Customized optical measurement technology for production monitoring
Fast, precise, automated:
The requirements placed upon production are increasing continuously. Products are becoming more complex and, at the same time, a larger quantity of variants is being demanded. In order to meet these challenges, manufacturing processes must be optimized. Quality assurance, process monitoring and control as well as automation thereby play a special role. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, systems for improved process control and the automated process management of coating processes are developed on the basis of a holistic understanding of the process. One example is the MOCCA+® software, which will be demonstrated live at LASER 2023.
Precision optical components, e.g. interference filters, are often comprised of several hundred individual coatings in order to realize the desired properties. During coating, precise control of the applied layer thicknesses and properties is required continuously throughout the entire process – this applies both to inline coatings with high throughput and to individual precision coatings in smaller quantities.
For such applications, the MOCCA+® (Modular Optical Coating Control Application) software developed at the Fraunhofer IST offers solutions for optimum integrated process planning, monitoring and control. The functions range from production planning, through substrate handling, and on to routines for automatic shutdown and restart in the event of power failures.
In addition, the software continuously learns from processes that have been carried out; intervention between the individual coating assignments is not necessary. At its heart is an optical system that allows transmission measurements to be performed on optical components during coating. The extreme requirements regarding repeat rate, integration time and stability are fulfilled by means of specifically developed spectrometer modules. The optical measurement technology enables transmission or reflection measurements within a few milliseconds.
One example of the successful utilization of MOCCA+® is the EOSS® platform, in which the production software complements the precision optical coatings. Here, MOCCA+® allows in-situ optical monitoring whilst also enabling adaptive control of the coating.
In the future, MOCCA+® could be utilized for process monitoring on numerous coating lines. The fields of application of the components and systems for optical measurement technology range from production, through agriculture, and on to aerospace.
At LASER from 27−30 June 2023, the Fraunhofer IST will be demonstrating the functions of the MOCCA+® software on the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft joint stand (Hall A2, Stand 415) using a miniature setup of the EOSS® platform.
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