Automated Stacking of Ultra Precision Flat Parts
70762 The Next Linear Collider will require approximately 9000 accelerator structures or stacks of 207 different but very similar looking parts or cells. These ultra precision, soft, flat copper cells require automated assembly due to the stack dimensions and tolerances, the potential for damage or miss-sequencing during handling, and the shear number of cells that have to be assembled. This project will develop the necessary technology, prototype system, and process techniques to stack or assemble individual ultra precision soft flat copper cells into accelerator structure stacks. Phase I will perform the tests and experiments to determine the ability to stack two or more cells and measure their accuracy after stacking. First, a table-top, vision-guided, 3-axes motion system will be developed to perform a Design-of-Experiments for determining the ability to stack or assemble accelerator cells using van der Waals forces. Tests will determine the practical cell-to-cell alignment accuracy and forces required to enable assembly without damage to the cells. A post-stack-accuracy analysis will be performed. Vision pre-alignment techniques and algorithms will be explored and developed along with algorithms for post assembly vision verification. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should benefit National Laboratories that require an automated machine to stack the approximate two million accelerator cells into approximately 9000 structures for the Next Linear Collider. Commercial applications include the high volume, high precision attachment or combining of parts, with and without epoxies, for the optical, photonic, telecommunication, computer, and medical industries.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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