Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


You are here: Home / Public / Ecosystem Knowledge Gateway / References / References - Production processes for Smart Systems

References - Production processes for Smart Systems

Technology Brief description Application example

Etching & lithography

Subtractive patterning processes – where material is removed to leave a wanted pattern - are the basis for systems on semiconductor, conventional printed circuit boards, and also the creation of tooling for many other manufacturing processes.

Optical mask generator


Printing & nanoimprinting

Printing processes build up material in prescribed shapes upon a surface and range from the deposition of material via screen printing and other printing methods, through to nanoimprinting, which at the nano- scale may combine stamping with material deposition to create fine surface features.

Fully automatic screen printer

Heriot-Watt University

Micromachining, forming & handling

Micromachining, forming and handling group together those essentially “mechanical” processes that may be applied to Smart Systems manufacture. Machining and forming can often be applied, with skill, to the manufacture of models, prototypes and small batches.

Powder blasting

Heriot-Watt University

Microjoining & bonding

Processes to provide permanent bonds between parts at the micro-scale include: welding, compression, laser, thermo-sonic, ultrasonic, radio frequency; brazing and soldering; adhesives; anodic bonding; and many more.

Cavity  with electrodes for micro alignment of optical fibres

Heriot-Watt University

Moulding & micromoulding

Injection moulding, transfer moulding, overmoulding and vacuum moulding all have there place in the formation of: thermoplastic and thermoset parts; resin and filled resin parts; glass parts; and ceramic parts.

Moulded & micromoulded syringe system

Brunel University

Deposition & coating

A very broad field, encompassing sputtering, electro deposition, spraying, plasma deposition, and many more. Coating technologies can provide a surprisingly broad catalogue of  functions to provide “smart surfaces”, or selective protection for sensors to avoid damage while allowing them to operate.

Joule effect evaporation for thermo-fused materials



The purpose of encapsulation is to define the product, and to protect the product and the user, but still allow it to work.In many respects encapsulation resembles coatings in its functionality, the main difference being that it provides its own structural integrity and does not rely upon a supporting structure.

Buccal Dose, a system for  the oral application of drugs


Direct manufacturing & Rapid prototyping

Direct manufacturing and Rapid prototyping differ from typical mass-manufacture processes in that they are typically software driven, with no physical tooling. 3D printing and stereolithography, are two example processes, but others are emerging.

Electrostatic induced formation

Heriot-Watt University

Test & inspection

Smart Systems, with their integrated structures and composite materials, pose tough questions in Test & inspection. These questions spread further, to encompass the validation of tooling, the calibration and control of manufacturing processes, and the characterisation of multi-parameter sensors and actuators.

Micro CMM probe

UK National Physical Laboratory

Repair & recycling

Regulations for the collection, recycling and disposal of technological products at the end of their useful life are well established in the EU, especially in terms of electronic goods and cars. On the other hand, disposal has, overtaken repair and routine maintenance in the field.

Automatic Disassembly using Smart Materials

Brunel University