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60 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Uniplate Since the rapid increase in HDI production for mobile phones and other handheld products in the early 2000s, the Uniplate and Horizon series of machines have been installed over 1,500 times for copper plating, desmear, electroless copper metallization, direct metallization, surface treatment, and immersion tin processes. Uniplate equipment includes custom-engineered sys- tems exactly suited to their in- tended use; some have reservoirs of 6,000 liters and lengths of 120 meters. Atotech's chemical pro- cess development is tightly con- nected with its equipment design to ensure best-in-class perfor- mance (e.g., Uniplate LBCu6 with Printoganth® U plus is the POR for smartphone OEMs re- quiring mSAP technology for the latest generation of substrate-like PCBs). Supported by a strong lo- cal service level (e.g., for process consultancy and optimization) via the company's global tech center network, Atotech is a sup- plier for several industries. The innovative, universal transport system (UTS) is a de- sign element highly suitable for the transportation of very thin material (Figure 2). Other unique components are the spe- cially designed pulse-plating power supplies connected to segmented anodes for uniform plating distribution, specially engineered flow patterns and controls, automation control sequences, automatic chemical analysis, and dosing for con- stant chemical concentrations (Figure 3). Figure 4 shows the cost and quality advantage of Figure 2: Atotech pioneered the thin-material UTS that now has three variants (-s, -xs, and -xs+). Figure 3: Automatic chemical analysis and dosing are automation features from Atotech. Figure 4: The big advantage of continuous analysis, especially for copper plating additives, is that a consistent lower-level concentration can be maintained without exceeding the low-level limit. This is a 30% lower usage of chemicals than allowed by periodic laboratory analysis by conventional CVS instruments. New nozzle and pump control allow the centering of thin cores inside the equipment without being touched.

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