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52 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2022 When it comes to plating printed circuit boards, few people have more experience than our technical editor, Happy Holden. In this excerpt from his book Automation and Advanced Procedures in PCB Fabrication, Happy discusses the development of early automated PCB manufacturing at HP, includ- ing computer-controlled plating systems. He also outlines a plan for tracking ROI through automation, along with some of the many trad- eoffs to be considered. Computers Come to Plating Computers were first applied to PCB man- ufacturing at HP's Palo Alto facility in 1974. Figure 1 shows the computer-controlled plat- ing system that included hoist control, current control, and monitoring for the plating tanks; chemical replenishment for the plating cells; BOOK EXCERPT: Happy Holden's Automation and Advanced Procedures in PCB Fabrication Figure 1: The author with one of the robot hoists controlled by the computer system. Figure 2: The HP-Sunnyvale PCB CIM system diagram.

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