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News

Microstructure specialist Tecan, has manufactured over 2,000,000 microscopic calibration bars

Tecan : 20 June, 2006  (New Product)
In response to an unusually challenging customer request, Dorset based microstructure specialist Tecan, has manufactured over two million microscopic calibration bars with sub-micron tolerances, for a leading chemicals manufacturer.
The micro-calibration bars were designed to verify the exact size of particles within new compounds in order to ensure they comply with the standards set by an industry regulator. In addition to being exceptionally small in size and form, it was essential that the parts had sharp square corners, clean edges and consistent high tolerances.

At the company's rapidly expanding microstructure facility, which uses sophisticated electroforming techniques in clean-room conditions, four separate bar sizes were produced, 100um x 20um x 10um, 50um x 20um x 5um, 10um x 10um x 5um and 3um x 3um x 1um. For convenience and safe handling, the entire consignment of two million parts were delivered, suspended in de-ionised water, in a small laboratory jar.

The project represents further tangible evidence of the world-leading capability offered by the company's microstructure division, which produces highly-accurate micro parts at low cost for a wide range of micro applications in electronics, aerospace, medical, optics and micro-engineering.

Tecan microstructure specialists have developed world-leading photo-electroforming production and in-house plating techniques to make such cost-effective accuracy possible. The division employs highly refined electroforming techniques which breach traditional manufacturing obstacles to deliver low-cost micro metal parts, and larger parts with ultra-fine features. The electroformed metal parts are fabricated to previously unheard of levels of accuracy and resolution, for next-generation micro-applications such as sensors, actuators, hearing aids, medical devices, optical instruments, micro-lenses, meshes, masks, displays and micro-fluidic devices. Microcomponents can be manufactured to extremely small scale, with features, such as apertures, fluidic channels or raised lands, with tolerances at sub-micron levels. Similarly, the company can produce larger parts, up to 600mm x 765mm, with equally fine resolutions.

Opened in 2002, by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the 2 million facility houses a state-of-the-art Class 1000 clean room, within which are a number of Class 100 areas. These highly clean areas ensure the provision of particle-free environments where components with sub-micron features can be repeatedly and consistently fabricated.
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