Automated Handling of Ultra Precision Parts

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG03-00ER83131
Agency Tracking Number: 60293S00-II
Amount: $330,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
14811 N.E. Airport Way, Suite 200, Portland, OR, 97230
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Lee
 Vice President, Sales
 (503) 253-8871
Business Contact
 Craig Howard
Title: President
Phone: (503) 253-8871
Research Institution
60293 Accelerator cells for the Next Linear Collider come in families of 200 different, but similar looking parts with tolerances varying from.5 to 50 microns. A total of 2,000,000 cells or 10,000 of each type need to be manufactured. Speed and repeatability associated with automated part handling is essential, and the automated robotic systems must be capable of comparable accuracy and precision. Some device or technique is also required for storing, transporting, and maintaining the pedigree of each part. This project will design and build an automated cart and pallets for the transport and inventory of accelerator cells while maintaining their pedigree between the various manufacturing processes. A vision guided robot will also be designed for transferring the accelerator cells between the carts, pallets, the precision machining center, and the diamond turning machines used for their fabrication. Phase I explored the problems of handling the soft copper accelerator cells and difficulties associated with the accurate pick and placement of the parts in a precision machining center. A vision guided robotic system was built for loading and unloading a pallet of accelerator cells for use in a precision machining center. In Phase II, a ¿smart cart¿ will be built to transport and inventory a family of 200 accelerator cells that have been loaded onto four pallets, identical to the pallet built in Phase I. The Phase I robot will be retrofitted to load and unload the precision machining center from the ¿smart cart¿ and transfer parts from the same cart into an automated diamond turning machining. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The type of precision machinery being developed should have applicability in the automotive, aerospace, telecommunication, micro-photonic, and electro-optic industries. Customers that purchase either a machining center similar or a diamond turning machine should be candidates to purchase the automated part loading and unloading vision guided robotic system.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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