Precision Assembly of Optical Backplanes
Full optical backplanes can be seen as a promising technology for high bandwidth ICT (Information and Communication Technology) apparatuses and high performance computing systems. According to a recent frame-based solution, the backplane mounts a number of independent optical interconnect circuits mainly consisting of a set of optical fiber ribbons of different lengths arranged to fulfill a specific planar ribbon routing. A non-negligible problem is related to the development of suitable techniques for the efficient and cost-effective assembly of such sub-circuits. New systems are required that combine ultimate hardware and software capabilities and derive from a synergic implementation of digital and advanced manufacturing technologies. The successful assembly of the optical interconnection circuits lies in the development of cyber-physical production systems within the framework of Industry 4.0. In this context, this work will present and discuss how different innovative technologies and consolidated technologies applied in a novel context were exploited to demonstrate the feasibility of the automated backplane assembly. The achieved results are discussed in terms of design of the work-cell layout and related equipment, simulation tests, tool path planning, and final task execution.
KeywordsOptical backplane Robotic assembly Cyber-physical work-cell
The activity was funded by the PON project “BACKOP” - Optical Backplane for high-capacity ICT apparatus – PON 01-01209 (2011–2015), EU FERS, IMiSE, MIUR. The authors would like to thank M. Leco, D. Casartelli, M. Riccardi, and S. Osio for their contributions to the activities presented in this paper. The authors also thank Mr. J.C. Dalberto and Mr. R. Bozzi for their contributions to the development of the prototypes and the setup of the system.
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