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18 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2023 In addition, you need to know the scale of your production so you can ensure that you get the suitable equipment for your level of manufacturing. For example, if you are plan- ning to run a facility with a large output of panels per day, a multi-chambered etch machine may be something to consider (Fig- ure 1). is is because the longer the etch chamber, the faster you can run the conveyor speed while maintaining the same process- ing time. is increased conveyor speed with a larger etch chamber means that more pan- els can be inside the etch chamber at the same time. Keep in mind that a larger machine also means that it will take up more floor space; the trade-off for increasing production is committing to a capital investment and sacri- ficing some space. Utilities When you are planning a PCB shop, you need to consider not only what equipment you'll need, but also the basic utilities required and how those will be connected. e primary utilities/base necessities are electricity, water, and ventilation. Typically, utilities run 15–20% of equipment cost. Although these utilities are a necessity for any manufacturing facility, some situations may need additional consid- erations. For instance, when it comes to your electrical needs, not only do you have to ensure you get the power you need to run the equip- ment, but you need to consider where electri- cal cabinets should be located. If you are utiliz- ing an alkaline etcher, you'll need something to help regulate the airflow through the machine to ensure optimal etching. Figure 1: A Chemcut CC800 etching machine equipped with two full-size etch chambers. Although the image depicts two etch chambers, additional etch chambers can be stacked to increase etch capacity.

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