WO2020072067A1 - Novel automated polishing systems and methods relating thereto - Google Patents

Novel automated polishing systems and methods relating thereto

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Publication number
WO2020072067A1
WO2020072067A1 PCT/US2018/054493 US2018054493W WO2020072067A1 WO 2020072067 A1 WO2020072067 A1 WO 2020072067A1 US 2018054493 W US2018054493 W US 2018054493W WO 2020072067 A1 WO2020072067 A1 WO 2020072067A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
polishing
mobile
spindle
controller
jig
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2018/054493
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Myung Ki KIM
Original Assignee
Cve Technology Group, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Cve Technology Group, Inc. filed Critical Cve Technology Group, Inc.
Priority to PCT/US2018/054493 priority Critical patent/WO2020072067A1/en
Publication of WO2020072067A1 publication Critical patent/WO2020072067A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B24GRINDING; POLISHING
    • B24BMACHINES, DEVICES, OR PROCESSES FOR GRINDING OR POLISHING; DRESSING OR CONDITIONING OF ABRADING SURFACES; FEEDING OF GRINDING, POLISHING, OR LAPPING AGENTS
    • B24B51/00Arrangements for automatic control of a series of individual steps in grinding a workpiece

Abstract

Polishing systems and methods are described. An exemplar polishing system includes: (i) a jig designed to secure mobile device; (ii) a polishing head designed to contact and polish a mobile device surface; (iii) a spindle disposed above the jig and fitted with the polishing head; (iv) a slurry dispenser arranged adjacent to the spindle and designed to store and dispense polishing slurry on the mobile device surface; and (v) a central controller programmed to control operation of the jig, the spindle, and the slurry dispenser such that during an operative state of the jig and the spindle, and under control of the central controller, the slurry dispenser dispenses polishing slurry to facilitate polishing of the mobile device surface.

Description

NOVEL AUTOMATED POLISHING SYSTEMS AND METHODS RELATING THERETO
FIELD
G00011 The present teachings generally relate to novel systems and methods for polishing mobile devices ( e.g ., hand-held devices like smart phones). More particularly, the present teachings relate to novel systems and methods for automatically polishing, using one or more programmed controllers, surfaces of mobile devices.
BACKGROUND
G00021 Mobile devices, such as smart phones, are deemed valuable for contributing to various facets of human life, e.g., communication, health and wellness, calendar functions, camera functions, audio functions, information browsing etc. Innovations in developing automated systems and methods, which rapidly and accurately test these smart phone’s functionalities, have served well the refurbished or pre-owned market for these devices. Smart phone refurbishing companies continuously endeavor to offer a larger number of inexpensive and well-tested smart-phones. The closer a refurbished or a pre-owned smart phone appears and functions like a brand-new phone, the higher its demand and its resale value. Unfortunately, conventional systems and methods, employed in the refurbishing technology, do not offer an automated solution to address the smart phone’s appearance, e.g., including scratches and gauges, resulting from normal wear and tear. To the extent, conventional systems and methods use grinding or buffing, they rely on systems and processes that require significant manual intervention and are, therefore, slow and expensive.
G00031 What is, therefore, needed are automated systems and methods for addressing the appearance of preowned or refurbished mobile devices.
SUMMARY
G00041 To achieve the foregoing, the present arrangements and teachings offer many different types of automated systems and methods for polishing mobile devices.
G00051 In one aspect, the present arrangements offer polishing systems of one type. One such exemplar polishing system includes: (1) a jig designed to secure mobile device; (2) a polishing head designed to contact and polish mobile device; (3) a spindle disposed above the jig and fitted with the polishing head; (4) a slurry dispenser arranged adjacent to the spindle and designed to store and dispense polishing slurry on surface of mobile device; and (5) a central controller programmed to control operation of the jig, the spindle, and the slurry dispenser. Further, during an operative state of the jig and the spindle, and under control of the central controller, the slurry dispenser dispenses polishing slurry to facilitate polishing surface of mobile device. The arrangement of the slurry dispenser, spindle and a spindle motor for displacing the spindle, is referred to herein as, a“spindle motor subassembly.”
G00061 In addition to the components described above, the present arrangements may include other components, which facilitate displacement, preferably, of one or more mobile devices only in the X-direction. To this end, certain preferred embodiments of the present arrangements include a first tray that has disposed thereon one or more jig guides, which guide displacement of the jig in an X-direction. At least some of these embodiments include a first ball-screw drive subassembly that is coupled to the first tray and, in conjunction with one or more of the jig guides, displaces the jig in the X-direction. The present arrangements displace one or more mobile devices secured on the jig, preferably, by relying on: (1) an X-axis motor that operates, in conjunction with the first ball-screw drive subassembly, to displace the jig in the X-direction; and (2) an X-axis controller communicatively coupled to the central controller, and based upon instruction received from the central controller, the X-axis controller controls operation of the X-axis motor.
G00071 The present arrangements also allow displacement, only in the Y-direction, of one or more mobile devices. These designs of the present arrangement, preferably, include a second tray, which has disposed thereon one or more tray guides that guide displacement of the first tray in a Y-direction. At least some of these embodiments, further include a second ball-screw drive subassembly that is coupled to the second tray and operates, in conjunction with one or more of the tray guides, to displace the first tray in the Y-direction. The present arrangements displace one or more mobile devices, preferably, by relying on: (1) a Y-axis motor that operates in conjunction with the second ball-screw drive subassembly to displace the first tray in the Y- direction; and (2) a Y-axis controller communicatively coupled to the central controller, and based upon instruction received from the central controller, the Y-axis controller controls operation of the Y-axis motor, wherein the Y-direction is perpendicular to the X-direction.
G00081 More than displace one or more mobile devices in the X- or the Y-directions, the present arrangements are also capable of displacing the spindle or the spindle motor subassembly in the Z-direction, towards or away from the mobile device. The Z-direction is perpendicular to both the X- and the Y-directions. These designs of the present arrangement, preferably, include a spindle guide supporting structure, which has disposed thereon one or more spindle guides that guide displacement of the spindle or a spindle motor subassembly tray in the Z-direction. At least some of the arrangements that allow displacement of the spindle or the spindle motor
subassembly include: (1) a Z-axis motor that operates in conjunction with a third ball-screw drive subassembly to displace the spindle and the slurry dispenser in a Z-direction; and (2) a Z- axis controller that is communicatively coupled to the central controller, and based upon instruction received from the central controller, the Z-axis controller controls operation of the Z- axis motor such that either the spindle moves towards or away from the jig.
G00091 Further, it is not necessary that along a two-dimensional plane, one or more mobile devices move only in the X-direction or only in the Y-direction. Rather, in preferred
embodiments of the present arrangements, both the jig and the first tray are capable of being displaced, at the same time, in the X-direction and the Y-direction, respectively. A combination of displacement, at the same time, in the X-direction and the Y-direction, of one or more mobile devices is referred to herein as“slanted displacement.” In a slanted displacement, one or more mobile devices move at an angle to the X-axis and at an angle to the Y-axis.
G00101 In accordance with certain preferred arrangements, the polishing system includes a slurry dispensing controller, which is communicatively coupled to the slurry dispenser and to the central controller. Further, based upon instructions received from the central controller, the slurry dispensing controller controls operation of the slurry dispenser during an operational state of the jig and the spindle, to either dispense or cease dispensing polishing slurry. In one embodiment, during displacement of the jig and of the spindle and operating under control of the slurry dispenser controller, one implementation of the slurry dispenser is capable of dispensing polishing slurry on portion of mobile device surface before, e.g., a few seconds before, that portion undergoes polishing by the polishing head.
G00111 The central controller is capable of controlling more than the individual displacement controllers and the slurry dispenser controller. In preferred polishing system designs, the central controller controls the operation of a thermal sensor as well. In accordance with one embodiment of the present arrangements, the thermal sensor is integrated into the spindle motor subassembly. Regardless of its integration, the thermal sensor controller is communicatively coupled to a thermal sensor and to the central controller. The thermal sensor is designed to measure an operating temperature of mobile device surface, such that when the thermal sensor measures the operating temperature to be equal to or greater than a predefined threshold temperature, then the thermal sensor informs the central controller of the operating temperature, and either the central controller ceases operation of the jig or ceases gradual displacement of the spindle, in Z- direction, towards mobile device surface during a polishing operation.
G00121 In another aspect, the present arrangements offer polishing systems of another type. One such exemplar polishing system includes: (1) a jig designed to secure first mobile device and second mobile device; (2) a first polishing head designed to polish surface of first mobile device; (3) a first spindle disposed above the jig and fitted with the first polishing head; (4) a first slurry dispenser arranged adjacent to the first spindle and designed to store and dispense polishing slurry on surface of first mobile device; (5) a second polishing head designed to polish surface of second mobile device; (6) a second spindle disposed above the jig and fitted with the second polishing head; (7) a second slurry dispenser arranged adjacent to the second spindle and designed to store and dispense polishing slurry on surface of second mobile device; and (8) a coupling component that couples the first spindle and the second spindle such that during an operative state of the first spindle, the coupling component facilitates rotational displacement of the second spindle in a manner similar to that of the first spindle.
G00131 In this aspect, the arrangement, preferably, includes a single spindle motor that is coupled to the first spindle. Further, during an operative state of the single spindle motor, the presence of the coupling component conveys rotational displacement effected by the single spindle motor, and received at the first spindle, to the second spindle.
G00141 In another aspect, the present teachings offer methods of polishing one or more devices. One such exemplar method of polishing includes: (1) securing, in a jig, a mobile device that is to undergo polishing, wherein the jig is disposed above a top tray; (2) displacing, a spindle fitted with a polishing head, a vertical distance in a Z-direction to contact a surface of the mobile device with the polishing head; and (3) implementing one or more sets of sequences, each of which includes multiple sequences, and a sequence includes displacing, the jig relative to the polishing head, by a certain distance in an X-direction and/or include displacing, the top tray relative to the polishing head, by a certain distance in a Y-direction, wherein the X-direction is perpendicular to the Y-direction. In one preferred embodiment of present polishing methods, the step of implementing includes carrying out, using a central controller, multiple times one or more of the set of sequences. Each sequence requires displacement of one or more mobile device and/or rotational and/or displacement of a spindle. Regardless of how the implementing step is carried out, certain error checks may be performed as part of the polishing methods. By way of example, the above-mentioned polishing methods include: (1) checking for X-axis error, using the X-axis controller and the X-axis motor, in displacement of the jig by a predetermined distance in the X-direction; (2) checking for Y-axis error, using the Y-axis controller and the Y- axis motor, in displacement of the top tray by a predetermined distance in the Y-direction; and/or (3) checking for Z-axis error, using the Z-axis controller and the Z-axis motor, in displacement of the spindle or the spindle motor subassembly by a predetermined distance in the Z-direction. Preferably, the checking for X-axis error, the checking for Y-axis error, and the checking for Z- axis error are contemporaneously performed prior to the implementing step.
G00151 These error checking steps may extend beyond displacement error checks and include checking for temperature error and for slurry dispensing error. A step of checking temperature error includes measuring, using a thermal sensor functioning under control of a thermal sensor controller, operating temperature measured of the surface of the mobile device. Similarly, a step of checking for slurry dispensing error includes determining presence of an error in dispensing polishing slurry, using a slurry dispenser that is operating under control of a slurry dispense controller. The step of checking temperature error and step of checking slurry dispenser error are, preferably, performed contemporaneously, but prior to the implementing. Moreover, instructions for these error checks, e.g., displacement errors in the X-, the Y- and the Z-directions, temperature error and slurry dispensing error are stored along with the instructions associated with the above-mentioned implementing step in the central controller. As a result, before or during a polishing operation, the central controllers implements these instructions. G00161 In one preferred embodiment of the present teachings, the instructions stored on the central controller include at least one sequence that describes displacing a device support subassembly comprising the jig and the top tray, in a slanted direction relative to the polishing head. Such slanted displacement includes displacing the device support subassembly, relative to the polishing head, at an angle to an edge of the mobile device that extends only in the X- direction and at an angle to an edge of the mobile device that extends only in the Y-direction. In slanted displacement of one or more mobile devices, which are secured on a jig, the mobile devices are displaced, at the same time, at an angle to the X-axis and at an angle to the Y-axis. G00171 In one embodiment, the above-mentioned step of securing is carried out prior to the step of displacing, and wherein during the step of implementing, holding the spindle stationary in the X-direction and in the Y-direction. The presence of polishing slurry on a mobile device significantly impacts the efficiency of the polishing operation.
G00181 Polishing methods, according to the present teachings, address the issue of automatically providing polishing slurry on the mobile device surface during the above- mentioned implementing step. One such exemplar polishing method further includes: (1) receiving, from a central controller, slurry dispensing instructions at a slurry dispensing controller; and (2) dispensing, using a slurry dispenser operating under control of the slurry dispensing controller, polishing slurry on the surface of the mobile device.
G00191 The above-mentioned implementing step may be carried out in varying ways. By way of example, the implementing step is carried out by displacing in the X-direction using an X-axis motor, the operation of which is controlled by an X-axis controller that is coupled to a central controller. As another example, the implementing step is carried out by displacing in the Y- direction using a Y-axis motor, the operation of which is controlled by a Y-axis controller that is coupled to the central controller. As mentioned before, polishing systems and methods of the present teachings allow for slanted displacement of one or more mobile devices. To this end, implementing may include: (1) conveying, from the central controller to the X-axis controller, jig displacement instructions that require use of the X-axis motor; and (2) conveying, from the central controller to the Y-axis controller, first tray displacement instructions that require use of the Y-axis motor.
G00201 During the above-mentioned step of displacing, displacing the spindle in the Z- direction may be carried out using a Z-axis motor, the operation of which is controlled by a Z- axis controller that is coupled to the central controller. The above-mentioned step of
implementing may further include: (1) measuring, using a thermal sensor, temperature of the surface of the mobile device to arrive at an operating temperature; and (2) conveying, from the thermal sensor to a thermal sensor controller, the operating temperature of the surface of the mobile device. In one aspect, if during the step of measuring, the operating temperature of the surface of the mobile device equals or exceeds a higher predefined temperature threshold, then the central controller ceases the implementing. By way of example, the higher predefined temperature threshold is equal to or greater than about 60°C. G00211 In another aspect, if during the step of measuring, the operating temperature of the surface of the mobile device equals or is less than a lower predefined temperature threshold, then the implementing includes further displacing the spindle in the Z-direction towards the surface of the mobile device and applying a greater amount of force with the polishing head on the surface of the mobile device. By way of example, the lower predefined temperature threshold is a value that is equal to or less than about 25°C.
G00221 In yet another aspect, the exemplar polishing method further includes a step of continuing the step of further displacing the spindle until operating temperature of the surface of the mobile device is measured to be equal to or greater than about 45°C. In other words, after the operating temperature of the mobile device surface, undergoing polishing, reaches 45°C, then polishing may continue, but in this aspect, the spindle is no longer displaced in the Z-direction towards the mobile device surface. Instructions regarding when to polish, to gradually displace the spindle in the Z-direction towards the mobile device surface, cease polishing, and cease displacement of the spindle in the Z-direction towards the mobile device surface are stored in the central controller.
G00231 The system and method of operation of the present teachings and arrangements, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following descriptions of specific embodiments when read in connection with the
accompanying figures.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
G00241 Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a present polishing system, in accordance with one embodiment of the present arrangements and that is capable of automatically, and with little or no manual intervention, polishing a mobile device.
G00251 Figure 2 shows a perspective view of the polishing system shown in Figure 1 with the cover removed and exposes an arrangement of a spindle motor subassembly and a device support subassembly.
G00261 Figure 3 shows a perspective view of the spindle motor subassembly of Figure 2 that includes one or more spindles, each of which is fitted with a polishing head.
G00271 Figure 4 shows a perspective view of the device support subassembly of Figure 2 that includes a jig, a first tray and a second tray. G00281 Figures 5A and 5B show a perspective view of the polishing system shown in Figure 1 that includes a jig, which in Figure 5B is shown to be displaced in an X-direction relative to its position shown in Figure 5 A.
G00291 Figures 6A and 6B show a perspective view of the present polishing system shown in Figure 1 that includes a first tray, which in Figure 6B is shown to be displaced in a Y-direction relative to its position shown in Figure 6A and supports the jig shown in Figures 5A and 5B. G00301 Figures 7A and 7B show a perspective view of the present polishing system shown in Figure 1 that includes the jig, which in Figure 7B is shown to be displaced in the X-direction relative to its position shown in Figure 7A and that is supported by a first tray, which in Figure 7B is shown to be displaced in the Y-direction relative to its position shown in Figure 7A, resulting in a slanted displacement of the jig with respect to the spindle.
G00311 Figures 8 A and 8B show a perspective view of the present polishing system shown in Figure 1 that includes a spindle motor subassembly, which in Figure 8B is shown to be displaced in a Z-direction relative to its position shown in Figure 8 A.
G00321 Figure 9 shows a flowchart for a process of polishing mobile devices, according to one embodiment of the present teachings.
G00331 Figure 10A shows a mobile device, according to one embodiment of the present teachings and with certain locations thereon that are identified by coordinates.
G00341 Figure 10B is an exemplar set of sequences including relevant operating conditions that the present polishing system of Figure 1 would implement to polish from one end to another end of the mobile device of Figure 10.
G00351 Figure 11 shows a table, according to one embodiment of the present teachings and that depicts multiple sets of sequences, each of which includes multiple sequences, each of which, in turn, includes a sequence that describes the motion of at least one of the jig, as shown in Figures 5A and 5B, in the X-direction, the first tray, as shown in Figures 6A and 6B, in the Y- direction, or the spindle motor subassembly, as shown in Figures 8 A and 8B, in the Z-direction. G00361 Figures 12A-12W depict the movement of the spindle, which is shown in Figure 3, relative to the mobile device, which is shown in Figure 10A, and according to first twenty-four sequences described in the table of Figure 11. G00371 Figure 13 shows a distributed control scheme, according to one embodiment of the present teachings and that facilitates the implementation of different sets of sequences shown in Figures 10B and 12A-12W.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
G00381 In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without limitation to some or all of these specific details. By way of example, the disclosure below focuses on polishing of mobile devices, but the present arrangements and teachings described below may extend to other types of substrates. In other instances, well-known process steps have not been described in detail in order to not unnecessarily obscure the invention.
G00391 Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a present polishing system 100, according to one embodiment of the present teachings. Polishing system 100 includes a cover 104 and a base component 106. Protruding out of cover 104, are two slurry dispensing controllers 101 and 102 and a light subassembly, which includes a cylindrical green light segment 103, a cylindrical red light segment 105 and a cylindrical yellow light segment 107. Green light segment 103, in its active state, indicates that polishing system 100 is operating normally. Red light segment 105, in its active state, indicates that polishing system 100 has ceased operation. Yellow light segment 107, in its active state, indicates that an error was encountered during the operation of polishing system 100. Examples of such error include slurry dispensing error, thermal or temperature sensing error and different types of displacement errors of various components of polishing system 100.
G00401 Each of slurry dispenser controllers 101 and 102 control operation of a slurry dispenser, which serves as a reservoir of polishing slurry that is dispensed onto a mobile device surface during a polishing operation. Base component 106 houses components relating to electronic circuitry and pumping and/or circulating water through polishing system 100 during a polishing operation. When cover 104 is removed, certain salient components of polishing system 100 are exposed.
G00411 To this end, Figure 2 shows a perspective view of a polishing system 100', in accordance with one embodiment of the present arrangements, and that reveals different components of polishing system 100 shown in Figure 1 when cover 104 is removed. Polishing system 100' includes base component which is substantially similar to its counterpart shown in Figure 1. Furthermore, polishing system 100' reveals a spindle motor subassembly 108 disposed a top device support subassembly 130. As will be explained below, device support subassembly includes components that are capable of undergoing linear displacement in an X-direction and a Y-direction, but not necessarily in the Z-direction. Spindle motor subassembly 108, however, is capable of linear displacement in the Z-direction, but not necessarily in the X-direction and the Y-direction. Specifically, a Z-axis motor 110 is responsible for displacement of spindle motor subassembly 108 in the Z-direction and Figures 8A and 8B describe the Z-direction displacement of spindle motor subassembly 108 in greater detail.
G00421 Spindle motor subassembly 108 includes a first polishing head 112 and a second polishing head 114. First polishing head 112 is disposed in front of second polishing head 114.
As a result, first polishing head 112 may be thought of as“front polishing head,” and second polishing head 114 may be thought of as“rear polishing head.” Regardless of nomenclature, spindle motor subassembly 108 also includes two slurry dispensers, i.e., a first slurry dispenser 116 that is disposed adjacent to first polishing head 112, and a second slurry dispenser 118 that is disposed adjacent to second polishing head 114. As will be explained in connection with Figure 13, slurry dispenser controller 101 of Figure 1 controls operation of first slurry dispenser 116 and slurry dispenser controller 102 of Figure 1 controls operation of second slurry dispenser 118. A thermal sensor or a temperature sensor 120 monitors the temperature on surfaces of one or more mobile devices undergoing polishing using polishing heads 112 and 114. As will be explained in connection with Figure 13, thermal sensor 120 of Figure 2 conveys its temperature
measurements to a thermal sensor controller, which in turn, conveys the measurements to a central controller.
G00431 If the central controller receives information, from the thermal sensor controller, that the temperature of a mobile device, undergoing polishing, is below a low threshold temperature value, e.g., about 25°C, then spindle motor subassembly 108 is gradually displaced in the Z- direction over time. As will be explained in greater detail in connection with Figure 13 and in one aspect of the present teachings, the central controller controls the operation of a Z-axis controller, which in turn controls the operation of Z-axis motor 110. In this configuration, the central controller may be thought to ultimately control the operation of Z-axis motor 110 that controls the displacement of spindle motor subassembly 108 or a spindle. A spindle is more clearly shown in Figure 3 to have fitted thereon a polishing head, e.g., a polishing head 112 of Figure 2.
G00441 The present teachings recognize that displacement effected by Z-axis motor 110 impacts the operating temperatures produced on the mobile device surface. Under the polishing conditions where the temperature of the mobile device is below the low threshold temperature value, Z-axis motor 110, preferably continuously and gradually, displaces spindle motor subassembly 108 towards the mobile device undergoing polishing. As a result, a polishing head applies a greater amount of pressure on the mobile device surface. Polishing the mobile device surface with gradually increasing amount of pressure from the polishing head may result in undesirably increased pressure on the mobile device surface.
G00451 In one embodiment of the present teachings, a polishing head applies a gradually increasing amount of pressure on the mobile device surface until the temperature of the mobile device, undergoing polishing, is measured to equal an intermediate threshold temperature value, e.g., about 45°C. If, however, during a polishing operation, the temperature of the mobile device undergoing polishing is measured to be equal or greater than a high threshold temperature value, e.g., about 60°C, then a polishing operation ceases.
G00461 Regardless of whether an intermediate or a high threshold temperature value is reached during polishing of a mobile device, thermal sensor 120 shown in Figure 2 conveys operating temperature measurements to thermal sensor controller shown in Figure 13. Moreover, thermal sensor controller conveys the operating temperature measurements, it receives from thermal sensor 120, to a central controller, which instructs one or more of other controllers, e.g., an X-axis controller, a Y-axis controller, a Z-axis controller, a slurry dispensing controller and a rotational movement controller, to cease operation of the component they control.
G00471 By way of example, upon receiving an appropriate instruction from the central controller, the Z-axis controller ceases displacement of spindle motor subassembly 108 in the Z- direction towards the mobile device. This particular example may be implemented when the operating temperature of the mobile device surface, undergoing polishing, equals or exceeds the intermediate threshold temperature value.
G00481 As another example, upon receiving another appropriate instruction from the central controller, the rotational movement controller ceases rotational displacement of one or more spindles 112 and 114 shown in Figure 2. This particular example may be implemented when the operating temperature of the mobile device surface, undergoing polishing, equals or exceeds the high threshold temperature value. As a result, sensors and controllers in a collaborative arrangement of the present teachings allow for a high throughput polishing process that minimizes introduction of defects and realizes high yields.
G00491 Figure 3 shows a perspective view of spindle motor subassembly 108, according to one embodiment of the present invention, that moves up and down in the Z-direction, e.g., to effect polishing of one or more mobile devices or when temperature of a mobile device changes during a polishing operation. Figure 3 shows first polishing head 112, second polishing head 114, first slurry dispenser 116 and second slurry dispenser 118 in substantially the same configuration as they are shown in Figure 2. Spindle motor subassembly also includes a spindle motor 122, and a coupling component 125. Spindle motor 122, preferably, represents a single motor and coupling component 125 couples a first spindle 113 and to a second spindle (not shown to simplify illustration). In this configuration, second polishing head 114 is fitted onto the second spindle and when first spindle 113 or first polishing head 112 undergoes rotational displacement, a rotational force (i.e., torque) generated by spindle motor 122 that is applied to first spindle 113 during a polishing operation, that rotational displacement is also conveyed, through coupling component 125, to second spindle. As a result, in a preferred embodiment of the present arrangements a single motor, e.g., spindle motor 122 of Figure 3, generates sufficient rotational force to allow for rotational displacement of both first spindle 113 and the second spindle. Not all present arrangements, however, are limited to a single motor configuration and may very well include a spindle motor for each spindle. However, in those instances where use of a single spindle motor appreciably drives down the cost of manufacturing a polishing system, then the single motor configuration represents a preferred embodiment of the present arrangements.
G00501 Furthermore, not all present arrangements are limited to multiple spindles or corresponding multiple polishing heads (e.g., two polishing heads 112 and 114 shown in Figures 2-3, 5A, 5B, 6A, 6B, 7 A, 7B, 8A and 8B) and the use of coupling component 125. In fact, certain preferred embodiments of the present arrangements include a single spindle and a corresponding single polishing head that obviates the need for a coupling component.
G00511 Regardless of the configuration of the spindle motor subassembly, present polishing system 100', as shown in Figure 2, includes device support subassembly 130 disposed below the spindle motor subassembly. To this end, Figure 4 shows a perspective view of device support subassembly 130 that is a stacked structure of different components. Specifically, a jig 132 is disposed above a first tray 138, which in turn is disposed above a second tray 142. Jig 132 includes one or more jig bases, each of which is designed to receive a mobile device that will undergo polishing, according to the present teachings. In the embodiment shown in Figure 4, jig 132 includes a first jig base 144 for securing a first mobile device and a second jig base 146 for securing a second mobile device during a polishing operation. Jig 132 is slidably engaged with a first set of linear motion guides (“LM guides”) or, in the alternative,“jig guides” 134, which are disposed above first tray 138. In the configuration of Figure 4, jig guides 134 extend in the X- direction and, jig 132 accordingly is capable of movement only along the X-axis using these guides. Top tray, similarly, slidably engages with a second set of LM guides or, in the alternative,“tray guides” 140, which are disposed above second tray 140. Tray guides 140 extend in the Y-direction and, therefore, first tray 138 is capable of movement only along the Y- axis using these guides. Thus, device support subassembly 130 is configured to displace one or more mobile devices, each positioned on a corresponding jig base, both in the X-direction and in the Y-direction.
G00521 A displacement of a mobile device in a particular direction, i.e., either X-direction or Y-direction, may occur in a single step of movement, which is hereinafter referred to as a “sequence.” But, a sequence is not so limited. A sequence may involve displacing a mobile device, simultaneously, along a displacement path that extends both in the X-direction and the Y- direction. In this sequence, the displacement path of a mobile device is a slanted one with respect to its respective spindle or polishing head. Stated another way, in a sequence that describes a slanted displacement path, the mobile device displaces at an angle relative to both the X-axis and the Y-axis. In the device support subassembly 130 of Figure 4, both jig 132 and first tray 138 move simultaneously in a sequence to effect a slanted displacement path of the mobile device during polishing. Effecting slanted displacement paths, in one or more sequences, may be of interest as such paths of a mobile device may allow present systems and methods to provide efficient polishing of the mobile device. In the market of pre-owned or refurbished mobile device sales, the present arrangements and teachings that allow for different types of displacement paths, contribute to high throughput processing and represent preferred arrangements and teachings. G00531 To facilitate different types of displacement paths, the present polishing systems, preferably, employ multiple servo ball-screw motors (not shown to simplify illustration and facilitate discussion). One such ball-screw motor, X-axis motor, operates in conjunction with jig guide 134 to displace jig 132 in the X-direction. Another such ball-screw motor, Y-axis motor, operates in conjunction with tray guide 140, displaces first tray 138 in the Y-direction. In a slanted displacement path of the mobile device, both X-axis motor and Y-axis motor, simultaneously, operate to displace jig 132 and first tray 138 in the X-direction and the Y- direction, respectively, at the same time.
G00541 Similarly, yet another ball-screw motor, Z-axis motor ( e.g ., Z-axis motor 110 of
Figure 2) operates in conjunction with a third set of LM guides or, in the alternative,“spindle guides” that extends in the Z-direction (e.g., spindle guides 148 shown in Figures 8A and 8B) to facilitate movement of spindle 113 or the entire spindle motor subassembly 108 in the Z- direction.
The next series of figures, Figures 5A, 5B, 6A, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8A and 8B, show
Figure imgf000015_0001
substantially similar components (e.g., those that are part of spindle motor subassembly 108 of Figure 3 and device support subassembly 130) that are involved in the different displacement paths of the mobile device and displacement in the Z-direction of spindle 113 or spindle motor subassembly 130 shown in Figure 3.
G00561 Figure 5A shows jig 132, which is slidably engaged withjig guides 134, disposed above one end of first tray 138. Jig 132' of Figure 5B is substantially similar to jig 132 of Figure 5 A, except jig 132' appears displaced a certain distance in the X-direction relative to position of jig 132. According to Figure 5B, jig 132' is disposed above the opposite end of first tray 138. In this configuration, a portion of the jig guides 134' appears uncovered or exposed. In contrast, the corresponding portion of jig guides 134 shown in Figure 5 A and disposed at one end of first tray 138, appears to be covered by the presence of jig 132. As a result, Figure 5B shows device support subassembly 130', which is substantially similar to device support subassembly 130 of Figure 5A, except in a state wherein one or more mobile devices supported thereon are displaced in the X-direction. Thus, during a polishing operation, present arrangements of jigs, jig guides and first tray are capable of displacing one or more mobile devices in the X-direction relative to their initial position. Such displacements in a repeated manner, when each of the mobile devices are in contact with an associated polishing head fitted on to a spindle, causes polishing of each mobile device in the X-direction.
G00571 Figure 6A shows first tray 138, which is slidably engaged with tray guides 140, disposed above and a certain distance away from one end of second tray 142. First tray 138' of Figure 6B is substantially similar to first tray 138 of Figure 6A, except first tray 138' appears displaced a certain distance in the Y-direction relative to position of first tray 138. According to Figure 6B, first tray 138' is disposed above one end, as opposed to being disposed a certain distance away from one end, of second tray 142. In this configuration, a portion of tray guides 140' appears uncovered or exposed. In contrast, the corresponding portion of tray guides 140 of Figure 6 A, disposed a certain distance away from one end of second tray 142, appears to be covered by the presence of first tray 138. As a result, Figure 6B shows first tray 138', which is substantially similar to first tray 138 of Figure 6A, except in a state, wherein one or more mobile devices 144 and 146 supported thereon are displaced in the Y-direction. Thus, during a polishing operation, present arrangements of first tray are capable of displacing one or more mobile devices in the Y-direction relative to their initial position. Such Y-direction displacements in a repeated manner, when each of the mobile devices are in contact with an associated polishing head fitted on to a spindle, causes polishing of each mobile device in the Y-direction.
G00581 Relative to Figure 7A, Figure 7B shows that device support subassembly 130' has undergone a slanted displacement, i.e., device support subassembly 130 is displaced by a distance that is not in the X-direction only as shown in Figure 5B, or not in the Y-direction only as shown in Figure 6B, rather displaced in a direction that is a combination of both the X- direction and the Y-direction. Stated another way, in a slanted displacement of device support subassembly 130', the point of displacement lies is at an angle to the X-axis and at an angle to the Y-axis, wherein each of these angles are less or greater than 90°, but do not equal 90°. Figure 7B shows that jig 132' displaces one or more mobile devices in the X-direction and that, at the same time, first tray 138' displaces the same, one or more mobile devices, in the Y-direction. Simultaneous displacement of a mobile device by both jig 132' in the X-direction and first tray 138' in the Y-direction results in the slanted displacement of the mobile device. The present teachings recognize that a slanted displacement of device support subassembly 130 of Figure 7 A allows for high throughput polishing of mobile devices. G00591 Figure 8A shows spindle motor subassembly 108 slidably engaging with a third set of LM guides or, in the alternative,“spindle guides” 148 and disposed at a particular location on a Z-axis support structure 150. Spindle motor subassembly 108' of Figure 6B is substantially similar to spindle motor subassembly 108 of Figure 8A, except spindle motor subassembly 108' appears displaced a certain distance in the Z-direction relative to position of spindle motor subassembly 108. According to Figure 8B, spindle motor subassembly 108 is disposed above one end, as opposed to being disposed a certain distance away from one end, of Z-axis support structure 150. In this configuration, a portion of spindle guides 148' appears uncovered or exposed. In contrast, the corresponding portion of spindle guides 148 of Figure 8 A, disposed a certain distance away from one end of Z-axis support structure 150, appears to be covered by the presence of spindle motor subassembly 108. As a result, Figure 6B shows spindle motor subassembly 108', which is substantially similar spindle motor subassembly 108 of Figure 8 A, except in a state, wherein one or more components, such as spindle, slurry dispensers, and thermal sensor 120 are displaced, relative to device support subassembly 130, in the Z-direction and away from the mobile device. During a polishing operation, present arrangements of spindle motor subassembly are capable of displacing components, which contribute to a polishing operation, also towards a mobile device in the Z-direction.
G00601 Such Z-direction displacements, in gradually increasing amounts, translate into gradually increasing temperatures on the surface of the mobile device undergoing polishing. When polishing for the same duration, a spindle motor subassembly that applies a greater amount of force and pressure in the Z-direction and, accordingly, drive higher surface temperatures on the mobile device surface relative to another spindle motor subassembly that applies a smaller amount of force.
G00611 To this end, thermal sensor 120 shown in Figure 8A and 8B is capable of monitoring the temperature on the mobile device surface undergoing polishing at varying or constant force received from a polishing head ( e.g ., first polishing head 112 of Figure 2). In a preferred embodiment of the present teachings, thermal sensor 120, in conjunction with thermal sensor controller (e.g., thermal sensor controller 308 of Figure 13), operates to any one of - gradually increase the displacement in the Z-direction of spindle motor subassembly (e.g., spindle motor subassembly 108 of Figure 8B) towards the mobile device, cease displacement in the Z-direction of spindle motor subassembly towards the mobile device, retract spindle motor subassembly in the Z-direction so as to apply less pressure on the mobile device surface ( e.g ., spindle motor subassembly 108 of Figure 8B), cease the polishing operation until the temperatures drops below a predefined lower threshold limit, or entirely cease a polishing operation.
G00621 Figure 9 shows a polishing process 200, according to one embodiment of the present teachings. Polishing process may begin with a step 202, which includes securing, on a jig (e.g., jig 132 of Figure 4), one or more mobile devices that will be subject to polishing. Further, the jig is preferably disposed above a first tray. By way of example, Figure 4 shows jig 132 slidably engaged with jig guides 134, which are disposed above first tray 138.
G00631 Next, a step 204 includes displacing one or more spindles, each fitted with a polishing head, a certain amount of distance in a Z-direction to contact surface of one or more mobile devices. By way of example, during a polishing process, first spindle 113 shown in Figure 3 operates on a second mobile device (secured on second jig base 146) shown in Figure 4, and a second spindle shown in Figure 3 operates on a first mobile device (secured on first jig base 144) shown in Figure 4.
G00641 Process 200 then proceeds to a step 206, which includes implementing one or more sets of sequences, each of which include multiple sequences. A single sequence includes displacing the jig, relative to the polishing head, by a certain distance in an X-direction (e.g., jig 132' as shown in Figure 5B) or includes displacing a first tray, relative to the polishing head, by a certain distance in a Y-direction (e.g., first tray 138' as shown in Figure 6B), or further still, includes displacing the jig and the first tray, relative to the polishing head, in a slanted path, i.e., by a certain amount of distance in a direction, which is a combination of X-direction and Y- direction. As shown in Figures 5B and 6B, the Y-direction is perpendicular to the X-direction and in a slanted path, the mobile devices displace at an angle, that is not 90°, to both the X-axis and Y-axis.
G00651 In preferred embodiments of the present teachings, certain check error steps are performed prior to commencing step 202 as shown in Figure 9. By way of example, a check displacement error is performed before a mobile device is secured for polishing or before a polishing operation is carried out. Check displacement error may include checking for error in displacement of a jig in the X-direction, of a first tray in a Y-direction, and a spindle in the Z- direction. If a displacement error in any of these directions is detected, then an error signal is generated, e.g., a cylindrical yellow light segment 107 as shown in Figure 1 is activated. If no error is detected, then another check error step is carried out or a polishing operation commences.
G00661 An X-axis controller, preferably a servomotor controller, along with an X-axis motor controls the displacement, on jig guides, of a jig in the X-direction as described in connection with Figures 5A, 5B and 13. Similarly, a Y-axis controller, preferably also a servomotor controller, along with a Y-axis motor controls the displacement, on tray guides, of a first tray in the Y-direction as described in connection with Figures 6A, 6B and 13. A check displacement error in the Z-direction involves using a Z-axis controller, preferably yet another servomotor, along with a Z-axis motor controls the displacement, on spindle guides, a spindle or a spindle motor subassembly in the Z-direction as described in connection with Figures 8 A, 8B and 13. Each of the X-axis controller, Y-axis controller and Z-axis controller are instructed by a central controller to carry out the displacement error checks described above. In one embodiment, the displacement error check instructions, stored on the central controller, include, one or more set of sequences.
G00671 Another example of check error step performed prior to commencing a polishing operation includes checking a counter error. The term“counter,” as used herein, refers to the number of sequences of jig and/or first tray displacements in a particular set that may be implemented during polishing operation. By way of example, if sequence numbers 1 -25 described in the first column of Figure 11 are to be implemented during a check error operation, then the counter equals 25. During a check error operation, the jig and/or the first tray will accordingly displace as described from sequence number (one) 1 to sequence number (twenty five) 25. In this example, if the jig and/or the first tray will not displace as described from sequence number (one) 1 to sequence number (twenty five) 25, then a counter error is detected, and in a preferred embodiment of the present teachings, an error signal is generated, e.g., a cylindrical yellow light segment 107 as shown in Figure 1 is activated. If no counter error is detected, then another check error step is carried out or a polishing operation commences.
G00681 As yet another example of check error step performed prior to commencing a polishing operation includes checking a repeat counter error. The term,“repeat counter,” as used herein refers to the number of times a particular counter is repeated. By way of example, in the above example where the counter equals (twenty five) 25, if the repeat counter equals (five) 5, then during a check error operation, the jig and/or the first tray will five (5) times displace as described from sequence number (one) 1 to sequence number (twenty five) 25. In this example, if the jig and/or the first tray will not displace five (5) times, then a repeat counter error is detected, and in a preferred embodiment of the present teachings, an error signal is generated, e.g., a cylindrical yellow light segment 107 as shown in Figure 1 is activated. If no repeat counter error is detected, then another check error step is carried out or a polishing operation commences.
G00691 In one embodiment of the present teachings, these sequences of jig and/or tray displacements are representative of the displacements that the jig and/or tray will be expected to carry out during a particular polishing operation. In this step of error checking, a polishing system ascertains that it is capable of performing the different types of displacements required in one or more sequences. In one preferred embodiment, the central controller of the present arrangements performs a displacement error check on a series of sets of sequences. Again, if an error is detected, then an error signal is generated, e.g, a cylindrical yellow light segment 107 as shown in Figure 1 is activated. If no error is detected, then another check error step is carried out or a polishing operation commences.
G00701 As yet another example, a check error step carried out prior to commencing a polishing operation includes checking for grinding errors. In one implementation of this example, a slurry dispenser is tested. Specifically, a slurry dispenser controller, based on instructions received from the central controller, instructs the slurry dispenser to dispense polishing slurry on a portion of a mobile device surface. Then, a jig and/or first tray is displaced according to one or more sets of sequences. If an error is detected, e.g, using a sensor, then an error signal is generated, e.g., a cylindrical yellow light segment 107 as shown in Figure 1 is activated. If no error is detected, then another check error step is carried out or a polishing operation commences.
G00711 As yet another example, a check error step carried out prior to commencing a polishing operation includes checking for temperature errors or, in the alternative, thermal sensor detecting errors. In one implementation of this example, if, during a grinding step of a mobile device, the displacement of the spindle motor subassembly in the Z-direction, over a particular period of time, towards the mobile device is gradually increased and an operating temperature on the mobile device surface reaches above an intermediate temperature threshold value, then Z- direction displacement of the spindle motor subassembly ceases and it is determined whether the magnitude of rise in temperature is unexpected, i.e., outside an expected range. If the rise is indeed determined to be unexpected, then the sequences programmed in the central controller may modified so that the magnitude of rise in temperature, over a particular period of time, is within an expected range. Thus, in one embodiment of the present teachings, a check
temperature error step includes teaching a central controller to implement one or more set of sequences that allow for the magnitude of rise in surface temperature, over a particular of period of time, to be within an expected range.
G00721 If a thermal sensor error is detected, e.g., thermal sensor is not properly, continuously, measuring the operating temperature on the mobile device surface, then an error signal is generated, e.g, a cylindrical yellow light segment 107 as shown in Figure 1 is activated. If no error is detected, then another check error step may be carried out or a polishing operation commences.
G00731 Figure 10A shows a mobile device 144 having four corners, each of which is described in terms of their Cartesian coordinates. As shown in this figure, corner 151 is described by (0,0), corner 152 is described by (100,0), corner 153 is described by (0,100) and corner 154 is described by (100,100). During an implementing step 206 of Figure 2, for example, a polishing head displaces a distance within an area defined by these coordinates. The units of coordinate values, which define a particular corner, are in millimeters.
G00741 Figure 10B shows a table 155, presented in row-column format, describing an exemplar single set of sequences, which contains five different sequences, i.e., sequence numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, that are serially set forth in consecutive rows of table 155. Each of column headings X(l) (mm), Y(l) (mm), and Z(l) (mm) relate to values associated with the polishing of the first mobile device, as each of these headings include an identifier“(1).” Further, units of displacement distance in each of X-direction, Y-direction and Z-direction, are in millimeters. In table 155, the heading“Spindle(l)” refers to the rotational speed of a first spindle, which has fitted thereon a first polishing head for polishing the first mobile device. Rotational speed values of the first spindle are presented in units of rotations per minute (“rpm”). In table 155, the column heading“Dispense(l)” refers to a state of operation of the first slurry dispenser, and the heading“Temp(l)” refers to the state of operation of the first thermal sensor. The second slurry dispenser and the first thermal sensor are, preferably, used during the polishing of the first mobile device. Under the heading“Dispense(l),” the entry“X” conveys an inactive or “nonuse” state of operation, and the entry“O” conveys an active or“use” state of operation. Similarly, under the heading“Temp(l),” the entry“X” conveys“nonuse” state of operation, and the entry“Y” conveys an active or“use” state of operation. In the inactive or“nonuse” state of operation, the slurry dispenser and the thermal sensor do not dispense slurry and measure temperature, respectively, of the mobile device surface. In the active or“use” state of operation, however, the slurry dispenser and the thermal sensor dispense slurry and measure temperature, respectively, of the mobile device surface.
G00751 By way of example, if step 206 of Figure 9 involves implementing, one or more times, the set of sequences shown in table 155, then in sequence number 1, the spindle or polishing head would be positioned at corner 151 of the mobile device shown in Figure 10A, and a polishing head would displace about 10 mm in the Z-direction, towards the mobile device, to make contact with and apply pressure on the mobile device. In this configuration, the spindle, which has the polishing head fitted thereon, would rotate at a speed of about 1000 rotations per minute to polish the mobile device at that corner location (i.e., (0,0)) and both the slurry dispenser and thermal sensor would be operating in an inactive state, which means that the slurry dispenser would not dispense slurry and the thermal sensor would not measure the operating temperature at the mobile device surface.
G00761 As another example, if sequence number 2 in table 155 is performed next as part of implementing step 106, then the polishing head applying substantially the same amount of pressure (i.e., at the same position in the Z-axis) undergoes a slanted displacement to arrive at coordinates (100,100). At this location, both the slurry dispenser and the thermal sensor are in an active state of operation. As yet another example, in sequence 3 of table 155, with the slurry dispenser and the thermal sensor in an active operating state and with the same amount of pressure being applied on the mobile device, the polishing head displaces a 100 mm along the Y- axis only to arrive at coordinates (100,0). In light of the above examples, the remaining sequences 4 and 5 are self-explanatory.
G00771 Figure 11 shows a table 156, presented in row-column format, describing fifty different exemplar sequences. These exemplar sequences may be bundled to form multiple, different sets of sequences. Each of the column headings,“X-AXIS (mm),” Y-AXIS (mm),” Z- AXIS (mm),”“SPEED,” and“DISPENSER SOL” relate to estimated displacement values associated with the polishing of the first mobile device. Further, units of displacement distance for each in the X-direction, Y-direction and Z-direction, are in millimeters. In table 156, the heading“SPEED” refers to the rotational speed of a spindle or polishing head and values of rotational speed are presented in units of mm/sec. The heading“DISPENSER SOL” refers to the state of operation of a left slurry dispenser and a right slurry dispenser. According to Figure 11, both of these slurry dispensers are in an active state of operation, and the rotational speed of the spindle and the displacement of the polishing head or spindle in the Z-direction, is the same during implementation of each of the fifty sequences. Implementation of the first twenty-four sequences, described in Figure 11, is sequentially depicted in Figures 12A-12W to describe in greater detail the manner in which step 206 of Figure 9 may be carried out.
G00781 In Figures 12A-12W, the rectangular-shaped object represents a mobile device undergoing polishing. Further, two circular shaped objects, in these figures, represent the same polishing head. In each of Figures 12A-12W, the polishing head denoted by a reference numeral of a higher value represents an estimated location of the polishing head later in time than the polishing head denoted by a reference numeral value of a lesser value.
G00791 Figure 12A, in conjunction with sequences 1 and 2 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the X-direction by a distance of 234.000 mm (i.e., =263.000 mm-29.000 mm).
G00801 Figure 12B, in conjunction with sequences 2 and 3 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the X-direction and returns back to its original location held in sequence 1. In other words, in sequences 1, 2 and 3 of Figure 11, the polishing head travels 234.000 mm in the X-direction and returns back to its original location.
G00811 Figure 12C, in conjunction with sequences 3 and 4 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of 74.300 mm (i.e., = 111.000 mm-36.700 mm).
G00821 Figure 12D, in conjunction with sequences 4 and 5 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the X-direction by a distance of 77.000 mm (i.e., = 106.000 mm-29.000 mm).
G00831 Figure 12E, in conjunction with sequences 5 and 6 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of -126.000 mm (i.e., = - 15.000 mm-l 11.000 mm), except as indicated by the negative value, the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12E is in an opposite direction to the Y-direction displacement of that shown in Figure 12C.
G00841 Figure 12F, in conjunction with sequences 6 and 7 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces slightly in the Y-direction by a distance of 0.100 mm (i.e., = - 14.900 mm - (-15.000 mm)) and also displaces in the X-direction by a distance of 43.000 mm (i.e., 149.000 mm - 106.000 mm).
G00851 Figure 12G, in conjunction with sequences 7 and 8 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of 124.000 mm (i.e., = 110.900 mm - (- 14.9.000 mm)).
G00861 Figure 12H, in conjunction with sequences 8 and 9 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the X-direction by a distance of 37.900 mm (i.e., = 186.000 mm - 149.000 mm) and also displaces in the Y-direction slightly by a distance of - 0.100 mm (110.800 mm - 110.900 mm). The negative value for the displacement in the Y-direction indicates that the slight displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12H is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12F.
G00871 Figure 121, in conjunction with sequences 9 and 10 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces in the Y-direction by a distance of - 125.600 mm (i.e., = - 14.800 mm - 110.800 mm). The negative value for the displacement in the Y-direction indicates that the slight displacement of the polishing head in Figure 121 is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12C.
G00881 Figure 12J, in conjunction with sequences 10 and 11 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the X-direction by a distance of - 30.000 mm (i.e., = 156.000 mm - 186.000 mm). The negative value for the displacement in the X-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12J is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12 A.
G00891 Figure 12K, in conjunction with sequences 11 and 12 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of 95.900 mm (i.e., = 110.700 mm - 14.800 mm).
G00901 Figure 12L, in conjunction with sequences 12 and 13 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces in the X-direction by a distance of - 50.100 mm (i.e., = 105.900 mm - 156.000 mm) and also displaces in the Y-direction slightly by a distance of - 0.100 mm (i.e., = 110.600 mm - 110.700 mm). The negative value in the X-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12L is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12A and the negative value in the Y-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12L is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12C.
G00911 Figure 12M, in conjunction with sequences 13 and 14 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of - 125.300 mm (i.e., = - 14.700 mm - 110.600 mm). The negative value in the Y-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12M is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12C.
G00921 Figure 12N, in conjunction with sequences 14 and 15 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces in the X-direction by a distance of 30.100 mm (i.e., = - 136.000 mm - 105.900 mm) and displaces in the Y-direction by a distance of O. lOOmm (i.e., = - 14.600 mm - (- 14.700 mm)).
G00931 Figure 120, in conjunction with sequences 15 and 16 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of 95.900 mm (i.e., = -
110.500 mm - 14.600 mm).
G00941 Figure 12P, in conjunction with sequences 16 and 17 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces in the X-direction by a distance of 95.900 mm (i.e., = - 185.900 mm - 136.000 mm) and also displaces in the Y-direction slightly by a distance of - 0.100 mm (i.e., = - 110.400 mm - 110.500 mm). The negative value in the Y-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12P is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12C.
G00951 Figure 12Q, in conjunction with sequences 18 and 17 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of - 95.900 mm (i.e., = -
14.500 mm - 110.400 mm). The negative value of the same amount in the Y-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12Q returns back to its original location in Figure 120.
G00961 Figure 12R, in conjunction with sequences 19 and 18 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces in the X-direction by a distance of - 43.900 mm (i.e., = - 142.000 mm - 185.900 mm) and also displaces in the Y-direction slightly by a distance of - 0.100 mm (i.e., = - 14.400 mm - 14.500 mm). The negative value in the X-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12R is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12A and the negative value in the Y-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing head in Figure 12R is in an opposite direction to that of in Figure 12C.
G00971 Figure 12S, in conjunction with sequences 20 and 19 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of 124.700 mm (i.e., = - 110.300 mm - (- 14.400 mm)).
G00981 Figure 12T, in conjunction with sequences 21 and 20 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces in the X-direction by a distance of - 36.200 mm (i.e., = 105.800 mm - 142.000 mm) and displaces in the Y-direction slightly by a distance of - 0.100 mm (i.e., = 110.200 mm - 110.300 mm).
G00991 Figure 12U, in conjunction with sequences 22 and 21 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of - 95.900 mm (i.e., =14.300 mm - 110.200 mm). The negative value of the same amount in the Y-direction indicates that the displacement of the polishing pad in Figure 12U returns back to its original location in Figure 120.
G001001 Figure 12V, in conjunction with sequences 23 and 22 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces in the X-direction by a distance of - 76.800 mm (i.e., =29.000 mm - 105.800 mm) and also displaces in the Y-direction slightly by a distance of -0.100 mm (i.e., = - 14.200 mm - (-14.300 mm).
G0010P Figure 12W, in conjunction with sequences 24 and 23 shown in Figure 11, conveys that the polishing head displaces only in the Y-direction by a distance of 50.900 mm (i.e., =36.700 mm - (- 14.200 mm)).
G001021 In one preferred embodiment of the present arrangements, when the remaining sequences 25-50 or additional sequences not described in table 156 of Figure 11 are performed, consistent with the manner described above, then the entire mobile device surface is properly polished to effectively remove a substantial amounts, if not all, of the scratches and/or gouges from the mobile device surface.
G001031 Figure 13 shows a distributed control scheme 300, according to a preferred embodiment of the present teachings and that may be used to effectively carry out polishing process 200 of Figure 9. Control scheme used a central controller 312 that is programmed to control different lower level controllers, e.g., a slurry dispensing controller 302, a rotational movement controller 322, X-axis controller 304, Y-axis controller 305, Z-axis controller 306 and thermal sensor controller 308, and each of these control operations of their associated components, e.g., slurry dispenser 316, spindle motor 324, X-axis motor 318, Y-axis motor 314, Z-axis motor 310 and thermal sensor 320, respectively. By way of example, after slurry dispenser check error step and thermal sensor check error step, under the control of central controller 312, are satisfactorily carried out, central controller 312 is programmed to carry out, among other things, steps 204 and 206 of Figure 9. Moreover, each of X-axis controller 304, Y- axis controller 305 and Z-axis controller 306 of Figure 13 are preferably servomotor controllers. The motors, sensors and dispensers they control are described below in greater detail.
G001041 Z-axis motor 310 of Figure 13 is part of the spindle motor subassembly 108 that rides on LM guides 148', both of which are shown in Figure 8B. Further, Z-axis controller 306, upon the direction of central controller 312 of Figure 13, controls the displacement of spindle motor subassembly 108 in the Z-direction. By way of example, in step 204 of Figure 9, central controller 312 is programmed with certain instructions, some of which are distributed to Z-axis controller 306 to control displacement, in the Z-direction, of spindle motor subassembly 108 of Figure 8B. Specifically, Z-axis motor 310 operating under the control of Z-axis controller 306, enables a polishing head to contact surface of a mobile device.
G001051 X-axis motor 318 of Figure 13, under the control of X-axis controller 304, operates in conjunction with first set of LM guides 134 to displace jig 132 in the X-direction, both of which are shown in Figure 4. Further, X-axis controller 304, upon the direction of central controller 312 of Figure 13, controls the displacement of jig 132 in the X-direction. By way of example, in step 206 of Figure 9, central controller 312 is programmed with certain instructions, some of which are distributed to X-axis controller 304 to control displacement, in the X-direction, of jig 132 of Figure 4. Specifically, X-axis motor 318 operating under the control of X-axis controller 304, enables displacement of jig 132 in the X-direction. As another example, X-axis motor 318, operating under the control of X-axis controller 304, is also capable of performing certain error checks before a polishing operation commences.
G001061 Y-axis motor 314 of Figure 13, under the control of Y-axis controller 305, operates in conjunction with second set of LM guides 140 to displace first tray 138 in the Y-direction, both of which are shown in Figure 4. Further, Y-axis controller 305, upon the direction of central controller 312 of Figure 13, controls the displacement of first tray 138 in the Y-direction. By way of example, in step 206 of Figure 9, central controller 312 is programmed with certain instructions, some of which are distributed to Y-axis controller 305 to control displacement, in the Y-direction, of first tray 138 of Figure 4. Specifically, Y-axis motor 314 operating under the control of Y-axis controller 305, enables displacement of first tray 138 in the Y-direction. As another example, Y-axis motor 314, operating under the control of Y-axis controller 305, is also capable of performing certain error checks before a polishing operation commences.
G001071 In table 155 of Figure 10B, certain exemplar sequences describe an active or inactive state of operation of a spindle (i.e., rotational motion), a slurry dispenser and a thermal sensor.
To this end, spindle motor 324, operating under the control of rotational movement controller 322, is placed in an active or inactive state of operation, slurry dispenser 316, operating under the control of slurry dispensing controller 302, is placed in an active or inactive state of operation, and thermal sensor 320, operating under the control of thermal sensor controller 308, is placed in an active or inactive state of operation. By way of example, central controller 312 is programmed with certain instructions, some of which are distributed to one or more of these controllers, i.e., rotational movement controller 322, slurry dispensing controller 302 and thermal sensor controller 308, to perform step 206 of Figure 9 and/or perform error checks prior to polishing process 200 commences.
G001081 According to Figure 13, a 24-volt on/off switch signal is used to establish each of the bi-directional communicative coupling shown between various controllers, motors, one or more dispensers and one or more sensors, except for the communicative coupling between central controller 312 and temperature sensor controller 308 is enabled by a standard RSC bi-directional communication.
G001091 The present teachings recognize that to the extent controllers are used in conventional polishing systems, they are done so using an integrated approach, i.e., primarily relying on a single controller or very few controllers. Specifically, in attempt to accomplish compatibility between the different control functionalities (e.g., displacing mobile device or spindle motor subassembly in a particular direction, dispensing polishing slurry, and thermal sensing) different control components (e.g., slurry dispensing controller 302, rotational movement controller 322, X-axis controller 304, Y-axis controller 305, Z-axis controller 306 and temperature sensor controller 308} in an integrated control scheme approach, the functionalities and the components are sequenced in a particularly rigid manner. Further, the present teachings also recognize that one or few components that provide an integrated control approach are also relatively expensive and offer Utile, or no, flexibility. Moreover, a user purchasing and employing the conventional control systems in a manufacturing facility, is bound to the seller of the integrated control scheme. The expense problem is further exacerbated when different models of test devices are introduced into the market and the control schemes and test sequencing needs modification to account for changes in the design and/or functionalities of the mobile device.
G001101 In sharp contrast, the distributed control schemes of the present arrangements do not suffer from such drawbacks. Specifically, such distributed control schemes are relatively
inexpensive over their integrated counterparts. Moreover, the distributed control schemes offer a significant flexibility to the manufacturer, who can simplify reprogra the relevant ones of the control components to account for changes in one or more of the sequences. In other words, the rigid structure of sequencing different tests and reestablishing compatibility of all the different integrated functionalities and/or components encountered in the integrated control scheme approach, when introducing new features and/or tests, are avoided in the distributed control scheme approach of the present arrangements. In the distributed control scheme when a new test model is introduced, for example, the relevant control functionalities and/or components that need modification are modified or if a new control component needs to be added, it is easily- added to the existing distributed control scheme. The manufacturer, who implements the distributed control scheme of the present arrangements, is also not at the mercy of a single seller (as in the integrated controls scheme) of the control scheme because he can purchase the different control components from other parties.
G0011 P Although illustrative embodiments of the present arrangements and teachings have been shown and described, other modifications, changes, and substitutions are intended. By way of example, it is not necessary to employ a single slurry dispenser with a single spindle or polishing head. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and, in a manner, consistent with the scope of the disclosure, as set forth in the following claims.

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A polishing system, comprising:
a jig designed to secure mobile device;
a polishing head designed to contact and polish mobile device;
a spindle disposed above said jig and fitted with said polishing head;
a slurry dispenser arranged adjacent to said spindle and designed to store and dispense polishing slurry on surface of mobile device; and
a central controller programmed to control operation of said jig, said spindle, and said slurry dispenser such that during an operative state of said jig and said spindle, and under control of said central controller, said slurry dispenser dispenses polishing slurry to facilitate polishing surface of mobile device.
2. The polishing system of claim 1, further comprising a first tray that has disposed thereon one or more jig guides that guide displacement of said jig in an X-direction.
3. The polishing system of claim 2, further comprising a first ball-screw drive subassembly that is coupled to said first tray and in conjunction with one or more of said jig guides, displaces said jig in said X-direction.
4. The polishing system of claim 3, further comprising:
an X-axis motor that operates in conjunction with said first ball-screw drive subassembly to displace said jig in said X-direction; and
an X-axis controller communicatively coupled to said central controller, and based upon instruction received from said central controller, said X-axis controller controls operation of said X-axis motor.
5. The polishing system of claim 2, further comprising a second tray that has disposed thereon one or more tray guides that guide displacement of said first tray in a Y-direction.
6. The polishing system of claim 5, further comprising a second ball-screw drive subassembly that is coupled to said second tray and operates in conjunction with one or more of said tray guides, to displace said first tray in said Y-direction.
7. The polishing system of claim 6, further comprising:
a Y-axis motor that operates in conjunction with said second ball-screw drive
subassembly to displace said first tray in said Y-direction; a Y-axis controller communicatively coupled to said central controller, and based upon instruction received from said central controller, said Y-axis controller controls operation of said Y-axis motor; and
wherein said Y-direction is perpendicular to said X-direction.
8. The polishing system of claim 1, further comprising:
a Z-axis motor that operates in conjunction with a third ball-screw drive subassembly to displace said spindle and said slurry dispenser in a Z-direction;
a Z-axis controller that is communicatively coupled to said central controller, and based upon instruction received from said central controller, said Z-axis controller controls operation of said Z-axis motor such that either said spindle moves towards or away from said jig; and
wherein said Z-direction is perpendicular to both an X-direction and a Y-direction.
9. The polishing system of claim 1, further comprising a slurry dispensing controller that is communicatively coupled to said slurry dispenser and to said central controller, and based upon instruction received from said central controller, said slurry dispensing controller controls operation of said slurry dispenser during an operational state of said jig and said spindle, to either dispense or cease dispensing polishing slurry.
10. The polishing system of claim 9, during displacement of said jig and of said spindle and operating under control of said slurry dispenser controller, said slurry dispenser is capable of dispensing polishing slurry on portion of mobile device surface before that portion undergoes polishing by said polishing head.
11. The polishing system of claim 1 , further comprising a thermal sensor controller that is communicatively coupled to a thermal sensor and to said central controller, and said thermal sensor designed to measure an operating temperature of mobile device surface, such that when said thermal sensor measures said operating temperature to be equal to or greater than a predefined threshold temperature, then said thermal sensor informs said central controller of said operating temperature and said central controller ceases operation of said jig or ceases gradual displacement of said spindle, in Z-direction, towards mobile device surface during polishing operation.
12. A polishing system, comprising:
a jig designed to secure first mobile device and second mobile device;
a first polishing head designed to polish surface of first mobile device; a first spindle disposed above said jig and fitted with said first polishing head;
a first slurry dispenser arranged adjacent to said first spindle and designed to store and dispense polishing slurry on surface of first mobile device;
a second polishing head designed to polish surface of second mobile device;
a second spindle disposed above said jig and fitted with said second polishing head; a second slurry dispenser arranged adjacent to said second spindle and designed to store and dispense polishing slurry on surface of second mobile device; and
a coupling component that couples said first spindle and said second spindle such that during an operative state of said first spindle, said coupling component facilitates rotational displacement of said second spindle in a same manner as that of said first spindle.
13. The polishing system of claim 12, further comprising a single spindle motor that is coupled to said first spindle, wherein during an operative state of said single spindle motor, presence of said coupling component conveys rotational displacement effected by said single spindle motor and received at said first spindle, to said second spindle.
14. A method of polishing a mobile device, said method comprising:
securing, in a jig, a mobile device that is to undergo polishing, wherein said jig is disposed above a top tray;
displacing, a spindle fitted with a polishing head, a vertical distance in a Z-direction to contact a surface of said mobile device with said polishing head; and
implementing one or more sets of sequences, each of which includes multiple sequences, and a sequence includes displacing, said jig relative to said polishing head, by a certain distance in an X-direction and/or include displacing, said top tray relative to said polishing head, by a certain distance in a Y-direction, wherein said X-direction is perpendicular to said Y-direction.
15. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, wherein in said implementing, at least one sequence includes displacing a device support subassembly comprising said jig and said top tray, in a slanted direction relative to said polishing head, wherein said displacing in said slanted direction includes displacing, said device support subassembly relative to said polishing head, at an angle to an edge of said mobile device that extends only in said X-direction and at an angle to an edge of said mobile device that extends only in said Y-direction.
16. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, wherein said securing is carried out prior to said displacing, and wherein during said implementing, holding said spindle stationary in said X-direction and in said Y-direction.
17. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, further comprising:
receiving, from a central controller, slurry dispensing instructions at a slurry dispensing controller; and
dispensing, using a slurry dispenser operating under control of said slurry dispensing controller, polishing slurry on said surface of said mobile device.
18. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, wherein during said
implementing, displacing in said X-direction is carried out using an X-axis motor, the operation of which is controlled by an X-axis controller that is coupled to a central controller.
19. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 18, wherein during said
implementing, displacing in said Y-direction is carried out using a Y-axis motor, the operation of which is controlled by a Y-axis controller that is coupled to said central controller.
20. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 19, wherein said implementing includes:
conveying, from said central controller to said X-axis controller jig, displacement instructions that require use of said X-axis motor; and
conveying, from said central controller to said Y-axis controller, top tray displacement instructions that require use of said Y-axis motor.
21. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 18, wherein during said displacing, displacing said spindle in said Z-direction is carried out using a Z-axis motor, the operation of which is controlled by a Z-axis controller that is coupled to said central controller.
22. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, wherein said implementing includes:
measuring, using a thermal sensor, temperature of said surface of said mobile device to arrive at an operating temperature; and
conveying, from said thermal sensor to a thermal sensor controller, said operating temperature of said surface of said mobile device.
23. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 22, wherein if during said measuring said operating temperature of said surface of said mobile device equal or exceeds a higher predefined temperature threshold, then said central controller ceases said implementing.
24. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 22, wherein said higher predefined temperature threshold is equal to or greater than about 60°C.
25. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 22, wherein if during said measuring said operating temperature of said surface of said mobile device equal or is less than a lower predefined temperature threshold, then said implementing includes further displacing said spindle in said Z-direction towards said surface of said mobile device and applying a greater amount of force with said polishing head on said surface of said mobile device.
26. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 25, wherein said lower predefined temperature threshold is a value that is equal to or less than about 25°C.
27. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 26, further comprising continuing said further displacing said spindle until operating temperature of said surface of said mobile device is measured to be equal to or greater than about 45 °C.
27. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 22, wherein said implementing includes carrying out multiple times one or more of said set of sequences.
28. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, further comprising:
checking for X-axis error, using said X-axis controller and said X-axis motor, in displacement of said jig by a predetermined distance in said X-direction;
checking for Y-axis error, using said Y-axis controller and said Y-axis motor, in displacement of said top tray by a predetermined distance in said Y-direction;
checking for Z-axis error, using said Z-axis controller and said Z-axis motor, in displacement of said spindle by a predetermined distance in said Z-direction; and
wherein said checking for X-axis error, said checking for Y-axis error, and said checking for Z-axis error are contemporaneously performed prior to said implementing.
29. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, further comprising:
checking for temperature error by measuring, using a thermal sensor functioning under control of a thermal sensor controller, operating temperature measured of said surface of said mobile device; and
checking for slurry dispensing error, by dispensing polishing slurry, using a slurry dispenser operating under control of a slurry dispense controller, and contemporaneous with said checking for temperature and prior to said implementing.
30. The method of polishing said mobile device of claim 14, wherein said implementing includes grinding and/or buffing.
PCT/US2018/054493 2018-10-05 2018-10-05 Novel automated polishing systems and methods relating thereto WO2020072067A1 (en)

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Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20010001755A1 (en) * 1993-08-25 2001-05-24 Sandhu Gurtej S. System for real-time control of semiconductor wafer polishing
US6315635B1 (en) * 1999-03-31 2001-11-13 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd Method and apparatus for slurry temperature control in a polishing process
US20040074073A1 (en) * 2002-10-21 2004-04-22 Seibu Electric & Machinery Co., Ltd. Numerical control (NC) processor with onboard grinding unit
US20090258574A1 (en) * 2008-04-09 2009-10-15 Applied Materials, Inc Polishing system having a track
WO2012155385A1 (en) * 2011-05-16 2012-11-22 Xiangtan Sanfeng Cnc Machine Tool Co., Ltd. Multi-carriage symmetrical numerically controlled coordinate grinding machine

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20010001755A1 (en) * 1993-08-25 2001-05-24 Sandhu Gurtej S. System for real-time control of semiconductor wafer polishing
US6315635B1 (en) * 1999-03-31 2001-11-13 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd Method and apparatus for slurry temperature control in a polishing process
US20040074073A1 (en) * 2002-10-21 2004-04-22 Seibu Electric & Machinery Co., Ltd. Numerical control (NC) processor with onboard grinding unit
US20090258574A1 (en) * 2008-04-09 2009-10-15 Applied Materials, Inc Polishing system having a track
WO2012155385A1 (en) * 2011-05-16 2012-11-22 Xiangtan Sanfeng Cnc Machine Tool Co., Ltd. Multi-carriage symmetrical numerically controlled coordinate grinding machine

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