Design, Fabrication and Characterization of a Flexible System Based on Thermal Glue for in Air and in SEM Microassembly

  • Cédric Clévy
  • Arnaud Hubert
  • Stephan Fahlbusch
  • Nicolas Chaillet
  • Johann Michler
Part of the IFIP International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 198)


This paper presents the design, fabrication and characterization of a device able to exchange the tip part (so-called the tools) of a two fingered microgripper. The principle of this tool changer is based on the use of a thermal glue whose state (liquid or solid) is changed by heating or cooling. Several kinds of pairs of tools have been designed. The suitable pair of tools can be chosen according to the size, shape and material of the object to manipulate. The tool changer enables one to perform a sequence of elementary micromanipulation tasks (i.e. an assembly sequence) by using only one gripper mounted on only one manipulator. The tool changer has been automated and successfully tested in air and in the vacuum chamber of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). It brings flexibility to the micromanipulation cell and contributes to reduce the costs, the used space and experimentations time for micro-manipulations in the SEM. The assembly of a ball bearing (the balls are 200 µm. in diameter) has been successfully tested using the microgripper equipped with the tool changer in a SEM. This tool changer has been designed for a microgripper but can be easily adapted to lots of other kinds of systems.


Micromanipulation cell Tool Changer Micromanipulation Microassembly Flexibility Microfactory Scanning Electron Microscope Automation 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cédric Clévy
    • 1
  • Arnaud Hubert
    • 1
  • Stephan Fahlbusch
    • 2
  • Nicolas Chaillet
    • 1
  • Johann Michler
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Automatique de BesançonUMR CNRS 6596 - ENSMM - UFCBesançonFrance
  2. 2.Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA)ThunSwitzerland

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