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60 The PCB Magazine • September 2015 Plasma treatment is an essential step in ensuring the cleanliness of a board to improve wettability and adhesion. Now, the growing complexity of automotive electronics is lead- ing more carmakers to consider using plasma treatment to ensure greater reliability. Nordson MARCH's Jonathan Doan shares the benefits of the process along with some new information regarding the MES3 requirement with Publisher Barry Matties. Barry Matties: Please start with an overview of Nordson MARCH, Jonathan. Jonathan Doan: Nordson MARCH makes plasma equipment primarily for the back end in terms of semiconductor applications and PCB manufacturing, medical applications, some au- tomotive and mil/aero. Really, anything that requires plasma treatment for packaging or fab- rication. Matties: How do you fit into the automotive sector? Doan: What we're seeing with the automo- tive customers is an increase in automation requirements for processing their parts. We're seeing more of our equipment being used to plasma treat their parts in terms of improving the reliability. Matties: How does plasma treating improve the reliability? Doan: What we offer is the ability to thor- oughly clean the surface. A lot of times, when you do any type of cleaning of the surface, even if you use a chemical, for example, there's still some residue. It's microscopic, but that micro- scopic layer interferes with adhesion or any type of bond. What plasma treatment does is remove that microscopic layer. You get a very clean, smooth surface that helps with adhesion. At the same time, what we can also do is change the surface energy. That could improve proper- ties previously incompatible to be more coop- erative with each other. That's really where the plasma treatment, in terms of usage, comes into play. You hear stories about electronics in automotives fail- ing early, and that's where we're seeing a lot of customers, especially as some of the big provid- ers of automotive electronics are seeing more Carmakers Now Embracing Plasma Treatment FEAturE IntErvIEw

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