Mechanics – The high-tech machine’s basis
Today’s high-tech machines operate on the edge of physics. As a result, the functional requirements and underlying complexity of those high-tech systems have increased. A typical machine contains multiple mechanical subsystems and parts, such as the machine frame, product carriers and handlers, covering, cabinets for electronics, storage units and cooling systems. In practice the specific requirements (i.e. dimensions and form factors, required accuracies, mass of the product and machine) and design choices of new products for individual customers mostly lead to new mechanical designs. To minimize costs, risks and lead time, at NTS we re-use proven technology like previously realized designs, globally and in detail, as well as vendor components.
Mechanical engineering: First determine customer specifications
When developing the mechanics of a such a customer product, we first take care of determining the specifications in close collaboration with our customer. Based on these specs, we create high level design concepts and a volume lay-out.
"At NTS, the mechanical design of a machine or tool is always the basis, in which many aspects of the product are being optimized”
- Ruud van der Werf, Senior Mechanical Designer at NTS
Mechanical design needs early involvement of manufacturing expertise
Already from the project’s start, we involve our in-house manufacturing organization (global presence in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, China and Singapore) to investigate the best suited manufacturing technology to develop a product. A machine frame can be designed as a milled structure, welded tube frame or a sheet metal frame but also a combination of machined and welded is possible. Requirements in the field of stiffness and dynamics behavior, accuracy, cleanliness and costs (to name a few) determine the optimal manufacturing technology choice.
Design reviews for possible improvements
The manufacturability and serviceability are reviewed and possible improvements can be added. Potentially extra functionalities can be added in the design, like the integration of tools for manufacturing and service actions. For instance, think of tools such as an integrated folding table in a service door. The results of the reviews and analysis are being discussed in a meeting and agreed with our customer in a design review.
FEM calculations and tolerance analysis
The design can be backed up with for instance FEM calculations, tolerance analysis, FMEA (Failure Mode, Effect Analysis), SRA (Safety Risk Analyses). This is done in a structured process to reduce diverse risks and to comply with legal requirements and human- and machine safety aspects according to machine directive.
Realize a mechanical system design (Technical Product Documentation)
In the next phase of a project we realize the detailed design involving the NTS manufacturing sites to incorporate all manufacturing feedback for future production and assembly, regarding aspects such as lead time, costs and quality. The product will be designed to eliminate as many future product risks as possible. Also the build- and test sequence and usage of (special) tools will be incorporated. This may lead to for instance additional notches and keyholes in sheet metal or reduction of the number of different fasteners.
If the detailed design is finished, we create the Technical Product Documentation (TPD) and take care of setting up the supply chain for the realization of prototypes, as well as the future pilot- and volume production if that is in the customer’s product roadmap and agreed upon in collaboration with NTS.
Realization and verification of the project
Also during the realization and verification phase of the project the mechanical engineer is involved in the project. During realization, our mechanical engineers help the production engineers by solving possible issues and updating the design accordingly. During verification, all requirements are verified by measurements and tests on prototypes, and additionally supported with modelling and simulation.
What do we offer?
NTS provides system solutions of which mechanical engineering is always the basis. Our solutions meet your specific required mix of time to market, cost and performance criteria. Mechanical designs become more and more complicated due to increased requirements related to machine performance in terms of speed, accuracy, size, cleanliness, safety and other legal requirements and costs.
NTS customer solutions are highly targeted to your application and business case. This is achieved by:
- Balancing multiple mechanical requirements in a structured product creation process;
- Mechanical design activities running in parallel with mechatronics, electronics, software and production preparation activities within the same project;
- Re-use of proven design concepts and solutions such as leafsprings, actuation, cleanliness, airbearings;
- Direct access and fast iterations for manufacturability and serviceability, with our colleagues from the manufacturing and assembly divisions;
- Managed up-to-date product documentation on each level (design, assembly, production)
What can you expect?
- Mechanical architects, Lead engineers and Designers fully integrated in multidisciplinary and if desired co-located design teams for development of high tech systems;
- Due to the re-use of design concepts less risks and shorter time to market;
- Extensive track record in semiconductor, analytical, life sciences and digital printing solutions
- Input, trade-offs and optimizations related to manufacturability from our manufacturing sites in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Singapore or China;
- 70+ years of manufacturing experience;
- Customer-focused teams to achieve the optimal integrated system solution.
Do you want to discover how our expertise can help you shorten time to market?
Ask one of our experts