Collaborative R&D

Based on the fixed annual contributions of each of the ACOP Industry Partners a set of Collaborative R&D Projects is conducted. These projects allow high synergies and significant benefits of cooperation in particular for pre-competitive issues. All of the Collaborative R&D Projects are defined and conducted on an annual base integrating all partners to input their particular demands and participate in the results. Within the projects specific technology improvement for individual manufacturing processes as well as comprehensive improvement of the entire manufacturing chain also with regard to Digitalization is addressed. The Collaborative R&D Projects are selected by the ACOP Partner Community on the Annual R&D Meeting based on the developed ACOP Roadmap for collaborative R&D.

This roadmap covers a mid-term range and will be extended continuously to derive an annual set of collaborative R&D projects each year. As it is proprietary information to the ACOP, it cannot be disclosed to public in detail.

To complement the annual selection of collaborative R&D projects according to its roadmap the ACOP continuously screens funding opportunities that allow to address strategic topics, which could not be included because of limited collaborative annual budget. To stay independent and without constraints result of the internationality of the Partner Community, the ACOP is able to set-up sub-consortia in addition to the Partner Community with regards to particular funding projects.

Focus Groups

In five focus groups, we work on the collaborative research projects that we have agreed upon with the ACOP partners. The focus groups cover the process chain of optics production and deal with the following topics:

  • Glass optics
  • Plastic optics
  • Metrology
  • Assembly
  • Digitalization

Ongoing Projects

Project I: Application of DLC coatings on complex surfaces for optics manufacturing

© Fraunhofer IPT

What benefit do DLC coatings bring to optics manufacturing?

Challenge and Motivation

  • DLC coatings extend the lifetime of molding tools and can serve as protectivecoating
  • When deposited on complex surfaces (e.g.highly curved) the coating’s inhomogeneity can influence their geometry, which effects the final shape

Objective

Research on the potential of the application of DLC coatings for molding tools

Project II: Validation: Reducing the centering inaccuracy of the two mold halves

Micro lense mold insert and an injection molded lense
© Fraunhofer IPT

How can the centering inaccuracy of the two halves of the mold be reduced?

Challenge and Motivation

  • High-precision micro-optics in particular require compliance with low tolerances for perfect function
  • The offset of the two mold halves impairs the optical function
  • The market demands sub-µm deviations

Objective

Validation of the results, found in the first ACOP project, considering the injection

Project III: Possibilities in the form and centering measurement of miniaturized lenses with OCT

© Fraunhofer IPT

What boundary parameters allow/limit the study of miniaturized lenses with OCT?

Challenge and Motivation

  • Modern optical systems increasingly require the use of aspheric miniaturized lenses. Therefore, its precise characterization is crucial.
  • High-speed centering and shape inspection are transcendental measurements in high-quality miniaturized lens characterization

Objective

Measurement of miniaturized lenses with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Project IV: Transmitted wavefront measurements for the quality control of lenses

© Fraunhofer IPT

How can the transmission wavefront error (TWFE) of lenses be measured reliably?

Challenge and Motivation

  • High-quality lens manufacturing is only possible when supported by efficient and accurate metrology
  • To ensure the best performance for high quality optical systems it is necessary to have a method that evaluates the overall optical function

Objective

Measurement of lenses with a SHWS-based test stand in transmission mode

Project V: Wavefront based optic alignment

© Fraunhofer IPT

How can optics be efficiently aligned based on wavefront measurements?

Challenge and Motivation

  • Precise alignment of optics in the beam path is needed for high assembly quality
  • Evaluation of wavefront instead of intensity distribution, provides more detailed information about misalignments of optics
  • Reducing waste with higher optics quality

Objective

Implementation of a function-oriented alignment via evaluation of the wavefront

Project VI: Predictive Quality for Glass Molding and Plastics Molding

How can the quality of a lens be predicted by using production and simulation data?

Challenge and Motivation

  • Data is collected along the process chain of glass and plastics molding
  • The collected data is often not connected and therefore not suitable  for analysis
  • The effort to measure lenses is often high and simulation and production data is not used

Objective

Development of a data platform providing predictive quality as a service

Previous projects

Photoelastic effect of molded optic

© Fraunhofer IPT

How is the calculation of optical properties of molded lens conducted and validated?

Challenge and Motivation

  • Residual stress in molded lens
  • Photoelasticity of lens material leads to local and direction dependent refractive index
  • Birefringence and inhomogeneity exist at the same time

Objective

Calculation of optical properties of molded lens and data integration into digital-twin

Concept development for reducing the centering inaccuracy of the two mold halves

Micro lense mold insert and an injection molded lense
© Fraunhofer IPT

How to reduce the centering inaccuracy of the two halves of the mold?

Challenge and Motivation

  • High-precision micro-optics in particular require compliance with low tolerances for perfect function
  • The offset of the two mold halves impairs the optical function
  • The market demands sub-µm deviations

Objective

Validation of existing centering concepts and arrangements

Possibilities and limitations in the characterization of microlenses

© Fraunhofer IPT

How can micro optical lenses be measured reliably?

Challenge and Motivation

  • Modern optical designs often require aspheric microlenses to reduce the size and improve the performance of optical systems
  • Manufacturing of aspheric microlenses is a challenge and requires knowledge of metrological possibilities

Objective

Measurement of microlenses with different metrology systems/technologies

 

Development of automation concepts based on the platform-independent IPT tools

© Fraunhofer IPT

How can the level of automation be increased?

Challenge and Motivation

  • Product development goes in parallel with automation development
  • Assembly cells must allow easy integration and configuration of new technologies (e.g. AI process)
  • Automation not yet designed for this

Objective

Demonstration of IPT software and hardware tools on the basis of a concrete process example

Study on digitalization potentials and concepts

Big data analytics visualization
© NicoElNino/stock.adobe.com

Which cross-company digitalization issues can be solved by ACOP activities?

Challenge and Motivation

In many company, digitalization is seen as mandatory in the future but the obstacle to start the digital transformation are high, due to the fact that the point to start is unknown and the there is no strategy to follow.

Objective

Identifying and develop the digitalization strategy and align emerging questions with ACOP activities