42 TechnologyCase StudiesManufacturing scale-up for a precision sensor

Manufacturing scale-up for a precision sensor

INFICON AG, a leading industrial sensor company, selected 42 Technology to help develop an automated process for the manufacture of a precision sensor.

The new approach will automate the critical, labour-intensive steps involved in the production and assembly of special coiled filaments for use in specific types of precise vacuum sensors.

It will significantly improve process reliability, yield and repeatability, while providing greater throughput enabling INFICON to produce completed filaments for a range of sensor products with reduced stock levels to ensure it can always meet changing customer demands.

One of the biggest challenges in the project was working out how best to automate the handling of small coiled filaments that are thinner than a human hair, have lots of residual stresses and can easily get tangled up like telephone cords.

We conducted intensive research on the physics of surface tension before designing a specially-shaped holder to keep the filaments aligned that was then integrated into our automated manufacturing system

Christian Berg, Technology Director at INFICON said:

42 Technology has worked very efficiently alongside our in-house team to automate one of our most challenging and intricate manufacturing processes. Their innovative, pragmatic solution will deliver multiple business benefits but more importantly we can now automate a labour-intensive, repetitive and unpleasant manufacturing process and re-assign our highly-trained technicians to more varied and interesting work.