(November 23, 2009) — These products and services include micromachining, via drilling, imaging, PCB singulation, and parts sourcing, all for the fabrication of advanced PCBs, substrates, and other structures. Laser platforms, microwashers, laser-free systems, routers, and other approaches are featured. A parts sourcing service brings together bare PCB tooling and fabrication from international partners.
Singulating Tab-routed Boards
The N100 Nibbler singulates tab-routed printed circuit cards in low- to medium-volume production quantities. Blades are available in standard thicknesses of 0.120″, 0.093″, and 0.062″. Custom sizes to match the width of the routed section can be ground. Tabs are cut cleanly on each side so that no further clean up is required to remove excess material. Since one tab is cut at a time, minimal stress is imparted to the board during the process as the panel is not pressed between two points during the cut. The N100 is provided with a quick-connect pneumatic port that plugs directly into factory air (80-100 PSI). Stepping on a foot pedal activates the cutting process. The excess material from the tab is stored inside a compartment of the tool and can be removed at the convenience of the operator. FKN Systek Inc., www.fknsystek.com.
Precision Cutting Service for Microwashers
This service offers precision cutting of microwashers for the ablation of ultra-thin metals and plastics. Laser cut microwashers enable zero material distortion or warping through contact-free processing. Additionally, the company is able to control heat-affected zones (HAZ) by carefully planning cut paths. Laser cutting of multiple diameter rings can be done all at once through CAD design. A-Laser, a division of FCT Assembly, www.a-laser.com
Laser Micromachining Platform
Designed for greater yields and enhanced cost of ownership (COO), the ML5900 reportedly enables more advanced manufacturing of micro-electronics, automotive, and other consumer products. The machine offers high placement accuracy and yields, and reduces scrap of incorrectly processed parts, while maintaining high throughput. It is field-upgradable, delivers automated inspection and processing of parts, and is able to handle upwards of 10,000 parts per day. The ML5900 gives users real-time process control while providing a modular framework for flexibility and faster redeployment. Featuring a high-power, interchangeable diode pumped IR, green, or UV laser, the system enables component and OEM manufacturers to drill, route, and nanostructure a range of materials including metals, organics, dielectrics, semiconductors and hybrid-engineered parts. The platform’s integrated metrology and rotary stage allow for fully parallel processing. It can create complex geometries. Electro Scientific Industries Inc. (ESI — Nasdaq: ESIO), www.esi.com
Processes for Micro-hole Drilling Cast Polyimide Wafers and Multilayered Materials
Through holes with diameters Ø100 µm (~0.004″) and smaller can be produced in high-volume manufacturing operations with this process. Micro miniature drilled hole sizes are enabled by the HVM (ND-1S Series) single spindle modular with vision system and (ND-Q Series) six-spindle production-level micro-hole mechanical drilling system. Mechanically drilled micro holes can be drilled in a variety of polymer sheet and composite materials used in PCBs for microelectronics packaging to medical devices. One material targeted for high-density probe cards and micro battery applications is a cast polyimide substrate. The HVM team formed 10,000 through holes, with Ø100 µm, through a 0.5-mm-thick cast polyimide wafer as a demonstration of the systems’ capabilities. The test revealed that many existing laser processes used for the creation of high-density drilled hole arrays could be replaced by a simpler and cost-effective mechanical method. Mechanical drilling processes are especially effective in self-compensating applications that suffer from surface or material thickness variations. Hitachi Via Mechanics USA Emerging Technology Group, in conjunction with Hitachi Via Mechanics (HVM) Japan, www.hitachinet.net
Laser-free HDI Imaging
The Rainbow process prints fine line detail, conductive tracks and resists for etching or plating down to 20 µm. The Rainbow process can produce 300 HDI panels (double sided) per hour. Running costs are reportedly less than 25% of an LDI unit and more environmentally friendly. The unit’s footprint is 6-m long; it consumes less than 7kW of power. The Rainbow Process can produce fine detail over a large area, with the typical process time at about 10 sec/panel at 610 × 460 mm (double sided). Like ink jet, Rainbow offers quick set up. The process uses a specially formulated resist applied at a thickness of 5-7 µm. Currently configured to handle copper panels for PCBs, the process lends itself to other rigid or flexible flat materials. The entire process from bare copper panel to imaged panel ready for etching occupies a space of approx 6m x 2.5m x 2m and is automatic. Since the environment inside the Rainbow unit is supplied by a HEPA filter clean rooms are not required. Other uses for the Rainbow process include making additive circuitry by imaging a plating initiator and building conductors using electrodeless copper. Imaging of dielectrics is also possible. The process is scalable and inline R2R versions will be available in the future. Rainbow Technologies is part of The TH Group of companies, http://www.rainbow-technology.com
Custom Parts Sourcing
International Advantage, based on decades of experience in international manufacturing and supply chain development, is a single source for more than 50 trusted partners to provide tooling and production of bare PCB fabrication, SMT stencils, plastic injection molding, blow-molded plastic, aluminum, and plastic extrusions, CNC machined parts, metal castings, sheet metal fabrication, LCDs, cables, and keypad membranes. The company’s national sales staff in Sarasota, FL manages supply chains in concert with a professional, locally based operations and engineering staff. Inovaxe regularly monitors manufacturing interests and delivers local language and cultural expertise. Inovaxe Corp., [email protected]