A MACHINE-VISION BASED APPROACH TO LOW-COST OPTOELECTRONIC PACKAGING
Author: Stanley K. Ault Company: Lawrence Livermore Ntn'l Lab Date Published: 9/10/1996
Surface Mount International
Abstract: At present, the high cost of optoelectronic (OE) devices is largely due to the labor-intensive processes involved with packaging. Automating the packaging processes should result in a significant cost reduction. One of the most labor-intensive steps is aligning and attaching the fiber to the OE device, the so-called pigtailing process. Three low-cost machines were designed and built under an ARPA-funded project to perform sub-micron alignments and attachments of single-mode fibers to different OE devices. These Automated Fiber Pigtailing Machines (AFPMs) are compatible with a manufacturing environment and have a modular design for standardization of parts, and machine vision for maximum flexibility. The vision system greatly reduces mechanical fixturing constraints by requiring the critical components to be positioned only within the field of view of the camera. Object-recognition algorithms written by LLNL allow the AFPM to determine the initial locations of the OE device and the fiber. The performance goals of the AFPM are to perform each pigtailing operation in less than 3 minutes (including the epoxy curing time) and to operate unattended for up to 1 hour. The modular nature of the AFPM means that each machine may be easily customized for a particular application. This work was a collaboration among Uniphase Telecommunications Products (formerly United Technologies Photonics, UTP), Ortel, Newport Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Manufacturing Institute (MIT), and Lawrence Liverrnore National Laboratory (LLNL). KEY WORDS: Pigtailing, Automation, opto-electronic, machine-vision, packaging.