Reel to Reel Film Positioning of Plastic Substrates – Mr Takudzwa Gomwe
This MSc study from May to September 2014, sponsored by the EPSRC Centre in Ultra Precision, Fanuc and Heidenhain, developed the Ultra Precision Film Steering (UPFS) test system to measure the positioning accuracy of a 50cm wide, 100μm thick polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film.
Flexible substrates are preferentially used in reel to reel processing, however their variable elasticity makes repositioning challenging especially at high speeds and tensions. High quality mass produced reel to reel devices are defined in industry as having feature sizes within 10μm. The system used in this study incorporated state of the art linear encoders and metallic absolute scale gratings as measurable markers, supplied by Heidenhain and a control system provided by Fanuc, to input numerical motion control commands to the UPFS.
Results obtained indicate displacement remains within 10μm and this can be further improved by improving the control system and directly measuring film tension.
This project was supervised at Cranfield University by Prof Paul Shore and Paul Morantz.