Topics: Numerical control, Machining, Electrical discharge machining Pages: 10 (2425 words) Published: April 6, 2013
Literature Review Assignment


Efficiency and Sustainability of Mechanical Micromachining
Sirikienthong, Sirichai (epxss18@nottingham.ac.uk)

School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, M3 Synopsis: Nowadays, the advancement of technological innovation has greatly driven the size of components of high technology products down. The more complex mechanism inside those products requires the combinations of smaller components. The manufacturers of those components are needed to be responsive to the demand. Furthermore, they also have to be sustainable because the climate change has been a global issue. Therefore, they have to improve and adapt their process to maintain the competitiveness. Mechanical Micromachining includes micro milling, micro turning, micro cutting and micro drilling are the new continuously improving technology which could be more suitable to produce micro components in both terms of efficiency and sustainability as Mukhopadhyay (2010) mentioned. Moreover, in some cases, mechanical micromachining is even more precise and flexible than conventional CNC machines. In this study, the performance of mechanical micromachining, conventional machining, electrical discharge machining (EDM) and non-conventional micromachining are compared in three ways: potential and efficiency, sustainability, and limitations. The further development is also provided in this study.

Increasing intensity of competition in global markets makes manufacturing firms attempt to raise their production performance, i.e. increase their production rate while unnecessary costs of production is reduced. One efficient way to do so is to employ new technologies for the production processes, which would benefits the firms in selecting the most suitable technique for their manufacturing process. According to Colton (2009), there are 5 micromachining techniques which are photolithography, etching, lithography, electroplating, and molding (LIGA) and laser ablation for non-conventional micromachining, and another particular technique is mechanical micromachining for wide range of applications including micro-electromechanical (MEM) devices.

Potential and efficiency of mechanical micromachining
A comparison of efficiency among mechanical micromachining, conventional machining, electric discharge machining (EDM) and non-conventional micromachining in similar applications is shown in table 1. Obviously, Liow (2008) shows that conventional and mechanical micromachining are the most capable in terms of ability to remove any material whereas the others are limited with a number of material types, especially such chemical machining like etching and photolithography can only remove silicon and some metal alloy. Since the ability to perform 3-dimentional (3D) structure allow a machine to perform a variety of simple to complicated parts, Colton (2009) asserts that geometry of freedom should also be taken into the consideration, i.e. mechanical micromachining can perform 3D structure

Sirikienthong, Sirichai


Literature Review Assignment


e.g. free form surface while etching and photolithography can only handle with surface reaction. Mecomber (2005) mentions that conventional machines have ability to produce 10-200 micron of minimum feature and 2-10 micron of tolerance but it is still far less accurate than micromachining and EDM, approximately 10 times according to Liow (2008) while LIGA is the most accurate technique in the comparison at 0.02 micron minimum feature and 0.01 micron tolerance with a material limitation. Although EDM is more efficient than mechanical micromachining regarding a material removal rate, but EDM has a limit to perform metal and semiconductor or conductor ceramics of only according to CISM (2005). In addition, Mukhopadhyay (2010) presents that conventional machining equipment is inefficient in the particular application because it requires large...
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