July 11, 2012 -- VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, awarded a nearly SEK10 million (just under US$1.5 million) grant to the “Sustainable Production Systems for Hi-Tech Manufacturing of MEMS-Based Gas Sensor Systems in Sweden,” a consortium of 10 Swedish companies working to advance high-tech manufacturing of micro electro mechanical system (MEMS)-based gas sensing systems in Sweden.
Silex Microsystems, pure-play MEMS foundry, will receive nearly SEK1 million in the deal, to advance its manufacturing infrastructure and operations capabilities in Järfälla. Silex will be leveraging its grant award to further strengthen its in-line process monitoring and standardization and reuse capabilities through its SmartBlocks program. SmartBlocks is Silex’s framework for modularizing and characterizing process steps for easy re-use. Additionally, Silex will develop innovative lean manufacturing techniques, provide Six Sigma training for its engineers, and conduct design for manufacturability studies within an integrated IT environment. “Our participation in this consortium will allow us to implement state-of-the-art IT and operational advancements that will strengthen our MEMS manufacturing excellence. These improvements will also enable our customers to bring their MEMS-based products to market faster and capitalize on the emerging demand for gas sensors,” said Dr Thorbjörn Ebefors, Silex chief technologist.
The Vinnova project, entitled “Sustainable Production Systems for Hi-Tech Manufacturing of MEMS-Based Gas Sensor Systems in Sweden,” addresses the challenges in production technology for gas sensor systems at all points of the industry supply chain. The consortium is developing next-generation MEMS-based gas sensing systems such as car breath sensors for alcohol lock-out systems, CO2 monitoring systems for climate control, oxygen monitoring for hospital intensive care units, and NO monitoring for personal asthma modules.
The consortium will introduce Evolvable Production Systems to sensor manufacturing and develop methods and demonstrate implementations of next-generation miniaturized MEMS-based gas sensor technology. The project is scheduled to begin in September of 2012 and run for approximately two years.
The Consortium is coordinated by Professor Stemme at the KTH Department of Microsystem Technology and also has the KTH Institute for Industrial Production as an Academic Partner. Partner companies are Silex Microsystems AB, SenseAir AB, Autoliv Development AB, Hök Instrument AB, Aerocrine AB, Maquet Critical Care AB, Lexi Consulting AB, Håla AB, and Excal AB.
VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, invests in research and strengthens Sweden’s innovative capacity for competitiveness, sustainable development and growth. VINNOVA’s efforts range from programs for R&D projects in small companies and at universities, to long-term development of strong research and innovation environments that attract R&D investment and expertise from around the world. For more information see www.vinnova.se/en
Silex Microsystems is as pure-play MEMS foundry. Learn more at www.silexmicrosystems.com.