Our System

Our semi-automated soldering system streamlines the manufacturing of Alcon’s surgical handpieces to address the demand for cataract surgery.

By implementing our semi-automated process, we can reduce the production line’s assembly time by 50% while obtaining an accuracy of 95%. Our implemented process includes the semi-automated soldering machine, two alignment fixtures, and a solder clamp specifically designed to accommodate the connector inserted in the handpiece. Each design fixture was optimized through trial runs that tested for solder speed, distance from solder to connector pin, and accuracy of soldering on the connector pin, while maintaining the shortest time. Ultimately, we were able to reduce the soldering process of the connector to 8-10 minutes. With our semi-automated soldering system, technicians can achieve a streamlined assembly process, ensuring ease of use, reduced training requirements, and faster completion times.

Our Design

We outsourced a semi-automated soldering machine and calibrated the settings to meet our needs.

We also implemented a safety guard to protect the technician.

Figure 1: Semi-Automated Soldering Machine

We designed two alignment needles for each side of the connector since the soldering points are at different angles and locations. The base is 3D-printed and stationary, while the needles are CNC-ed to be used under high temperature and can be switched out of the base by a simple sliding motion.

Figure 2: SolidWorks model of Original Alignment Needle (Left) and Slanted Alignment Needle (Right)

Our third fixture is a solder clamp to secure the solder output in place. It is 3D-printed in resin.

Figure 3: Solder Clamp

Our Pitch