Active Alignment: Why it is Essential for Camera Modules in Advanced Electronics

Some may wonder why active alignment is so important to camera module assembly….Well, the primary motivation for manufacturers to push their camera modules into the 21st century by making active alignment standard are recent industry developments such as increasingly thin cell phones, larger aperture cameras, stereoscopic cameras, and vision analysis requirements found in automotive camera applications.

While thinner cell phones can sometimes be outfitted with wafer-level cameras, those cameras are not guaranteed to be aligned correctly due to possible flaws in the wafers, such as a curve (smile) or misaligned sensor.  In addition, these wafer-level cameras only work in extremely low mega-pixel resolutions.  To make a high quality camera that is also thin enough for today’s leanest mobile phones, one must integrate cameras that have been actively aligned in five or six degrees of freedom.

Camera module assembled using active alignment improves focus

The increased use of larger aperture cameras, to enhance performance in low light conditions, also pushes traditionally-assembled camera modules out of contention.  Because the larger aperture lens results in a smaller depth of focus when combined with image sensors with increased resolution and smaller pixels, it is of the utmost importance that the light is properly channeled with a camera assembled using active alignment to garner a focused, high quality image.  Similarly, the trend toward stereoscopic cameras also requires active alignment to best balance the performance of both camera channels appropriately to ensure that the correct tip-tilt angle and centration for each lens generates uniform focus and pointing.

Finally, in camera modules for vehicles, the camera must meet vision analysis requirements so that the vision system can perform object detection as accurately as possible.  Because automotive cameras with machine vision will tell the driver what exactly is near the car, the clearest possible picture is required, and therefore active alignment for the camera module assembly is essential.  Without it, camera manufacturers risk selling modules that produce blurry-edged image results.

Overwhelmingly, industry direction has driven camera modules toward more compact designs with higher megapixels and therefore higher quality images.  Active alignment allows camera modules to be both compact and high quality – and now, with the Kasalis Pixid series, active alignment is available in the most advanced, cost-effective, and compact system on the market.

 

Now Available: The Pixid 300 Series, Groundbreaking Automated Active Alignment and Test System

We are thrilled to announce that our signature alignment and test system, the Pixid 300 Series, is now available to high volume manufacturers of camera modules. Our engineers have truly created an outstanding assembly system that leapfrogs existing standards to meet the future demands of fast-moving high technology industries.

Camera module assembly system Pixid 300 Pro

The groundbreaking Pixid 300 Pro is our signature model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is the Pixid system different?  For starters, its innovative design allows for parallel processing of camera modules, so when one is being aligned, another is getting its adhesive. This contributes to our industry-leading cycle time of only 15 seconds, or 240 camera units per hour, all using active alignment for the absolute best image quality possible.  In addition, the yield of usable camera modules is higher using our machines because of our Adaptive IntelligenceTM software, which adjusts the alignment algorithm based on data trends.

Our systems cost significantly less than the industry average, both in terms of equipment and maintenance costs.  Our modular design makes the Pixid series easy to operate and very simple to repair or update.  With customer needs in mind, we have taken a new approach to active alignment and developed this system to meet their challenges head-on, including driving down the cost of active alignment, creating an intuitive, easily operated machine that doesn’t require an engineering degree, and lowering lead times by designing for the rapid configuration of systems.

The Pixid 300 Pro model is a fully automated manufacturing system featuring active alignment, configurable optical testing options, Adaptive IntelligenceTM SPC, and automated adhesive dispense and UV cure.  In addition to the Pixid 300 Pro, the line includes the Pixid 300 Test model, which is intended purely for the high speed, final functional testing of camera modules. The Pixid 300 systems are designed for high volume production of camera modules such as those used in smartphones, cars, webcams, medical imaging, wearable sports cameras, and security cameras.