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FEBRUARY 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 57 Resolution/Capacity Trade-off The machines of today are capable of fine line resolutions that were unfathomable just a few years ago. But it's important to understand the trade-off between fine line capability and high production. A direct imaging machine with two types of light engines—a "hybrid" ma- chine—can offer the best of both worlds. Choosing a New DI Machine? Test It On Your Work First! Every design is different. Dry films and sol- der masks are different. And claims made by equipment manufacturers vary wildly. Don't just look at a spec sheet and assume you'll get the same results. Test your work on the ma- chine before you commit. Be aware that pro- duction processes greatly influence the out- come and could even potentially limit the ca- pabilities of a new DI machine. Will More Light Engines Increase Productivity? A common myth about laser direct imaging is that more light engines increase productivity proportionately. It is important to understand that the exposed area (or image field) needs to be distributed well over the width of your pan- el size to give optimum exposure speed. When adding further light engines on a multiple head system, it should be considered that these still cover the area of your panel, as you wouldn't see any gain in capacity if one light engine ex- poses in the "empty" areas. Floor Space and System Platform Cleanrooms may allow only a limited amount of space for the integration of new DI equip- ment. Ideally, it should replace older contact exposure units or LDI equipment from the previous generation. However, it is unlikely that the old equipment will be removed before installation of the new; therefore, a space-sav- ing machine design which still offers all capa- bilities is a good choice as it won't require high infrastructure costs on your side. Environment, Data Collection and Support Controlling the environment in your direct im- aging area is key to optimum machine perfor- mance. Since this digital technology provides the ability to log all relevant machine and pro- duction data, it makes direct support and pre- ventive maintenance easier and plannable. Don't just look for a good equipment manu- facturer; look for a partner that can guarantee good, long-term support for the equipment while supporting the progress of your process capabilities. 1 2 4 5 3 Celebrating 30 years in business, Bürkle North America distributes and services Bürkle GmbH and Schmoll Maschinen equipment which includes IMPEX and LHMT. BNA distributes equipment lines for multilayer lamination, drilling, cutting, routing, imaging, registration, automation and measuring. Visit us online at BurkleAmerica.com.

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