Our "Automated Microwave Factory" exceeded a volume of 100,000 complex microwave hybrids

Hybrid Manufacturing Line © TESAT

By beginning of May 2021, the quantity counter of the „Automated Microwave Factory“ exceeded a volume of 100,000 complex microwave hybrids. The precise quantity of 102,077 pcs splits in 83,321 LTCC multilayer hybrids and 18,756 MHICs (Microwave Hybrid Integrated Circuits). Roughly 50 million adhesive dots have been dispensed and more than 26 million gold wires have been applied.

The available production line for highly integrated RF-Systems in Package (RF-SiP) using mainly LTCC-multilayer technology has a peak monthly capacity of up to 3,000 TRX-RF modules. One of the highlights is a “man-less” First Time Yield (FTY) of over 92 %. A major prerequisite for such high FTY and a large production throughput is the extremely high process stability installed.

The LTCC-multilayer technology has been space qualified and TESAT holds an ESCC “Certificate of Process Capability Approval” granted by DLR & ESA. The ESA certificate confirms that TESAT is an approved hybrid manufacturer “Category 1 / Option 2” for LTCC hybrids. Option 2 means that a LTCC production lot can be released based on available IPC/SPC instead of a time-consuming and expensive Lot Acceptance Test (LAT).

Based on the consequent reduction of process variety, we operate four fully automated series production lines within a 400 m² ISO8-classified cleanroom. 2.5 million microwave placements can be carried out per year at a labor-to-machine time ratio of 1 to 20. The major machine programs for epoxy dispenser, pick & placer, wire-bonder and AOI are generated automatically by an own CAD data processor. A unique core capability is that microwave modules can be manufactured within man-less ghost-shifts overnight.

An automatic failure tracking system, the possibility of extracting production metrics data at 24/7 as well as inline and statistical process control are standard. Furthermore, we support a 100 % material and process traceability down to the product serial number – even for tiny products, which can only be marked post-process.

Highly experienced microwave R&D and hybrid assembly experts are conditioning new microwave designs in terms of highest “Design for Manufacturing” (DFM) and “Design for Test” (DFT) levels. This is performed in closed collaboration with the microwave R&D engineers beginning on schematic level.

Manual visual inspections have been widely replaced by IPC/SPC and Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI). Unique TESAT core capabilities in this field are high-speed in-line volumetric scan of applied adhesive dispense pattern and in-line height profiling of placed dies.

The TESAT LTCC production line provides the ideal combination of low cost hybrid manufacturing and conventional Hi-Rel production capabilities at the highest possible quality level.

© Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG, 2022
Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG
Gerberstr. 49
71522 Backnang