The tragic coronavirus epidemic now drives sudden urgency for flexible and rapidly scalable contract manufacturing worldwide. Whereas costs were an original attraction for manufacturing in China, costs must increasingly be addressed through automation and innovation. By developing and demonstrating proven, scalable approaches to photonic device manufacturing automation, the EU’s Photonics Pilot Lines take on new importance. However, packaging costs remain dominant, and repetitive/time-consuming alignment processes reign over all other cost contributors throughout the test and packaging chain. Innovation in the form of fast, automated alignment micro-robots reduces these costs by two orders of magnitude, enabling our industry’s response.
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