PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Mar2018

Issue link: http://iconnect007.uberflip.com/i/950499

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 57 of 97

58 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 When it comes to PCB processing, it is not often that you are able to come up with some- thing completely new. There may be some no- table exceptions, but often a new process is more honestly an adaptation of a similar pro- cess, perhaps from another industry segment or a different application. Examples of this re-purposing are process- es like drop-on-demand printing of ident and solder mask. The print heads that were most commonly used for early PCB machines originated from the packaging indus - try for marking their products. Print heads have now evolved quite a long way and current machines have versions that are much more ap - propriate to use with electronic manufactur- ing materials; however, the basic principle remains the same. In many instances, process technology is not really new but it is new to the user. When a cus- tomer upgrades an etch line from a standard machine to an etch cham- ber that uses vacuum technology, the process is most definitely new technology for that user. In this respect, there is a large amount of new technology around currently in our industry. The vac - uum etch process uses topside vacuum heads after each line of spray nozzles to remove the puddle from the top side of the printed cir- cuit. The effect of this is that the top and bot- tom side etching is a lot more even. The effect can be useful if you are making products with fine line and space or if you are using heavy copper materials. Even for standard products there should be a notable improvement in per- formance. Right now, vacuum etch is a hot product. Another process that is new to a lot of cus- tomers is vertical continuous plating (VCP). Instead of using a traditional gate-type transporter arrangement, VCP is laid out in a single line of process with the process panel being carried though the process in a linear direc- tion, similar to an old-fash- ioned tab plater (remem- ber what I said about there being very few truly original ideas). Conveyorised platers have been around for quite a while, but many of the hor- izontal versions have quite a few shortcom- ings when it comes to maintenance and care of process. VCP allows easy access to the spray bars and sumps and topping up soluble anodes is very simple. VCP works in a similar w ay to a horizontal process line but turned on its side. What's New? Ladle on Manufacturing Feature Column by Marc Ladle, VIKING TEST LTD.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PCB007 Magazine - PCB-Mar2018