Kees Verbaan

System architects’ challenges for state-of-the-art qualification tools in a customer-supplier co-development setting


While developing equipment for the qualification of optical components, the system architect at NTS has the final responsibility for the system, but NTS’ customer has the needed state-of-the-art optical expertise. This poses a number of challenges. Most importantly, the customer’s technology has to be incorporated into the concept system. That means the supplier must have a full grasp on the limitations of the technology in order to have a realistic set of requirements.

The design of qualification tools for high-end components and sub-assemblies often requires merging cutting-edge technologies, such as optical, imaging and mechatronic technologies, together with opto-mechanical knowledge. To perform well, these technologies may require appropriate cleanliness, thermal management and vibration control of the setup. Customers of these types of tools are at the forefront of their field, but they still need to work with suppliers to meet these requirements. They also rely on the supplier to take over the responsibility of tool design and delivery.

Apart from having to build on the customers optical expertise, a second challenge arises during the detailed design of the tool. This is where the appropriate error budgets need to be devised between the customer’s technologies and the supplier’s technologies, in order to ensure the performance.

A third challenge comes from the detailed design and the realization phase, where some of the error budgets may not hold and need to be discussed with the customer to find new budgets to ensure the performance of the tool.

This presentation will address these challenges and use examples to illustrate.