The Low Cost MEMS Alternative

    When I am asked what I do and what my company makes, I often find myself wanting to describe our capabilities and products in terms of MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems). While the strict reading of the acronym seems to fit, The generally accepted understanding does not. MEMS producers rely upon the wafer processing methods of the semiconductor industry, Whereas HTI does not. HTI’s manufacturing technologies are rooted in printed circuit, photochemical machining, and precision stamping and forming. Our suspension assembly product is a small assembly with micrometer-scale precision, serves as a mechanical spring, actuates with piezoelectric motors, and contains fine line circuits for actuator control and to enable data transmission. Is a suspension Micro? Yes, electrical? Yes, mechanical? Yes. So it fits the general meaning of MEMS.

    While our methods are not the classic MEMS approach, neither are our costs. Our methods of fabrication offer capabilities at a scale similar to that of traditional MEMS, But at a fraction of the cost. In the case of our piezo electric actuated suspension assemblies, we produce and sell them at prices under $1 a piece. A number of customers have approached us with MEMS based products that were too costly to meet market expectations. With HTI’s capabilities and some redesign, we have been able to provide a lower cost solution while still achieving the design intent.