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PCB007-Aug2019

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36 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 I had the opportunity to sit with Mike Wood, technical director with Cerambus Asia Pacific, at the 2019 CPCA Show in China. Mike discusses the acid copper product from Cerambus Technology Inc. that doesn't gen - erate sludge during the plating process and operates at higher production output by us- ing higher current density. This is important for the state of the vertical continuous plating (VCP) market in Asia, and trends he's seeing in that space. Barry Matties: You told me a little bit about your technology for the elimination of sludge in copper plating. Can you give us a quick overview? Mike Wood: The Cerambus acid copper prod- uct has many advantages. One main advan- tage is that it does not generate sludge as you are plating production. Typically, in about two months, the bottom of the baskets build in sludge. Along with this, the distribution on the lower portion of the VCP hoist line drops and the bottom of the panels have a lower thick- ness because the sludge is building and shield- ing the nuggets at the bottom of that anode basket. So, our product essentially has no sludge. For one year, you could run your process and not have to empty or clean the baskets. Most people clean every three months, and they have to take a week out of production time to pull the nuggets all out. But they still have to do production, so during that downtime, the PC shop sends panels to an outside job shop. The downtime and cleaning are very expen- sive. It's almost the same price as a full year of brightener when cleaning four times a year. The second advantage is that without the sludge, you can have a better distribution, which also means higher plating amperage. This product will go above 30 amps per square decimeter (ASD) or 30 amps per square foot (ASF) current density and be very stable. I visited one customer, and in the past three months, the bath had no hand additions—only amp-hour replenishment at 38 ASF 24/7. To- day, with the high current density, new VCP machines in the market have increased the The Advantages of Non-sludge Acid Copper Products Mike Wood

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