For any project requiring mechanical design, mechanism design, fixture design, tool design, or chuck design, Concurrent Design provides complete mechanical engineering design services, from concept, analysis, and machine design / tool design to documentation and complete fabrication and testing.
The client, nLine Corp., was developing semiconductor equipment for wafer inspection. The wafer stage was a Newport product with granite base and air bearing axes. It weighed ~½ ton. The overhead lifting fixture was a custom mechanical design to lift the stage from the shipping crate and deliver it to the custom-designed machine base. An overhead crane would provide the lift. The overhead lifting tool would require a custom mechanical design to address the physical constraints surrounding the stage / machine base interface. As with any overhead lifting fixture designed by Concurrent Design, the unit was engineered, designed, built and tested under appropriate loads prior to implementation. This lifting fixture was engineered to satisfy >5X safety factor, tested at >3X safety factor and implemented to lift a rated load of 1000 pounds. Additionally, alignment tools were developed to be used in conjunction with the lifting tool. These alignment tools served to very accurately align the wafer stage to the machine base.
The client, Applied Materials, is a manufacturer of semiconductor process equipment. Some equipment, including deposition process chambers, is complex and sophisticated, with many parts assembled on four sides and the bottom of the chamber. Some of these elements are relatively fragile compared to the large, heavy process chamber. The challenge was to design and build a multi-axis assembly tool that would allow the assembly technician to address the work-piece from any angle, orientation or elevation. The tool design provides for such volume production features as quick part alignment and attachment, easy no-load reorientation to any attitude, and OSHA safe ergonomic part access and assembly.
The client, Siemens, is a manufacturer of commercial products. Within the numerous manufacturing processes associated with traffic-light products, there is a machining requirement. The plastic hood of the traffic light is molded in plastic. Piece parts must be machined, using a manual router, to create the final curved shape of the product. The custom tool design of the routing fixture holds the work piece while the operator traces the contours with the manual router. Special attention is given to clearance of part features and part location for repeatability.
This simple, mechanical positioning fixture is designed for use in a test engineering department. Various products (device under test – DUT or unit under test – UUT) will be addressed by the test equipment. Because of continuous minor variability in the physical dimensions of the DUT's, this fixture mechanism allows for rigid positioning through two quickly adjustable axes - axial and rotary. The platen allows for the mounting of the DUT.
The client, Applied Materials, is a manufacturer of semiconductor process equipment. Some equipment, including deposition process chambers, are very sophisticated and complex. A central element in the process chamber is the electro-static chuck assembly. This chuck assembly is large, heavy, and unwieldy, with a large diameter head, lengthy rotary shaft, and umbilical harness for utilities. The manual assembly of the electro-static chuck into the process chamber requires many hands in a tight space. This assembly / installation fixture allows one technician to assemble the workpiece in a safe and controlled manner. The fixture is attached at the top plane of the chamber. The chuck assembly is cradled in the fixture tooling and secured safely. This removes the weight of the workpiece from the technician. The linear axis of the fixture allows the technician to slowly and carefully feed the complex harnessing through the chamber and secure the mounting flange with no physical strain.
The client, Teravicta Technologies, is engaged in the design, manufacture, and distribution of micro-electromechanical-systems (MEMS) switches. They maintain laboratory-scale research and development, as well as pilot-scale production equipment. This custom designed, semiconductor wafer process fixture is built to support these activities.
The client, Jenoptik Infab, is a developer of person guided vehicles (PGV’s). These vehicles (hand carts – as shown elsewhere in this website) are to be located accurately, relative to the “load port” of semiconductor process tools. This location must be held through repeated engagements of the PGV to the load port. This multi-axis alignment fixture is designed to accurately position a load port to a docking flange (profile shown in Figure 2), such that upon removal of the fixture and associated tooling, the PGV may be successfully located to the load port. This is accomplished as the approaching PGV engages the docking flange which then provides default orientation to the load port. This technique and all related hardware as developed and built by Concurrent Design is now the semiconductor industry standard. Reference: Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) standard. SEMI E83 SPECIFICATION FOR PGV MECHANICAL DOCKING FLANGE.
The client, Applied Materials, is a manufacturer of semiconductor process equipment. During assembly of large equipment, certain parts being assembled must be located accurately, relative to each other and to the current assembly. This vacuum attachment assembly fixture registers to the frame of the tool and provides for accurate locational placement of new components. For environmental health and safety (EHS) considerations, the tool is designed to absorb the load of the workpiece such that the technician avoids strain and may work safely during installation of these parts. The assembly fixture is shown being load tested here.
The client, Emcore, is in the photovoltaics manufacturing business. This wiring harness assembly fixture is custom-designed to facilitate the wiring of 14 separate components into one serial electrical harness assembly. The components are photovoltaic (solar cell) subassemblies complete with photovoltaic, optical and wiring interconnect elements on a common mounting plate. Each subassembly is placed in an opening, allowing the safe protection of the optics. The mounting plate is secured with a clamp to prevent movement. The serial wiring is completed between sub-assemblies, thus creating the fully integrated harness. With the fully secured wiring harness assembly complete, the fixture is delivered to the product for final assembly integration.
The client, Emcore, is in the photovoltaics manufacturing business. One area of application is terrestrial high concentration photovoltaics (HCPV). This assembly fixture is custom designed to facilitate the assembly of two halves of a modular unit. The first workpiece is placed into the fixture and then high strength adhesive bonding tape is applied to the joint surfaces. The second workpiece is located on pins and slipped into position accurately onto the first and secured with the bonding tape.
The client, Georgetown Rail, is a manufacturer of railroad equipment. There is a need for electrical power to be available to the railcars while in remote locations and while moving. Solar energy is an attractive choice. The original solar module (panel) installations, however, failed very quickly due to heavy shock and vibration loads from normal railcar usage. Concurrent Design instrumented a representative railcar and collected these transient and steady state dynamic vibration measurements. Using these dynamic signatures, Concurrent Design designed the shock and vibration isolation fixture to safely isolate the crystalline silicon solar module from the damaging inputs. The fixture design was proven in the lab by installing the assembly on a shaker table and applying the dynamic shock and vibration signatures, with additional safety margin. Custom fixturing was designed to mount the assembly to both the railcar and the test equipment.
The client, Dell, uses high speed conveyors to move product through its factory. Bar code scanning of all product is required during transport. There are many levels of conveyors and these are not all securely attached to structural ground. As a result, there is the potential for vibration to set up, which can overwhelm the results of the bar code scanners. Concurrent Design developed a custom vibration isolation fixture to mount the bar code scanner. This successful fixture design became a standard for bar code scanner mounting when vibration was a challenge.
The client required laboratory scale tools for research and development of a new process. The fixture was to allow very fine control for polishing of the work piece. A piezo-electric stage was used to provide micro-scale tip-tilt control for the polishing fixture. Once positioned, the workpiece must be clamped at the proper attitude and final inspection prior to polishing assures proper positioning of the workpiece.
The client is a manufacturer of consumer products which require a minimal life expectancy. Simple and inexpensive tooling was needed to test the product and assure this life expectancy through a range of motions. The tooling / fixturing provides for the cold work hardening of the base metals leading to failure. This destructive test fixture was developed to cycle the product through these various ranges of motion while the pneumatic control system counts the cycles until failure.
Shipping fixtures are very common in the transport of expensive capital equipment. These examples are comprised of a welded frame with features to secure and protect sensitive equipment during transport. Castors allow easy movement while extension feet provide a stable base when needed.
This sophisticated fixturing is designed to allow precise control over the positioning of a jet engine turbine blade during 5-axis CNC machining. All six degree of freedom must be addressed. The fixture is based upon a 3-2-1 architecture, with three points of contact to initiate the positioning, then two points, and finally one point to fully (and repeatably) establish the location of the workpiece in 3-dimensional space. Lastly, pneumatic cylinders are moved into position to secure the workpiece during machining. This machining operation is the high tolerance machining of the outboard mounting features.
Concurrent Design's office is located in Austin, Texas. We support clients in Austin and Central Texas along with regional, national and international clients. On a daily basis, we work with clients from Boston to San Jose and from Dallas to Houston.
We provide CAD modeling services utilizing SolidWorks™ and Pro/ENGINEER™. (SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corp., a Dassault Systèmes Company) (Pro/E, Pro/ENGINEER, Wildfire, Creo are registered trademarks of PTC, Parametric Technology Corp.).