EIPC Technology seminar UK

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



(2004), "EIPC Technology seminar UK", Circuit World, Vol. 30 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/cw.2004.21730bac.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

EIPC Technology seminar UK

EIPC Technology seminar UK

Keywords: EIPC, Seminars

You can always rely upon EIPC to put on a good conference, and putting on a good technical seminar is entirely up their street as well. This was evidenced on 9 October when they ran a Technical Seminar entitled "Solving the most difficult registration issues in PCB manufacturing" at the Lea Marston Conference Centre in Warwickshire.

Attended by delegates from Finland, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and the USA as well as the UK, the seminar hosted six speakers who covered the full gamut of registration in all its variations and complexities (Plate 2).

Plate 2 Gred Laing of MIE with Timo Jokela of Aspocompoy, Finland

Werner Eickert (Plate 3) of Cimnet GmbH discussed "Data management for registration systems". His company has produced a programme called the CIM Factory, which is active data management, or may also be seen as a process orientated quality management system. It minimises the handling of phototools, offers line tool generation upon request, links to an ERP system, logs track changes to data, can generate a tool in, say Birmingham, from a plot in, say, Honiton. Tool data are stored in one file system. It has an open information box, with integrated viewer, to look at any job at any time, and where changes to files are made it logs the when, who, why and how. It integrates with Paradigm and with Engenix for those who are already owners of such software, and it offers many advantages for highly efficient and error-free data workflow.

Plate 3 Paul Waldner, Martin Cotton, Warner Eickert and Brewster Barclay

In the absence of Markus di Marcoberardino, Paul Waldner (Plate 3) presented a paper from ESI on the "Implementation of laser technology in alternative applications on PCBs".

The paper covered laser patterning; the use of laser as direct circuit ablation on soldermask; a look at the esiCAM 3.0 software and the ESI Laser Processing M5330.

Laser patterning of primary resist is more properly called ablating, not exposing. After optimal primary patterning, use laser light to polymerise the resist. For outerlayers, remove the resist to expose the copper which can then be tin- lead plated as an etch resist.

With innerlayers, the laser can be used to remove the resist to reveal the copper. You can also use a laser to write directly on LPISM, and 30 μm lines are possible. There are some limitations, for instance there is a limit to registration, and there is limited solder mask dam availability.

The software for ESI is called ESICAM 3.0. and it translates any data file, such as Gerber or Excellon, into an ESI file. It runs on any Windows platform, and creates structuring files, positive and negative images. The M5330 laser processing system is a high frequency UV laser operating between 30 and 70 KHz. Working on high power, one can change beam size, and control four axis, with panel and pattern alignment for the best registration.

Laser direct ablation can create fine lines and spaces less than 50 μm, and the system is fast, i.e. solder mask ablation runs at between 300 and 400 openings per second.

Continuing straight on, Paul Waldner, of MIE (Plate 3) talked about the combined know-how at MIE of traditional registration equipment with know-how of exposure equipment. This is important when demands are being made for tight tolerances, down from 600 to 250 μm. You can use data to detect trends. You have to look at both materials – moisture content, temperature, movement – and registration. Paul explained the difference between registration targets, he prefers the two targets on the long axis, and four targets on the centreline. Registration as a closed-loop factory control system was the way, he said, and his paper covered film registration options, a look at light sources, collecting data to film, and by use of the correct equipment on how to meet the challenges of the market place.

Brewster Barclay of Orbotech (Plate 3) discussed the application of LDI, the process variability and the issue of registration. The problem areas were soldermask and registration. LDI provides improved registration, which in turn gives an ability to design PCBs with tighter design rules and better functionality. He discussed the scanning principles of DP100, and looked at the X-axis control principle of the DP100. Brewster took the delegates through a detailed appreciation on how the system works, and the advantages of LDI over solder mask, essentially one of greater accuracy.

Horst Mader from PerfecTest (Plate 4) talked about eliminating registration errors, and said that you do have to fix the process, not the panel. He explained that errors are caused in two categories – expansion and shift. It is always a combination of the two, He explained how the PerfecTest equipment worked, and described the graphic displays which showed shrinkage and target shift.

Plate 4 Steve Jones, Pete Starkey, Horst Mader, Peter Wilson, Brewster Barclay and Andre Bodegom

Finally, Martin Cotton of Viasystems (Plate 3) looked at functionality. You have looked at X and Y, but what about the Z? Capacitance and impedance are critical, in some cases also inductance. Ten Gigabit transmission is what everyone wants nowadays, everything is faster. He talked about some of the problems he had with transmission, and explained how broadside coupling is needed. Side to side alignment is the key construction issue, as is coupling. In fact function is everything, but, oh boy, can you persuade people to pay what it costs?! And watch out for optics, they will make a circuit board obsolete!

All the speakers spoke on a similar theme, and all brought to the meeting a perspective on how their company, and their products, played a part in what is an increasingly, nay vital aspect of PCB production. What was apparent was that there are no short cuts, and if you want to do the job properly you have to have the best systems and the best equipment. A comfort to know that, hitherto, these are all available.

For those who wish to obtain a full copy of the proceedings, these are available on a CD-ROM, which costs £70 for EIPC members, and £90 for non-members. Please contact Sonja at the EIPC offices. E-mail: sderhaag@eipc.org