Helia Photonics is a photonics company based in Livingston, Scotland, specialising in the production of thin film coatings on laser facets, free space optics, fibre ends and semiconductor devices. They also provide semiconductor cleaving services, sawing, dicing and polishing services, film deposition photolithography, and laser bar testing.
To embed advanced robotics and automation design knowledge in order to exploit emerging market opportunities and increase productivity.
“This 2-year KTP project has exceeded our expectations. We have benefited from and gained specialist knowledge which is hugely beneficial to the business. We are delighted our Associate is now joining us as a full-time robotics engineer.” - Dr Antoine Boudet, Senior Development Engineer
As a relatively new industry with immense global potential, the Photonics industry is constantly evolving and consolidating. One of the defining trends in the last 10 years has been towards the miniaturisation of some type of chips, a crucial step for faster telecommunications (for laser diodes), ultra-compact embedded systems (for photonic integrated circuits) and novel cutting-edge technologies expected to mature within the next 20 years. For these technologies, the constant move to smaller devices has now reached a stage where standard processing tools and manual techniques are becoming inadequate, resulting in slow and costly processes with very low success yields.
Increase in annual sales turnover expected over 3 years: >£1,000,000
Planned R&D spend in related areas over 5 years: £400,000
Total number of staff trained: 8
- Associate retained by company as a robotics engineer
- This KTP project has produced a unique robotic system, able to manipulate very small components (down to <150μm size) with μm-level precision over a workspace of over half a meter square
- This system is fully automated based on a custom vision recognition and control software, and can be used for a range of processes involving devices too small to be manipulated by standard pick-and-place machines or human technicians
- This system allows Helia Photonics to apply its highly optimised semiconductor processes and coatings on a fast-growing range of ultra-small devices, a capability it did not possess before the KTP project. This is now a major addition to Helia’s toolkit and an important service offering to their customers