Browse Prior Art Database

Automated Line Embedding Mechanism

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104910D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 157K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Adams, EM: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

Described is a hardware mechanism that provides automated line embedding of multi-layer ceramic substrates by reducing manual handling of line embedded sandwiches.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Automated Line Embedding Mechanism

      Described is a hardware mechanism that provides automated line
embedding of multi-layer ceramic substrates by reducing manual
handling of line embedded sandwiches.

      Typically, ceramic green sheets that are used to make
multi-layered ceramic (MLC) substrates have circuit patterns inserted
on them by a variety of screening and chemical processes.  A line
embedding process is used to press circuit material that has been
screened on the surface of the green sheet into the soft green sheet
material.  The concept described herein implements an automated
embedding process for handling the sheets during the fabrication of
multi-layered ceramic substrates.

      The embedding process requires that the green sheets be
assembled in the form of a sandwich between two steel plates and two
Mylar* backer sheets.  Fig. 1 shows how the green sheet is sandwiched
between the backer plates, the top plate and the bottom plate.

      In prior art, the sandwich was processed by manually assembling
the parts and then transporting the sandwich from the assembly area
to a conveyor input area and placed on a conveyor belt.  The conveyor
would carry the sandwich through a heating tunnel to a pressing
operation and then through a cooling tunnel.  After cooling, the
sandwich was removed from the conveyor and transported to a
disassembly area where the green sheet was manually removed from the
sandwich.  This operation required as many as six operators to
maintain production levels.  In addition, the sandwich was subjected
to damage during the process handling.

      The concept described herein provides an automated mechanism
which is designed to automatically assemble and disassemble the
sandwich for the required fabrication of multi-layered ceramic
substrates.  Fig. 2 shows the line embedding mechanism which consists
of:  input cleaner 1, assembly station 2, disassembly station 3,
press station 4, output cleaner 5, conveyer 6, heating tunnel 7, and
cooling tunnel 8.

      Input cleaner 1 and output cleaner 5 are designed to remove
contaminating particles from the green sheet surfaces before and
after processing.  Assembly station 2 and disassembly station 3
assemble and disassemble the line-embedded sandwiches.  Press station
4 performs the actual embedding process.  Heating tunnel 7 heats the
sandwich assembly to an elevated temperature to make the embedding
process easier to accomplish.  Cooling tunnel 8 cools the sandwich
assembly back to room temperature after the pressing operation.
Conveyor 6 transports the sandwich assembly and the steel plates
throughout the process.

      In actual operation, a tray containing up to twenty green
sheets is hand loaded into input cleaner 1.  A linear pick and place
mechanism (not shown) picks a single green sheet out of the tray and
passes it over a pulsating vacuum cleaning assembly (not shown) and
places it on transport conveyer 6 whi...