To review opportunities for use of digital printing in the printed circuit board (PCB) industry and to introduce background to ink jet printing, process development and applications in order to reduce costs, enhance efficiency and to enable PCB producers to operate in a more sustainable and flexible manner.
This paper has been written to provide a review of ink jet printing applications in the PCB industry. Ink jet print technology background, ink development and the processes made possible by ink and print head improvements have been described together with a description of the benefits available through digital printing.
It was found that there have been significant developments over recent years in both hardware technology (print heads and accurate print platforms) as well as improvements in the design of inks both for ink jet print performance and functional characteristics. These improvements have been integrated to provide an exciting new technology which can be applied in the manufacture of PCBs to reduce manufacturing costs and increase flexibility of manufacture.
The value of the paper lies in its ability to provide information on the scope of opportunities for ink jet printing in the PCB manufacturing process through the use of a range of new inks having specific properties. The design and development of highly accurate machinery provides the opportunity to attain the desired print resolution.
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