Designing a mechatronic system is one thing. Developing the result for production requires very different competencies. DEMCON, originally a mechatronic specialist, encompasses the entire process, including prototyping, qualification and serial production. With complex systems, interaction with the designers remains necessary in these phases, in order to process the last-minute changes in specifications and the results of qualification. Thanks to the combination of design, prototyping, qualification and production competencies, DEMCON has the effectiveness that is essential for processes of a high quality standard.
The project illustrates the added value that DEMCON can offer with this total approach. In this project for Odysseus, a manufacturer of electron microscopes, DEMCON worked with partners for the electronics and image sensors. The Odysseus is a high-sensitivity camera for a transmission electron microscope and is suitable for applications such as the study of biological material that cannot be exposed to high doses of electron radiation.
For DEMCON, the mechatronic design challenge lay in the multi-disciplinary package of requirements: operating at low temperatures and under high vacuum pressure; limited space to build in the camera; a ‘retractable’ design (the camera must be able to make way for other sensors); no disruption of the magnetic field in the microscope; no excitation of vibrations of the camera through turbulence in the cooling water circuit; and simple installation.
In the design stage, the extensive design qualifications were set up. Various test set-ups were developed in order to be able to qualify the prototypes fully. A production qualification for serial production was based on this. After the assembly of every camera in the clean room at DEMCON, a detailed qualification report is prepared. DEMCON can offer this entire process, because thanks to its ISO 9001 and 13485 certification, it easily passed the quality audit of Odysseus. This makes DEMCON ideally suited for the design, high-end assembly and qualification of complex systems in small to medium-sized numbers.