A Low Cost, Modular and Reconfigurable Manufacturing Cell for Construction of Heterogeneous Micro-Nano Systems

A.N. Das, S. Savoie
University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (UTARI), US

Keywords: flexible manufacturing, micro-nanosystems, holistic optimization

Summary:

This abstract presents a novel flexible manufacturing approach using modular robotic manipulators that can be quickly and easily configured for on-demand, on-site prototyping or pilot production. The modular and reconfigurable manufacturing cell or MRMC implements custom designed and distributed intelligence based automation software to automatically identify the MRMC configuration and deploy a novel precision optimized motion planning and control technique ensuring high yield manufacturing. When the specific task is completed, the MRMC can be quickly and easily dismantled and rebuilt into a different configuration. These configurations are quantitatively optimized by a proprietary manufacturing design software named as “Design for Multiscale Manufacturing” or DfM2. The prototype of the MRMC system consists of linear manipulation modules of three different ranges of motion i.e. 30mm, 50mm and 70mm. The rotation module is capable of full 360 degree rotation. Among the different modular fixtures, there are quick-build base plates, sample holders, and 90 degree angle brackets. Two different types of modular end-effectors, an electromagnetic gripper and a dispenser, have been designed and developed to achieve typical pick & place and bonding operations. Through a multiplexed signaling architecture, the MRMC controller enables a single motor drive to run up to 8 manipulators.