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                                       Test, Assembly & Packaging TIMES
                                      Volume 8, Number 6,  June 2017

         Fixture development: a key element in MEMS sensor production

        D                                                       is valid and if it will function as intended.
                       eveloping new MEMS sensor
                                                                In the “prototype” phase, functionality has
                       products can be challeng-
                                                                already been demonstrated.
                       ing.  The market opportuni-
                       ties  are  widely  varied  and
                       the  applications  tend to  be
                       highly specialized.

        Complex sub-assemblies
        These  unique  applications tend  to involve
        complex sub-assemblies.As a result, fixture
        development becomes a key element in the
        product development cycle.

          William Boyce
          SMART Microsystems Ltd.
          Elyria, Ohio
          bill@smartmicrosystems                                Closely resemble the finished product
                                 The objective is to build samples that more
                                                                closely resemble the finish product and can
                                                                be placed on life test or sent to customers.
         Fixture development for early prototypes is            This phase also serves as the opportunity
        a pivotal point in the product development              to demonstrate manufacturability.
        cycle because these prototypes need to be
        representative of the final product. Balanc-            Finally,  the  “production  representative”
        ing the requirements for precision fixtures             phase produces samples that represent the
        against  a  proposed  timeline  commitment              finished product. They are often produced
        can be challenging.                                     on production intent tooling to verify man-
                                                                ufacturing  process  capability  and  product
        Three distinct phases
        There are three distinct phases of the prod-            For  the  proof  of  concept  phase  processes
        uct development cycle for complex sub-as-               are often manual, so if tooling is required at
        semblies: proof of concept, early prototype             all it is minimal. For production representa-
        (often  referred  to as simply “prototype”),            tive samples, the design is frozen; the pro-
        and production representative.                                                           See next page

        The “proof of concept” phase, as the name                                   Advertisement
        implies, demonstrates whether the concept                   Air-Cavity QFN?
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