MEMS mirrors specialist says facility includes Class 10,000 and Class 1000 cleanrooms
The outside view of the new premises
Mirrorcle Technologies (MTI), a privately owned, US manufacturer of gimbal-less microelectromechanical system (MEMS) mirrors, has moved into a new 7,000ft2 facility in Richmond, CA, which houses the company’s operations, R&D and manufacturing departments.
'Our positive sales and growth projections facilitated our decision to look for new office and laboratory space,' said MTI’s CEO Dr Milanovic. 'Being able to fulfil our goals just next door to our old location was just a big additional bonus. It allowed us not only to remain close to Point Isabel and its shoreline, but also provided offices and a facility with direct views of the beautiful San Francisco Bay.'
The re-modelled production facility features Class 10,000 and Class 1,000 cleanrooms with appropriate flooring and ceiling panels, as well as special wall paint.
A gowning room allows for the proper transition of staff from the office to the adjacent cleanroom. When entering this controlled, double-door room, MTI staff and visitors suit up with appropriate laboratory apparel, cleanroom coats, hairnets, gloves and designated laboratory footwear.
Eight high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters provide a virtually particle-free atmosphere. Positive air pressure and airflow from the cleanrooms pushes filtered air toward the adjacent areas. Additionally, both temperature and humidity are monitored.
No material that could potentially shed any particles, dust, or other contamination is permitted in the cleanroom area, the company said.
Our positive sales and growth projections facilitated our decision to look for new office and laboratory space
'When construction was completed, the move was very challenging as we had to avoid any equipment and delivery downtime. With carefully scheduled moving of various production modules we were able to reduce the downtime to literally one weekend. Friday evening we were assembling in the old facility and Monday evening we were shipping from the new facility,' said Dr Milanovic.
Once the new location was secured, the opportunity to re-organise and optimise the manufacturing flow became the main focus. The goal was to maintain the ability to deliver the highest quality products while meeting both the increasing demand for R&D services and volume production commitments.
'Due to our limited laboratory space in the old facility, we often had to use individual workstations for multiple orders, overlapping manufacturing steps and even R&D tasks,' added Dr Milanovic.
'While we were able to continue to deliver high quality products, it became apparent that improvements were needed to allow company growth without any reduction in quality of product or service. The floor plan of our new facility reflects this goal.'
One of the key points of the new layout and workflow is a clear separation between production and R&D.
Outgoing inspection optical repeatability
MTI’s new facility also features expanded electronics design, manufacture and test capabilities, as well as added prototyping means. The electronics engineering department now features a dedicated development kit hardware assembly space and a separate laboratory for testing MTI’s OEM controllers, amplifiers and MiniPCB, among others.
These areas can also be used for rework and electronics quality assurance testing on component, PCB or on system levels. Newly procured equipment such as power supplies, oscilloscopes and rework tools enable faster, more reliable and more efficient turnaround.
For optical experiments, MTI now has a laser beam profiler, a dedicated cleanroom for the company’s established 100% outgoing optical QA inspections, and 36m of unobstructed indoor optical testing capability.