(Co-)Development and industrialization of Opto-Mechatronic Systems

Over the past 25 years, NTS has developed and accumulated skills, capabilities and know-how to develop and manufacture precision systems for the high-tech industry. This vast experience enables Development & Engineering to deliver cost effective solutions that drive our customers’ competitive edge, enabling short time to market: first time right, integrating production, assembly and life cycle management. Our customers operate in various industries, such as analytical, semiconductor, life sciences, and digital printing.

Development & Engineering is well-positioned to (co-)develop and industrialize mechatronic and opto-mechatronic systems that are critical to our customers. Our passion, focus, competencies, development processes and strong cooperation with our specialized manufacturing companies enable a short time to market and a high level of quality..

As Development & Engineering has a very strong link with the NTS (global) manufacturing companies we can also support the full lifecycle of the customer product, e.g. by driving cost-down activities and providing manufacturing engineering support.

Development & Engineering focuses its efforts on a number of propositions that are key to its customer’s success. These propositions are described in more detail below.

Value Engineering & DfX

Value Engineering and Design for Manufacturing, Assembly and Costs are distinguishing features of the NTS development and engineering approach. NTS engineers are well-aware that margins are constantly under pressure: costs of production and materials steadily increase, while end-customers expect cost-down during the life-cycle of a product.

NTS uses a systematic approach that achieves optimum balance of component and manufacturing specifications and the intended market value. This approach includes expert knowledge of manufacturing techniques, thorough domain expertise and knowledge of relevant suppliers, and instruments to pinpoint potential cost savings.

In close collaboration with the customer, our engineers analyze where specifications can be relaxed, which manufacturing technologies fit the best, which suppliers offer best value. Our production experts join the design sessions, to ensure first-hand input of manufacturing limits or possibilities. Together with the customer, ideas are listed, analyzed and selected on the basis of Return on Investment. NTS is able to execute the proposed cost reductions, a clear advantage in comparison to consultant-style cost assessment activities.

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Optical Systems

Optical techniques and principles play an increasing role in a wide variety of sensing and inspection applications, products and systems. NTS optical solutions come in play when common solutions fail to deliver, either from a technical or business viability point of view.

NTS has 30 years of experience with optical designs comprising complicated catadioptrics, laser and white light interferometry, lighting systems, spectroscopy and advanced imaging, and related image and signal processing. Not only has NTS advanced optical knowledge, the supporting NTS manufacturing infrastructure assures that also full systems can be developed, and manufactured in series. Our lab and cleanroom infrastructure allows for fast prototyping and testing.

Our custom optical designs and equipment have found applications in medical, industrial and consumer markets, and cover the EUV to NIR spectral range.

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Turn-key system development

With our broad experience we are able to develop fully integrated mechatronic systems based on use-cases and/or requirements. With our system engineering approach, certified according to ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 for medical devices, we are able to support the definition of requirements and product specifications, perform testing & prototyping, industrial design, including full industrialization and life cycle management.

In its years of experience, NTS has developed a large variety of systems and devices for a wide range of customers, from OEM customers to start-up companies. Our competencies include specialist knowledge on materials, vacuum, physical processes, system dynamics and sensory and actuating solutions. Such advanced knowledge is indispensable when innovative customers bring their newly invented processes to NTS for equipment development.

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Digital printing

NTS is specialized in (co-)development, manufacturing and assembly of industrial inkjet printer and print modules. With increasing complexity and fast time-to-market requirements, NTS can support by accelerating the development cycle using our inkjet process validation platform, proven building blocks and fast lane proto production. Moreover, NTS achieves low total cost of ownership using its value engineering competence, volume production capacity and global footprint.

With its 25+ years of experience, NTS has developed a broad range of industrial printers for graphical printing (banners, textile, direct-to-shape etc.), functional printing (etch resist, ophthalmic lenses, 3D switchable screen etc.) and 3D/additive manufacturing (plastics, metal) for OEM customers.

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Custom positioning systems

If your requirements demand positioning accuracies down to the low nanometer range, to inspect 300mm semiconductor wafers or positioning accuracies of a few microns for high definition color prints on 4m2substrates, NTS is capable of specifying, designing, building and testing the dedicated mechatronic positioning systems you need.

We have proven competencies in system architecture design, in the prediction and validation of system dynamics, and in design for cleanliness. As your partner, we combine these strengths to offer you a well-controlled design and manufacturing process of the dedicated mechatronic system or module you need to successfully implement your processes.

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Rapid prototyping, one-offs and tooling

Successful design and manufacturing for  state-of-the-art high-tech equipment highly benefits from short prototyping, verification and validation cycles. NTS enables this by tightly integrating its development and engineering processes with prototyping, testing and production preparation processes, making use of first-rate rapid prototyping and workshop facilities.

Our flexible rapid prototyping and workshop facilities can also be used to manufacture one-offs, testing equipment or small series of products.

Also worth mentioning is that NTS has an extensive track record in developing and manufacturing production and transport tools, needed for delicate optical and mechanical components and assemblies. Handling and transporting such assemblies poses challenging requirements with respect to vibration insulation and shock suppression. In some applications, the transport tool also has to preserve an ultra-clean, pressure stabilized and temperature stabilized mini-environment.

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