A team led by Dr. Park Jong-kwan of the Ultra-Precision System Research Lab at the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials announced on Nov. 10 that they developed a fundamental technology for a hybrid processing system that realizes ultra-precision and micro-fabrication processes, and successfully commercialized the relevant equipment.
The commercialization of an ultra-precision processing system based on a hybrid process that can go beyond the limits of a current single process is essential to the promotion of high-tech industries of information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology, where high-precision components and products are used.
The research team developed a hybrid processing system that can process hard materials that are difficult to process precisely and minutely by performing conventional machining processes such as milling, laser processing, ultrasonic vibration, grinding and discharging based on nanometer-grade precision. The team achieved one of the world’s highest precision levels by mounting all of the developed equipment with modules that have processing errors of less than 50 nanometers (1/2000 of a hair thickness), and therefore automatically detecting and correcting them via sensors.
They could realize higher productivity and precision than current equipment by developing a hybrid spindle machine tool that can carry out milling, discharging and ultrasonic vibration processes at the same time, and lower mechanical precision to less than 50 nanometers.
Additionally, the research team developed hybrid hard-turning precision grinding processing equipment that can produce hard-to-machine materials such as auto parts at the micrometer level.
Furthermore, they developed non-conductive discharging and grinding hybrid processing equipment where a feed drive system can minutely move. The equipment can process diamond tools with a diameter of 0.5 mm or less. An ultra-precision hybrid processing system based on ultra-short high-energy beams, one of the developed items, can be used to produce cerebrovascular stents for the first time in Korea.