Dainippon Kaken, Muko City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan is a manufacturer that develops and manufactures exposure equipment for forming fine circuit patterns in electronic components, with excellent technology of ‘optomechatronics’, which is a fusion of optics, electronics, and precision mechanics. There are various types of exposure equipment for different purposes, but Dainippon Kaken specializes in exposure equipment for FPDs (flat panel displays) such as liquid crystal displays and mobile terminals, and exposure equipment for LEDs.
Kozo Okamoto, Chairman and Representative Director, talks about the company’s business. “At the beginning of our founding in 1967, we were manufacturing exposure equipment for semiconductors. After that, with the entry of a major manufacturer, we shifted our focus and began to handle exposure equipment used in the manufacture of FPDs and LEDs. In recent years, the company has demonstrated its presence in the area of ’maskless exposure technology’ that does not use photomasks, which are the original plates of circuit patterns.”
Technical Advantage of 1µm Microfabrication
Hiroshi Okamoto, President and CEO, emphasizes the technological superiority as follows. “The processing accuracy of general maskless exposure equipment for printed circuit boards is about 20 to 30 µm. On the other hand, we have realized a higher level of processing technology from the beginning to 9 to 7 µm. Now, the technology has been further improved and 1 µm microfabrication is possible.”
Confidence in Development and Quality Assurance System Leads to Higher Value-Added Manufacturing
It is worth noting that almost all exposure equipment developed and manufactured by the company is made to order. Toru Endo, General Manager of Production Engineering Department, said as follows. “Since the functions required by each customer differ, it is customary to design and manufacture one by one after receiving an order for the device. In many cases, we take on the challenge of developing new technology upon request, and we are still working on film sensors. We are working on a response. For us, it feels like we are making things together with our customers.”
In addition, it cannot be overlooked that a thorough quality assurance system greatly enhances the added value of products. “Because it is not a mass-produced product, the parts are slightly different for each product. Based on this situation, we are trying to improve the level of quality assurance by accumulating inspection know-how one by one,” explained Mr. Endo.
Importance of Obtaining Accurate Measurement Results
The inspection work is handled by Masao Kishida, an engineer in the Quality Control Division, Production Engineering Department, and another member. Mr. Kishida, a veteran with 16 years of inspection work experience, is in charge of parts with strict dimensional accuracy, and another member is in charge of parts for which measurement methods have been established.
High-Precision Scanning CMM Suppresses Workpiece Deformation
in January 2019, the company introduced a new high-precision CNC coordinate measuring machine – Mitutoyo STRATO-Apex 9106. The reason for choosing this machine, Mr. Kishida cites the advantages of high-precision measurement using a scanning probe in addition to high measurement accuracy.
“In the measurement with the touch probe, the workpiece may be deformed due to the measurement pressure, which is a factor of measurement error. In that respect, the scanning measurement of STRATO can obtain the measured value by minute sensing. I expect to be able to eliminate the measurement error as before. As I mentioned earlier, we believe that it is a great advantage to be able to show the measurement results with confidence. “
Dainippon Kaken Uses Numerous Precision Measuring Machines
When visiting the inspection room on the 1st floor of the head office, Mitutoyo’s CNC coordinate measuring machine “Bright-Apex”, CNC image measuring machine “QUICK VISON-Apex” (with touch probe), roundness measuring machine “ROUNDTEST RA-2200” are installed in a narrow space. Among them, a horizontal CNC coordinate measuring machine “CARBstrato” which the company states was used for the development and manufacture of the world’s largest FPD exposure equipment.
Dainippon Kaken has a strong stance of pursuing quality with the company motto of “quantity, non-maximum quality, and best quality (not the maximum quantity, but the best quality)”.
President Okamoto says that when aiming for sustainable growth, that commitment is a lasting theme. “Development-type product manufacturing is the pillar of our business. We will continue to strive to produce products of quality that customers can understand.”
For more information: www.mitutoyo.co.jp