February 11, 1998

Almost one year ago to the day (February 16, 1997) we proudly (vaingloriously?) introduced the third three-axis micromanipulator design in our thirty plus year history, and pronounced it unsurpassable. Wow, what do we say now? It is so hard to be humble when we must tell you that we have a fourth design, and it is even better.

This new design is designated the "E" Series. (We made a "D" mechanism that simply pointed the way onward). This effort, started in response to a specific customer need, produced a unique arrangement in which the entire mechanism is arrayed above the work plane, so that there is now no limit to the size of a work piece.

This new mechanism not only satisfies those requirements, but is truly improved in several areas:

  • Each of the X, Y, and Z axes is straight-line and purely orthogonal, and each can be locked pneumatically on signal. In most applications, all are locked during the bonds.
  • The tool assembly is mounted on a four-bar linkage, like the "B" Series, so the tool remains vertical and can be extended down to any position that tunes ultrasonically. Rigid bearing mounts, rather than taper loading, fix the strut bar of this assembly so that any required bond force can be applied.
  • Dual counterweights balance the pantograph arm and the tool support individually, and they are complemented by an adjustable spring to counterbalance different tool assemblies. The resulting feel and balance are the best ever.
  • Any of the tool assemblies from the "B" Series can be exchanged at the pivots, and so enable machine convertibility.
  • Microprocessor control circuitry from "B" and "C" Series are included for machines of this series when appropriate. When so included, ultrasonic power control is packaged in a separate K~Sine Power Supply enclosure.
  • A motor-shaft-mounted spiral cam drives wire feed and ball positioning sub assemblies with the same effect as the linear actuator of other series. This is simply omitted for Insulated Wire Bonding.
  • An optical encoder is fitted to the Z axis to provide position measurement of each bond elevation to control uniform loop arch and/or ball formation.
  • The X-Y-Z control lever can be directed to terminate either down at the table surface, or alternately, above the work plane if proper forearm and wrist support is provided. When mounted high, this control also clears the work plane so that continuous conveyors can move customer's work holders across machines for batch production.
  • The mechanism can be mounted by two outrigger feet or by one attachment to the main plate, or can be furnished as a complete machine offset above a plain base and with a Feature -79C Adjustable Height Work Platform.

Ladies and Gentlemen, what else can we say? This is a winner!

Oh yes that's right, the patent applications are being prepared now.


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