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22 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2022 where I was able to network with many great people in the elec- tronics industry and see how other businesses are connected to the work we do at Chemcut. Although that might have been my main take- away, there was another trend that I couldn't ignore: the fourth generation of the indus- trial revolution is alive and well in the indus- try. Aer witnessing the many technologies that can be leveraged to boost automation, I couldn't help but consider how they may impact the wet processing side of PCB manu- facturing. I also wonder about other forms of automation we may soon see and what those developments could mean for the industry. Material Handling One of the main areas where we see an impact is material handling. e newest devel- opment is the implementation of robotics alongside PCB equipment to load or unload material into/from processing machines (Fig- ure 1). PCB manufacturers have long-awaited this technology due to its many benefits. Certainly, with the introduction of robot- ics to wet processing equipment, a boost in production rate is to be expected, but there How Industry 4.0 Shapes PCB Wet Processes The Chemical Connection by Christopher Bonsell, CHEMCUT Figure 1: A low-cost, user-configurable robot arm unloading PCBs.

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