Zytronic – the projected capacitive touch technology specialist – has invested approaching £400k in a second bespoke laser soldering system installed within another factory cleanroom, providing risk mitigation and interchangeable production capabilities across the entire UK-based manufacturing operation. Industrial Vision Systems Ltd, a global supplier of precision visual inspection systems and industrial automation solutions, developed the unique automated laser welding system in collaboration with the Technical, Quality and Production teams at Zytronic.
This new automated system allows Zytronic to leverage the latest production technology, providing increased productivity, higher yields and enhanced manufacturing capability. The machine combines 2D camera vision with precision drives, and custom software to deliver precise, contactless laser welding of controller flex tails to the touch sensors. This capability increases Zytronic’s ability to complete the critical soldering process on its glass and film projective capacitive (PCAP) touch sensors, even in small quantities, irrespective of size or design in record time.
“The investment in this next-generation laser bonding system supports our continued drive for yield improvements and accelerating throughput,” said Mark Cambridge, Managing Director, Zytronic. “One of the key areas we have advanced with this new production cell is the precise soldering of our 10-micron diameter copper sensing elements to the microns-thin gold/tin pads within the flexible tails that we use to connect to our proprietary touch controllers. This new and more advanced system complements the one we installed in another cleanroom a few years ago and mitigates the risk associated with only having one laser soldering system available to production.”
Earl Yardley, Industrial Vision Systems Director, said: “We’re thrilled about the work we have completed with Zytronic. This new production cell combines all the latest automation know-how and is a pivotal technology for precision laser welding with closed-loop vision control. It was an incredibly exciting project to work on, which will accelerate Zytronic’s touchscreen manufacturing capability and flexibility.”
Zytronic’s continued investment in its UK touchscreen manufacturing operations positions the company to take maximum advantage of new opportunities as its global customer base recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Combining cutting-edge CNC and vision-based automation, the laser soldering unit is seen as a modern tool for the future of manufacturing technology. The machine’s software incorporates operator and material traceability, automatically saving the data to Zytronic’s manufacturing and QA system. This capability will enable statistical process control and data archiving for customer warranty and product traceability once the projective capacitive touch sensors are deployed in self-service, industrial and commercial applications around the world.