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DECEMBER 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 25 Matties: That's a huge savings in time and cost. In a quick-turn situation, this would give you some cycle time back. Faraci: Of course. Because with that new cy- cle time, you're eliminating making all those special lam and separator plates, putting in all those pins, and de-pinning. If you ask a cus- tomer who does internal tooling, "If you were to eliminate the internal tooling and do it a dif- ferent way, how much would that save you?" They'll tell you that the cost savings is enor- mous. Matties: So, the ROI is pretty quick. With this one machine, I could set up multiple layup sta- tions, but you're describing the process steps before you even get to the layup stations, and that has to be taken into consideration. Faraci: Exactly. And what normally happens, they only compare any of our machines to a lay- up station, but it's not just the layup station be- cause we're doing the registration. Therefore, the hole punching and pre-processing of the panels goes away. There is no pre-handling or punching the layers before drilling all the backer boards or drilling all of the prepregs. Ziomek: And one of the big advantages for the new DIS user is their layer-count capabilities beyond throughput. We see customers that maybe were only capable of building up to 10-layer PCBs. But with the DIS system, they have repeatability and accuracy and can build up to 20 layers, and maybe even a little bit higher. They're able to take on new jobs that they couldn't before, which is a huge benefit. Matties: How many installs do you have of this? Ziomek: We had serial numbers 1 and 2 in- stalled at a top U.S. DoD PCB fabricator—Flex- ible Circuits Inc. Matties: That's quite good. Ziomek: It went under rigorous testing, as you can imagine, considering the type of panels being built and for whom. It was very suc- cessful due to the teamwork involved, and it went into production last year. At the same time, we made adjustments and modifications because it was serial number 1. Again, it was so successful that they purchased the second system and took order of it. Flexible Circuits also tested our automated DIS internal bond- er to eliminate internal pinning for rigid-flex PCBs. We have five manual systems installed in North America, but they also went ahead and bought serial number 1 for the automated version. Matties: Are you saying this one is automated? Faraci: This is automated, and by automated we mean it is optically aligning the layers. For the manual system that we're talking about, we have two versions for the internal pinning. Matties: But what about bringing the material in? Faraci: The future plan is to do something with that. That's part of the reason why you see the machine has some headroom. Matties: Because that's a big growth area, right? Faraci: It is. Matties: And with digital manufacturing, you're going to have to be able to take in barcode in- formation and adjust on the fly. "If you were to eliminate the internal tooling and do it a different way, how much would that save you?" They'll tell you that the cost saving is enormous.

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