SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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Application of Polyurethane Materials in the Assembly of Micro-Components
Gerhard Bernard Lennox, Stephen Matope, Theuns Dirkse van Schalkwyk, Andrè Van der Merwe, Michael Müller

Last modified: 2013-06-18


The efficient assembly and manufacturing of micro-components are becoming ever more important with the technological industry becoming larger and the electronic components in this industry decreasing in size. This is why the efficient handling of micro-parts is becoming a great challenge, with micro-parts with dimensions less than 20 mm being handled during the assembly process. Mechanical and vacuum grippers currently utilized in this field pose a risk of the micro-parts being strained or broken during the handling process. Therefore, this paper presents a solution through using a single polyurethane gripper, actuated only by Van-der-Waals forces. This polyurethane gripper is more efficient than conventional micro-grippers, and can handle and assemble simultaneously up to 10 micro-parts without leaving residual stresses, charges and strains on the micro-components. Polyurethane micro-grippers do not require a power supply or pressurized air to be operated. A motoman robot coupled with different polyturethane grippers was utilized to perform the simultaneous pick-up, transfer and placement operations of up to 10 micro-elements of less than 20 mm dimensions in an assembly operation.


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