception. Keeping step with recent developments and predicted demand, Germany-based photonics assembly and testing company ficonTEC Service GmbH has announced a comprehensive modernisation of its product strategy. The new strategy addresses the increasing customer focus on in-line production line applications, while at the same time retaining continuity for existing customers.

Initially, new assembly machine systems, utilising a newly-designed housing format and state-of-the-art feed-in/out capabilities, will be offered in specific ‘in-line’ configurations for production line applications. The new machines primarily address increasing customer demand for greater versatility together with higher volume requirements for photonic device assembly. However, as the new housing format has already been designed to be compatible with other ficonTEC assembly and production machine types, the in-line product portfolio can be readily and flexibly expanded to suit individual customer production needs.

The new machine format can be supplied either individually as a versatile production cell designed to slot into an existing or proposed production line, or as task-optimised machine segments comprising several different systems. In principle, even extended production line segments can be envisaged, encompassing a range of production processes as required for photonics assembly, packaging and testing.

While retaining all of the popular customer-oriented features of ficonTEC’s existing stand-alone systems – including individual customisation options and process optimisation via collaborative R&D – the new in-line systems additionally provide much improved support for high-volume production requirements, for example, for that associated with the highly visible transition to integrated photonics approaches for component manufacturing.

For customers and key activities requiring continuity with previous product lines, the entire range of current machine systems – including assembly, fibre, bond, custom, test, inspection, stack and welder stand-alone systems, as well as individual table-top units and desktop modules – will continue to be available indefinitely. All stand-alone products remain configurable with any number of ficonTEC’s proprietary assembly and test modules as well as industry-recognised technologies and capabilities. They will also continue to benefit from improvements in ficonTEC’s successful process control software.

This update also forms the basis for ficonTEC’s long-term product platform strategy leading well in to the next decade, in that all current stand-alone products will eventually transition to the new housing format. Stand-alone operability will remain as a standard machine option where required by the customer process, but the new format will allow additional benefits with regards to inter-operability and servicing.

ficonTEC’s process control software will continue to tie everything together, providing a consistent look and feel across all products, old and new. However, the new in-line products do allow greater advantage to be taken of the remote monitoring and revision control features already built-in to the software, for example, where a revision control server provides both process optimisation and synchronisation across multiple machine operating in parallel production lines.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.