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PCB007-Feb2020

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32 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2020 Feature Interview by Pete Starkey I-CONNECT007 Pete Starkey speaks with Frank Louwet, gen- eral business manager of electronic print with- in Agfa Digital Print and Chemicals (DPC) at productronica, about the continuing progress of inkjet techniques in volume PCB manufac- turing. Frank further describes how the com- pany's portfolio of specialist inks is enabling innovative approaches to overcome technol- ogy challenges. Pete Starkey: Frank, it's great to see you again. Today, we will be discussing developments in inkjet inks, primarily for solder masks, as well as marking inks and etch resists. We had a very interesting conversation one year ago at the electronica show. Tell me about what has happened since then. Frank Louwet: My first remark is that if you walk around this productronica show, there are a lot of developments in the inkjet environ- ment, both on the equipment and the ink side. A few players are now offering or starting to of- fer inkjet inks, and on the equipment side, you see companies like Meyer Burger, Notion, Or- botech, and MicroCraft bringing in machines with multiple heads to increase the speed. Al- so, systems with higher resolution printheads are now available, so the technology is matur- ing. From our side, compared to one year ago, we have deepened and widened our portfolio of materials that we offer. On the side of the marking inks or legend inks, we had inks mainly for rigid applications. Inks for flexible white applications were add- ed, which completes our portfolio for mark- ing inks. In Asia, there is a huge drive to re- place the classical screen printing process with inkjet printing. Printing machines with multi- ple heads, even more than 10, have become available. They can run at higher speeds than screen printing. It becomes a mass-production or mass-volume market, which is a good de- velopment to see. On the side of the etch resist inks, our Di- PaMAT ER01 has been commercially available for two years. It's an ink designed for etching Agfa on Advances in the Inkjet Environment Frank Louwet

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