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22 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 by Wouter Brok, Klaus Ruhmer and Henk Goossens MEYER BURGER (NETHERLANDS) B.V. Introduction When the Germans coined the term Indus- try 4.0 back in 2011, it wasn't clear to many what it actually stood for. Although the debate about all the nuances of the term's meaning is still ongoing, one aspect of it is undisputed: The "computerization of manufacturing" is at the heart of it. Manufacturing techniques through- out many industries continue to become more and more digital. This is also true for PCB manu- facturing. Several manufacturing steps offer in- credible potential for digitalization. One prime example is the application of solder mask mate- rial using industrial inkjet technology. Solder Mask Printing The current manufacturing standard for sol- der mask application involves several process steps which have a significant cost impact: 1. Pre-treatment of the PCB 2. Full board coating (e.g., curtain coating) 3. Artwork film production (photomask) 4. UV exposure 5. Development 6. Post cure INDUSTRY 4.0– Inkjet Technology is Changing the World of PCB Manufacturing FEATURE Figure 1: The process flow that is traditionally followed in PCB solder mask application.

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