Bridging the divide between iterative optical polishing and automation

WALKER, David, AHUIR-TORRES, Juan I., AKAR, Yasemin, BINGHAM, Paul, CHEN, Xun, DAROWSKI, Michal, FÄHNLE, Oliver, GAMBRON, Philippe, JACKSON, Frankie F., LI, Hongyu, MASON, Luke, MISHRA, Rakesh, SHAHJALAL, Abdullah and YU, Guoyu (2023). Bridging the divide between iterative optical polishing and automation. Nanomanufacturing and Metrology, 6 (1): 26.

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Several recent business reports have described the global growth in demand for optical and photonic components, paralleled by technical reports on the growing shortage of skilled manufacturing staff to meet this demand. It is remarkable that producing ultraprecision surfaces remains so dependent on people, in contrast to other sectors of the economy, e.g., car manufacturing. Clearly, training can play some role, but ultimately, only process automation can provide the solution. This paper explores why automation is a challenge and summarizes multidisciplinary work aiming to assemble the building blocks required to realize automation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: ** Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge several research grants from the UK EPSRC and STFC research councils and Innovate-UK, which financed various aspects of the research reported. We also appreciate Huddersfield University’s significant internal funding for equipment. We thank Professor S. Petrovic of Nottingham University and Drs. S. Parkinson and K. Wilson and colleagues of Huddersfield University for their invaluable contributions to the psychology and CBR aspects of capturing crafts expertise. This work would have been impossible other than for the cooperation of the OpTIC Centre in St Asaph, UK, operated by Glyndwr University, who provided access to their IRP1200 CNC polishing machine and three machine operators. The measurement of particle size distribution has proved to be a much deeper subject than we envisaged. We have been both impressed and appreciative of the support that Andy Winn and Jack Armitage of Verder Scientific have provided, including a critical commentary included in this paper on our preliminary results and recommendations for the best way forward. We gratefully acknowledge Chenhui An’s diligent work optimizing the force table design over many iterations, achieving the required dynamic performance, providing the FEA data in this paper, and arranging for the manufacture of the instrument. **Journal IDs: pissn 2520-811X; eissn 2520-8128 **Article IDs: publisher-id: s41871-023-00197-3; manuscript: 197 **History: published 12-2023; online 21-07-2023; published_online 21-07-2023; accepted 12-04-2023; registration 12-04-2023; rev-recd 11-04-2023; submitted 10-01-2023
Uncontrolled Keywords: Polishing, Deterministic, Free-form, Photonics, Asphere, Glass, Optics, Abrasives, Ultraprecision
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SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 14:29
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 13:02

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