RISE ICT stories: Fiber optics boosts productivity


Manufacturers today can choose from a wide variety of measurement techniques to ensure the quality of their products. Tool supplier System 3R International partnered with RISE Acreo to develop a flexible high-precision measurement system based on fiber optic technology.

The growing demand for inexpensive, high-quality optical components for consumer electronics puts pressure on the manufacturing industry. The rise of smartphones and digital cameras means new moulds must be made within a shorter time span in order to manufacture components according to market pressures. In production mode, equipment must work with a continuously high degree of accuracy so high-precision measurement is a key factor in the production process.

Strong cooperation means added value

System 3R International is a supplier of clamping tools for the manufacturing industry. They needed a flexible method to measure distances with high precision, for example, to be able to locate work pieces properly or for machine calibration. In 2006, Acreo and System 3R International began collaborating to find out if fiber optic sensor technology could be used. Together, they developed a prototype for a measurement system for high-accuracy positioning. The sensor measures the absolute distance between a fiber tip and an object within tens of nanometers.

“We have been cooperating since 2006,” says Håkan Dahlquist at System 3R International.“ Acreo’s competence, lab resources and their connections in the fiber optics industry have been valuable to us.”

Extend your business area

With the fiber interferometer, System 3R International can extend their business area, covering not only the mould-making for plastic components. “Now we can include mould-making and direct manufacturing of components that require even higher precision, such as mass production of optics,” explains Dahlquist.

“This is a flexible and easy-to-use measuring system,” says Magnus Lindblom at Acreo. “The core of the system is patented signal processing algorithms which makes it possible to get a high resolution from the relatively inexpensive hardware in the solution,” he says.

Håkan Dahlquist points out that Acreo has a good understanding of the fact that research projects must lead to sellable products. “They are business-minded, which is very important for us,” he explains. “They also have an organization which makes is possible to run projects efficiently ”.

Project partners

System 3R International and RISE Acreo.

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