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Automated assembly system for optoelectronic components

Production techniques, technologies and tools composed of a
single mode fibre and another connected fibre or an
integrated optic chip.

1. Motivations: After a phase of very fast extensive development, the industry of single mode optical fibre communications will soon be entering the stage of intensive growth. The generalisation of local fibre networking implies a multiplication of the number of kilometres of fibre laid down so far with a much higher density of connection, branching and termination components. These components occupy a key position in the architecture of single mode local communication systems and, to some extent, their availability determines the historical development rate of this new technological paradigm. Their cost is presently too high by more than one order of magnitude. This is neither the result of a market monopoly situation, nor that of some incompressible high material costs. The cost of these components is very compressible indeed as it currently involves object handling and manual fashioning and assembling up to as much as 90%. Such a situation is therefore the combined effect of a still potential market and of the use of still cottage production techniques. 2. Scope of the project The objects for which the present project plans to develop the production techniques, technologies and tools are composed of a suitably prepared single mode fibre (or array thereof) on one hand, and on the other hand, of another connected fibre or of an integrated optic chip. The scope of the project is to tackle the fibre and chip preparation: the handling, the conveyance, the alignment, the fixing thereof and the encapsulation of the resulting fibred component. This wide scope is bounded by the practical goal assigned to the project: to provide the partners with a set of techniques and tools allowing them to produce competitive fibred components within 0 and 2 years from the project end. The main emphasis in selecting and developing techniques, technologies and tools will be put on mass producible standard components. The aim is to allow a decrease of the cost of single mode connectors and fibred integrated optic components by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude. With the said bounds in mind, the work will consist of: a) gathering, selecting and adapting the technologies available at the partners' locations and elsewhere b) developing the technologies which can best bridge the missing links within a reasonable period of time with a proportionate investment effort, c) defining and prototyping the tools and systems of a modular production line. The interests which the partners of the project may have are of three non-exclusive types: 1. Produce as soon as possible low cost fibred components which are competitive in the world market. This is the case for the following partners: ALCATEL FIBRES OPTIQUES, BICC CABLES LTD., DIAMOND S.A., IOT ENTWICKLUNGS- GESELLSCHAFT, KABELMETAL ELECTRO GMBH, STC TECHNOLOGY LIMITED and THOMSON SINTRA ASM. 2. Produce, market and license tooling and subsystem modules for component production with first priority for European industry. This involves: ALCATEL FIBRES OPTIQUES, DIAMOND S.A. and KABEL ELEKTRO GMBH. 3. Build up and reinforce a European potential of technologies for further guided wave optic components and hybridisation applications with fibres. This involves: ALCATEL FIBRES OPTIQUES, BICC CABLES LTD., CSEM, FRAUNHOFER INSTITUT FUER PHYSIKALISCHE MESSTECHNIK, IOT ENTWICKLUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, STC TECHNOLOGY LIMITED and THOMSON SINTRA ASM. 4. A common interest is that of combining development efforts, confirming specifications, later leading to standardisation measures.
Acronym: 
ASSYSTO
Project ID: 
465
Start date: 
11-01-1991
Project Duration: 
39months
Project costs: 
8 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.