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FEBRUARY 2022 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 109 narrow as 30 µm, large pattern deposition of half-ounce copper is also possible, although limited to an area of 550 µm square. e pro- cess time required to restore copper conduc- tors or correct other defects on the FR-4 lami- nate material's surface is in the range of 30 loca- tions per hour, depending on the conductor's length, width, and specified copper thickness (half- or one-ounce). Orbotech states that "this system is the world's first one-stop solution that both removes excess copper and precisely restores patterns where copper is missing." e process is said to enable top quality repair of the most advanced PCB designs, including any-layer HDI and complex multilayer circuits. A key objective of the man- ufacturer in developing this capability was to furnish the circuit board supplier the tools to ensure uncompromised end product quality and minimize delays in fabrication while virtu- ally eliminating waste. PCB007 Vern Solberg is an independent technical consultant, specializ- ing in SMT and microelectronics design and manufacturing tech- nology, and an I-Connect007 columnist. To read past columns or contact Solberg, click here. tem can identify and eliminate up to 80 bridge or short defects per hour. Rebuilding missing conductors is another form of reshaping. is condition would have commonly forced the fabricator to scrap that portion of the multilayer board set. e capa- bility to add copper to the laminate's surface, however, rescues the panel layer from elim- ination. To prepare for the additive 3D shap- ing process the surface area where metalliza- tion is to be added is textured. Following prep- aration, a narrow pattern of molten copper is deposited onto the surface, physically bridging the gap between features, as shown in Figure 2. e AOS system is designed to accommo- date a panel size as large as 24" x 30" (610 mm x 762 mm) and the company states that a single operator can control up to four AOS systems simultaneously, correcting defects, and man- aging the reshaping process without manual intervention. Additionally, remote image ver- ification capability is offered that will enable the operator to monitor all copper defects and confirm the shaping process completion from a remote computer. In addition to correcting opens in the circuit path, defect repair may include filling nicks and pinholes in the conductor path and rebuild- ing shapes impacted by localized over-etching. While conductor width and spacing can be as Figure 2: Comparing conductor pattern images before and after 3D copper reshaping.

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