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Robot-based resistance soldering of optical components

: Gatej, A.; Pyschny, N.; Loosen, P.; Brecher, C.


Soldering & surface mount technology 24 (2012), Nr.2, S.112-119
ISSN: 0954-0911
Fraunhofer IPT ()
Fraunhofer ILT ()

Purpose - Laser systems are becoming more and more a commodity in many fields of application and this is driving a strong trend towards increasingly efficient production technologies and miniaturized products. A central aspect of laser production is the assembly where the majority of cost is due to manual operations. Resistance soldering of optical components is an upcoming technology for automated assembly, especially for high power laser applications. This technology transfers design and packaging concepts from the electronics industry into photonics. The purpose of this paper is to present recent developments in the field of this soldering technology and to show the first experimental results in combination with robot-based handling.
Design/methodology/approach - Soldering results were examined by resistance measurements, shear testing and optical analysis of the melting zone.
Findings - The experiments conducted proved the viability of robot-based automated resistan ce soldering of optical components. Analyses of current and voltage profiles gave valuable information for process control possibilities without additional sensors and validated the theoretical considerations of the temperature dependency of material properties. Shear testing underlined the necessity for accurate mechanical contact arrangement and opened fields for further process developments.
Originality/value - Robot-based resistance soldering of optical components represents a promising joining technology for the automated assembly of laser systems. Existing solutions with mechanical fixtures hamper the miniaturization of optical systems and concurrently increase material and production costs. Manual and semi-automated gluing of components is an alternative process with significant disadvantages regarding the robustness of the process and the resulting joint connection.