An automated surface mounting assembly procedure has been developed for mounting miniaturized optical elements. It is based on a low cost universal holding device, free space optical interconnection, and on-line adjustment of the elements. It is characterized by submicron mounting precision and excellent mechanical properties. Flexibility in the layout, simple handling, high packaging density render this technique suitable to low cost prototyping and mass production of optoelectronic devices. The possibility of mass production will allow a new class of optical systems to be conceived for the customer market