Advancements in active alignment for camera sensors with TRIOPTICS

TRIOPTICS produces a wide range of optical measurement and manufacturing systems, enabling the development, quality control and production of lenses, lens systems and camera modules. In this article, they share the latest update in active alignment technology, with a focus on large scale production.

1. Can you give us a brief overview of active alignment? 

The alignment process ensures that the full performance of the lens and sensor is utilised. The most important production step is the alignment of the optics relative to the camera sensor. The components are focused, centred, tilted and rotated in a single step. Multiple targets are projected through the lens and onto the sensor while the sensor captures the images. The software continuously monitors the MTF on each of the target images. If all MTF values are acceptable, the previously applied adhesive is cured with UV light. This allows the sensor to be aligned and fixed to the desired image plane of the lens with micrometre precision. Finally, a complete thermal curing takes place in a separate oven. In addition to the simple alignment for focusing and centring the sensor, the rotation (and especially the sensor tilt relative to the image plane of the optics) are also adjusted. The tilt adjustment is particularly important for high-performance, high-resolution modules with a shallow depth of field to achieve the required image quality. As sensor resolution continues to increase and manufacturing tolerances become tighter, the industry prefers to use automatic alignment systems. 

2. What are the advantage of this active alignment technology? 

  • Strict control of the optical properties during the production process 
  • Increasing image quality or reducing deviations in image quality 
  • Ensuring focus across the entire field of view 
  • Ensuring an adjustable focal length 
  • Reducing production waste 
  • Increasing the production yield

 3. How is TRIOPTICS navigating challenges in large scale production? 

Our equipment achieves maximum yield and production speed to enable production of over one million sensors per year. A fully automated production line with pre-testing of components, a sensor-specific alignment process for optical elements and end-of-line (EOL) testing of the final product. The entire system meets the automotive industry’s requirements for the highest OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) in terms of 24/7 production with maximum availability as well as traceability of production data and connectivity to MES systems.  

3. Can you tell us more about your presence at AutoSens USA? 

Our ADAS expert Dr. Dirk Seebaum was be on stage at AutoSens USA to give a presentation on “Expanding the wavelength range of ADAS/AD cameras”. Dirk’s presentation highlighted challenges and solutions for optical alignment and testing of cameras for wavelengths beyond the VIS spectrum, and strategies for achieving optimal optical performance for automotive production requirements. To watch it back, get an on-demand pass.

Don’t miss key conversations at AutoSens Europe this October. Get your pass here.
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