Accumold relies on ZYGO coherence scanning interferometer equipment to maximize efficiency.

Overview

Precision Micro Molded PartsAccumold is a pre-eminent micro molding company experienced in fabricating precision micro, small, and lead-free injection-molded plastic components.

To achieve the exacting standards that its customers require — often making safety critical components smaller than a grain of sand — validation is a crucial area for Accumold. So they’ve partnered with ZYGO to enhance their more demanding measurement and validation work.

For Accumold, metrology is critical at all stages of the micro molding process, and so it moves from being a necessary evil to enabling technology. Metrology assists in the improvement of the design of parts and in making components that are easier to mold, easier to measure, and which perform optimally in end-use applications.

The Challenge

Precision Micro Molded PartsIn micro molding, metrology and validation-related issues can be challenging, with part size, part fixturing, print tolerances, and surface roughness introducing complexities. Part size is the critical challenge. Micro molded parts can be dimensioned in microns, with features that only become visible under 10x (or greater) magnification.

Another unique challenge is the surface roughness. Due to the small size and essential requirements of finish, minor variations can have more dramatic effects on the final product than is the case with larger components.

The Solution

Precision Micro Molded PartsOptical metrology is vital as it has the ability to measure without damaging surfaces or features on sometimes delicate components. It also stimulates the move to greater manufacturing automation due to its inherent speed compared to contact systems, and it can quickly undertake full-field measurement.

To remain at the apex of the micro molding industry, Accumold relies on ZYGO’s coherence scanning interferometer equipment. Specifically, the company uses ZYGO’s NewView™ optical profilers to measure 3D surface roughness and critical Z-height dimensions, as well as a custom metrology solution for characterizing a molded lens against its aspheric design.

ZYGO's instruments enable precise, quantitative, ISO-compliant, non-contact surface measurement and characterization of micro- and nano-scale surface features, capturing up to two million data points in just a second.

The Benefits

The data Accumold gathers from the ZYGO equipment has been critical in proving molding and measurement capability to its customers. After using our instruments and systems for many years, the stability and repeatability of ZYGO’s solutions have continued to build confidence in Accumold’s processes and products

The company has also shared the data available from the ZYGO tools with customers to assist in their in-house analysis.

Accumold has been impressed by ZYGO’s willingness to develop pragmatic solutions to changing metrology requirements that allow them to grow as a company.