Prototype-to-Production Assembly of Innovative Radiation Detection Products
Collaboration is one of the most important driving forces for continued growth in any business. Kromek, a leading developer of radiation detection products, has been able to meet its growth demand through an effective 20 years collaboration with Finetech and an assembly equipment pathway.
Kromek is at the forefront of CZT (cadmium zinc telluride)-based radiation detector development, providing a way for medical device manufacturers to offer a scalable, modular solution for all quantitative SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) systems assembled into hand-held surgical cameras, thyroid imaging, molecular breast imaging, cardiac SPECT, preclinical or veterinary SPECT, and general-purpose whole-body SPECT. The change from conventional scintillator technology to CZT is like moving up from a black-and-white vacuum-tube television to a digital, high-definition, color flat-screen TV.
John Eger, Process Engineer for Kromek, has had a nearly 20 year, long-term relationship with Finetech, installing his first 5 µm FINEPLACER® pico die bonder back in 2002.
The machine provided John the ability to prove out his concept through R&D to moderate production volume. As demand grew, the human limitations of repeatability and throughput, along with the need for higher accuracies, dictated a clear need for a new equipment solution. Finetech supported the transition to the fully-automated FINEPLACER® femto 2 bonder.
Kromek‘s volume assembly processes consist of epoxy dispense and picking and placing of multiple high density array radiation detectors with high precision.
The FINEPLACER® femto 2 bonder at Finetech‘s New Hampshire lab was utilized for process development and trial runs to prove out the automated steps. This gave Kromek the ability to verify that both the legacy products and next generation radiation detectors could be built successfully, thus providing real cost justifications to invest in automation.
Kromek is excited to use their new die bonder for R&D assembly phases of finer pitch, high channel count products. Accuracy is critical at this pitch and density. The value of the assembly when it reaches the Finetech bonder is at its highest level. Rework is not possible, and any scrap is very costly. For Kromek, high yield and repeatability are critical.
“The FINEPLACER® femto 2 bonder has solved the leading challenges we needed to overcome in order to keep up with production demand, and enabled assembly of certain products that were simply not possible prior to gaining the FINEPLACER® femto 2 capability. Finetech was completely receptive to our customized requirements and special production assembly challenges. This led to delivering a tool that not only met our needs, but exceeded our expectations. And we expect this will help open the door to additional niche revenue streams”, said John Eger.
“When working with Finetech, I particularly valued the patience and assistance of the entire team throughout the several demo visits, both in the US and Berlin locations. After all, it took a few years for us to be able to finally place an order. Also, the technical support and personal attention from their applications and service group is outstanding.”John Eger, Process Engineer, Kromek Group plc