SUNConferences, Computers and Industrial Engineering 42

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Development of a Micro Material Handling System
Sebastian Earle Aspeling Read, Andre Van der Merwe, Corne Schutte, Stephen Matope, Michael Mueller

Last modified: 2012-06-27


There is a need for a micro material handling system that operates over a macro range (500 mm+). The research aims at creating a micro material handling system that is accurate, user friendly and reconfigurable. A pick and place case study in which piezo ceramic rods of 250 µm by 250 µm by 10 mm are placed in 300 µm by 300 µm by 10 mm cavities (to improve base material characteristics) is used to aid this system’s development. Using a combination of systems engineering and innovation management techniques the system is designed, built and tested according to the needs of the case study. A motoman robot fitted with a high precision fine positioning system is used. The fine positioning system is in turn fitted with a micro gripper. The human interface system consists of 2D micro vision, and haptic control which scales the micro work volume to a macro work volume. This set the basis for integrating commercially available components into a micro material handling system which is able to achieve under 5 µm accuracy and repeatability over a dexterous macro range in accordance with a pick and place case study. 

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