PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Jan2017

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8 The PCB Magazine • January 2017 Happy New Year to all of you faithful and new readers out there! I hope you are look- ing forward to 2017 as much as we are here at I-Connect007. We have exciting plans for this year and can't wait to get started, but first we need to talk about this month's topic. This month's issue is all about plating and surface finishes; long ago, that was pretty much my start in the world of printed circuits—wet processing. So this is kind of my home turf— and not, since I haven't worked in wet process- ing for some…well, for many years. I've always expected that I could hop right back onto the plating room floor and pick right up where I left off all those years ago. Or could I? Have things changed much? Time to read on and see. So what is new in plating and surface fin- ishes? Well it's true that there are still the basic processes—cleaners and microetches, copper and nickel and gold electroplating, immer- sion tin, nickel, silver—all of which have been around for quite a long time. But with the finer features, the far greater reliability concerns, the lead-free solders, the constant need for lower cost and greater efficiency, etc., the spotlight is often on these "old" processes. Plus, there are a few new ones like ENIPIG. Much research and development has gone into refining additives for electroplating and electroless/immersion baths to improve the plating quality in one way or another, both on surfaces and in through-holes and vias. Follow- ing on that is a tremendous amount of testing to prove out said processes and the subsequent assembly-ability of components. In the end, it's all about reliability, reliability, and reliability. There are a plethora of final finishes to choose from today. How does one decide? Well, that takes us right to the line-up for this month. Regular columnist Tara Dunn of Omni PCB has by Patty Goldman I-CONNECT007 Everything Old is New Again PATTY'S PERSPECTIVE

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