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72 PCB007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2022 Feature Article by Brendan Hogan MIVATEK e circuit fabrication industry has always been the unsung hero of the electronics era. SPC, TQM, ISO, and 50 other acronyms have ruled the day to govern quality and process approaches. I've been in the industry for 39 years and I feel more like a crasman than ever before—trying to figure out how to produce the impossible and maintain a profit. With smaller features, exotic materials, end- less plating, and press cycles, the industry feels like it is in transition. Soon enough the lines between microelectronics and PCB will be forever blurred. e result is that digital direct imaging has become an instrumental tool in the circuit crasman's toolbox, but the selec- tion process is just the first key step in tapping Five Priorities for Implementing Direct Imaging this valuable and expensive technology. Here are five priorities for your own "toolbox." 1. Selection process. A thorough examination of what a direct imager can do is vital. Oen the PCB shop is looking at its most current difficult problem to solve and it prepares a sample that confirms DI can do today's tough applications. e selec- tion process must give a high score to a tool (and a supplier) that is adaptable and a true problem solver, because by next month, year, or decade the direct imaging system will need to do things that haven't been thought of yet. Direct imaging is a major capital purchase; extending the investment time horizon by

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