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Utilization of Micro-Accelerometers in

Micromachining:
Control of Spindle Runout
Sunaryanto, Hans J.
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kapoor, Shiv G.
Abstract
In recent years the market demand for high precision micromanufacturing has increased
tremendously, whether it may be for bulk production as in the case of smartphone giants such as
Samsung and Apple, or for research purposes as for Sandia National Laboratory. A satisfactory
approach to this problem was achieved by the relatively young field within the cross-discipline
of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, called the MEMS (Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems), which provides us with highly accurate and very sensitive sensors with
lower power consumption, in addition to its highest advantage over conventional sensors: its tiny
size. Given these sensors, we are able to very closely monitor micromachining processes,
obtaining all sorts of data including spindle acceleration, position and angular offsets along
the way. Engineers are then able to translate this data, and through design of experiment,
determine the optimal speeds and feedrates that would be both profitable and at the same time
maintain a decent quality. However, these two goals are always the opposite of each other:
productivity increases when quality decreases, and vice versa. Clearly, this approach has some
ultimate limitations that cannot be disregarded. Another promising approach for the improvement
of micromachining is to eliminate the source of the problem at its root to create a system
module that is capable of eliminating its own errors at real time and therefore deleting the need
for error compensation whatsoever. This paper is aimed at introducing a new method in which
this apporach is employed onto the problem of spindle runouts due to angular offsets in
micromachining.
Introduction
A. Overview
Micromachining has become an integral part of our daily lives as human of the 21st
century, although often times we fail to notice so. The electronic chips in our phones, the
arterial ring in medical devices, and even the electric circuits in our cars all contain some
form of micromachined products. Due to the recent advancement in the microscale

fabrication technology, corporate companies have started to invest a lot of capital into this
industry. However this technologys progress so far has been thwarted by an ultimate cap
of the traditional profitability versus quality problem, such as is the case with problems
resulting from spindle runouts that are created by angle offsets while cutting. Presently,
micromachining companies have hired thousands of engineers to tackle this problem
through the traditional approach: to first employ the method of design of experiments
(DOE) to determine the factors causing this problem, then to proceed with the setting that
gives them the best profitability for the required product quality. The more advanced
companies even have engineers are able to, with the help of microsensors such as micro
accelerometers, get the raw acceleration data from which they are able to translate into
forces however they have not been able to create an autonomous and instantenous
response to compensate for these forces (which lead to spindle runout errors) and instead
only create a compensation in their original machining input signal to reduce the effects
of these errors. Figure 1 below illustrates the problem of spindle runout due to reaction
forces from the workpiece itself as the workpiece is being translated during the creation
of its features.

Direction of
motion
Direction of
reaction
force

Figure 1. Illustration of spindle runout due to reaction forces. The red shape indicates the
intended/ideal position, while grey indicates the actual shape.

B. Existing Solution

Presently, many companies are attempting to compensate for this problem of spindle
runout as opposed to eliminating it. This can be done by first analyzing the acceleration
and force profiles with respect to product quality of each cutting process, from which a
design of experiments can be based on. Through this DOE, the engineers would then be
able to find out the optimal operating conditions, and implements these conditions for
further uses as a way to compensate for the limitations induced by spindle runouts. This
approach, while it seems to be working decently for the current micromanufacturing
method, is not very efficient overall. The reason behind this is that this compensational
approach limits the productibility of the goods through their quality: one must be
sacrificed in pursue of the other. For a given spindle speed and feedrate, only a certain
level of productibility can be achieved while maintaining a good product quality due to
errors attributed by spindle runouts.
C. Proposed solution
This paper proposes a solution on how to eliminate the problems caused by spindle
runouts due to angle offsets by preventing the issue from arising in the first place. Several
problems persist and have been resolved during the development phase of this idea,
which are elaborated further later in the paper.
I.

Mechanical Design
The initial design proposed in this paper is aimed at removing angular
spindle offset from the entire process. This can be achieved by creating a
restoring mechanism for the spindle to revert it back to its original,
vertical position once an angular displacement (such as one illustrated in
Figure 1) is detected.
The mechanical part of this new design consists of a ring-shaped bearing
track, on top of which are six (6) pinion roller gears, each responsible of
up to 35 to either sides of their motions with respect to a drillbit module
located in the center of the track. These roller gears are fixed to their
circular track, but are free to move laterally. Attached to each roller gear
are screw actuators fitted with padding on one end that extend to a drillbit
module. At the end of these paddings (in contact with the drillbit module)
are two-axis micro-accelerometers, with one axis in the direction of the
screw actuators pointing radially into the drillbit module, and another
pointing vertically. This orientation would allow for the detection of any
reaction forces as well as the calculation of their magnitudes and
therefore determining how much force is required to cancel out this effect.
The drillbit module itself contains two (2) separate parts, which is ideally,
but not required to be, manufactured together. The first of this is the

drillbit itself, while the second is a sleeve (linear) bearing attached to the
upper part of the drillbit, which serves as a point of contact between the
module and the actuators paddings. This surface of contact is also where
restoring forces from the actuators will be transferred towards the drillbit
module.
This entire setup is contained in a normal microdrill containment. A
simplified system is presented below in Figures 2-8, showing different
angles and depths of vision of the mechanical system when a 500m
drillbit is used.

Pinion roller
gears
Screw
actuators
Ring-shaped
bearing
track

500m
drillbit

Sleeve
(linear)
bearing

Padding
(equipped
with
microacceleromet

Figure 2. Standard internal view of the restoring module

Figure 3. Top orientation view of the restoring module

Figure 4. Side orientation view of the restoring module

Microdrill
Containment

Figure 5. Top orientation view of the implemented module

Figure 6. Standard orientation wireframe view of the implemented module

Figure 7. Side orientation wireframe view of the implemented module

Figure 7. Standard orientation hidden view of the implemented module

Figure 8. Side orientation hidden view of the implemented module


During the attachment and detachment of these microdrills, the actuators
need to first be retracted to a safe distance, before being re-extended to
clamp the sleeve bearing tightly from all 6 directions. Microaccelerometers attached to the surfaces of contacts between the sleeve
bearing and the actuator paddings will then work in a coupled conjencture
manner which can be achieved by implementing an electronic circuit as
shown in Figure 11 to allow synchrony between all twelve (12) motors (six
(6) pinion track motors and six (6) actuator screw motors). A uniform and
constant preloading force should be constantly exerted by all pinions onto
the sleeve bearing when there is no rotational movement. Through this
mechanical system, we would be able to adjust the amount of forces each
pinion exerts on the module, thereby eliminating angular spindle runouts
and the problems they bring about.
II.

Electronic Circuit Design


One major difference in dealing with micromachining as compared to
macromachining is the operational spindle speed. Due to the size of the
drillbit, much higher spindle speed can be used in micromachining as the
rate of heat dissipation is much higher on the latter case. Whilst this is

very beneficial for productivity, this poses a problem to our study; i.e. in
order to eliminate angular spindle runouts, an even higher processing
speed must be used, and only the most powerful of computers (i.e.,
mainframes) have that processing capacity presently, and their incredibly
high cost is a major hindrance of the implementation of this system.
In order to cope with this, the paper proposes an electronics circuit that
bypasses the need of using a central processing unit, and instead uses a
series of op-amps and filters as a divisive processing network. The
implementation of such system reduces the need for any computational
speeds as all information will be transcribed into binary codes (0s and
1s), i.e. 0 to command a screw actuator to retract and 1 to command it to
extend. Since only op-amps and filters are to be used, this system will
have virtually zero processing time as this speed will simply be the speed
of electrons (>580 Gbps). However, we also need to acknowledge that
using such system would increase the power consumption of the screw
actuators by approximately 30% as there will be no stationary command
for the actuators (all digits in the binary system has been used (0 for
retraction, 1 for extension)), therefore forcing all motors to constantly be
in operation.
Figure 9 shows the simplified closed loop feedback mechanism that could
be employed in this approach.

Figure 9. Ideal simplified closed feedback loop mechanism


A PID (proportional, integral and differential) controller is used in this case
to illustrate the actual controls system, wherein any data from the sensor
would be evaluated using their own values, their integral, and their
differential, in order to give a much more accurate result than just a P
controller. However even with this, it would be impossible to get
absolutely clean signals from both the inputs and the sensors and maintain
that level of cleanliness throughout the process, the reason being that there
is bound to be both the environmental disturbance and sensor noise factors
in play. Whilst the latter can be handled and minimized into a very

insignificant factor by using the PID controller, the environmental


disturbance would still cause a severe problem if not handled. In order to
tackle this, a disturbance rejection method using the IMP (Internal Model
Principle), setting the IMP controller to have its value equal the
environmental disturbance would allow us to completely reject this
entirely from the overall flowchart. Setting these factors in motion wihtin
the flowchart yields:

Figure 10. Actual closed loop feedback mechanism


With the overall IMP controller and PID controller installed using a
network of op-amps as shown below:

Figure 11. Collective op-amp design construct for integrated PID and IMP controller
Additionally, one major advantage in using micro-sensors as opposed to
using the normal macro-sized sensor for the manufacture of MEMS

devices is its modularization capability. Several micro-sensors can be


clustered into a single sensory module that reads several physical
parameters at that certain point in space over time, and simultaneously
generate readings that can be read by a processing system for recording
when desired. This feature is proven to be very useful in gathering
information about a process, since with this we would be able to minimize
errors that we are required to make due to location differences in sensors
that is inevitable when using macro-sized sensors.
The circuit shown in Figure 11 is designed to be installed for each
microsensor, meaning that there will be a total of six (6) such circuit
networks in the setup, all of which will be interconnected to each other for
data reliance.

To be done: Conclusion & Expectations

Acknowledgment

The completion of this paper is made possible with the help and guidance of Professor Shiv
Gopal Kapoor and Professor Joseph Bentsman of the Mechanical Science and Engineering
Department of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose contribution of time and aid
have been invaluable towards the completion of this paper.

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