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Tecan recognised for market-leading expertise, in design & manufacture of high-precision micro metal components

Tecan : 21 June, 2006  (Company News)
Recognition of its market-leading expertise, in the design and manufacture of high-precision micro metal components, has been afforded to Weymouth based Tecan. The company is the only Photo ElectroForming specialist to have been accepted into an elite group of 36 companies in the recently launched EU initiative, MASMICRO, an EU-FP6 Integrated Project with a duration of four years.
The overall objective of the project is to develop an integrated solution for European miniature/micro-manufacturing industries, an integrated manufacturing facility for mass-manufacture of miniature/micro-products, and a technology transfer/training package for transferring the knowledge to and developing skills in diverse industries.

'This is an excellent opportunity for Tecan, to push the technology boundaries to new levels within a real-world research and development environment together with some of the world's most accomplished specialists,' said Tecan's MASMICRO project coordinator, Barry Eggington. 'We expect to create next-generation micro-part solutions by increasing emphasis in areas such as photo-resist technology and aspect ratios. Also, it is crucially important that we ensure these new levels of miniaturization will conform to repeatable specifications. To this end we will be concentrating on the importance of manufacturing consistency and QA to ensure tolerances down to micron and sub-micron levels.'

Tecan offers contract manufacturing solutions to OEMs with the most demanding microreplication/microtooling requirements, from technology development through to rapid prototyping and ultimately volume production. Within a 2,000 sq ft class 1,000 clean room (including QA and packaging areas), the company can structure various types of photoresist using conventional photolithography. The process is tailored to suit individual customer requirements, utilising a broad range of photoresist chemistries which can be coated up to hundreds of microns, down to high resolution resists that can be coated in thicknesses of less than one micron.

This resist technology enables the manufacture of complex multi-level, 3D microstructures. These metal microparts are grown using precision PEF techniques from these photoresist moulds in panels up to 600mm x 765mm.

MASMICRO has adopted a 'multi-discipline and integration' approach to the implementation of the project. Research is being conducted to resolve individual fundamental and technological issues concerning the mass-manufacture of miniature/micro-products, with a view to achieving several breakthroughs; demonstration of the mass-manufacturing facility to be developed will be subjected to validation trials and production applications; knowledge and technologies generated will directly be transferred to the targeted groups, through demonstration, training and SME take-up programmes.

The primary objective of initiative is to promote real breakthroughs, based on scientific and technical excellence. In the area 'New Production Processes and Devices', the project places emphasis on the following: New production concepts, supporting new products, processes and services; Industrial systems of the future (cost-effective, high quality, fault-tolerant, eco-friendly and more flexible manufacturing systems); transformation of the European industry towards a more knowledge-based and added value industry; and Improved competitiveness and sustainability.

The consortium is comprised of 36 partners who provide expertise respectively in ten disciplines, Design, Materials, Mechanics, Processing Technologies, Tool/Machine Fabrication, Manufacturing Automation, Metrology, Software Development, Dissemination/Exploitation, and Project Management. The project is managed by an experienced team with several boards being involved in decision-making, Project Co-ordination Board, Project Technical Board, Project Exploitation Board, Project Training Board and Project Advisory Board.
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