If you’ve ever stared at an idle production floor and wondered what went wrong, you’re not alone. Looking at a non-operating PCB manufacturing floor is truly like watching money go out the window. All you can do is call your clients and explain to them why their shipment is going to be late. But it wouldn’t have to be this way if your PCB manufacturing process was streamlined and efficient. Unfortunately, many manufacturers consistently focus on soliciting new clients, rather than taking the time required to improve services for their incumbent customers. In Part one of this two-part series, we’ve outlined some easy steps you can take to ensure that your production line is living up to its real potential.
Printed circuit board designers must always be looking for ways to modernize our businesses and stay above the curve in such a competitive industry. New PCBs can process information at speeds never thought possible, and the possibilities are only expanding. The future is bright for designers with the drive and skills required for the job.
Almost every new piece of technology you see nowadays, from cell phones to the keyboards in your computers are built with Flexible Printed Circut Boards. These boards can adapt to any shape and are not limited to a design built around a rigid, unbending circuit board. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of using a flexible printed circuit board.
How will the heat generated by a laser beam affect my board and components during depaneling? Will it melt edge components into an ugly heap? Or demolish thin flex materials into an unrecognizable blob? We get these worst case scenario questions all the time from PCB designers and manufacturers who have relied on mechanical routers, manual cutters, and other traditional depaneling machines throughout their careers. So it is no wonder that there’s an ongoing concern about a laser’s heat affective zone (HAZ), and the thermal effect on edge components in particular.
Flexibility is a good thing if you’re an Olympic gymnast or Cirque du Soleil performer – and it’s essential for PCB designers and manufacturers whose prototypes and end products demand precision etching on flex PCB materials. For the past 40 years, standard mechanical PCB milling systems have been the tools of choice for straightforward milling operations, and in some cases, they’ve been great performers for flex PCB etching as well. LPKF’s top-performing ProtoMat mechanical PCB milling systems, for example, feature faster spindle speeds, low runout and high resolution for working with substrates as thin as 5 mil for single-sided designs and traces, and spacing as small as 4 mil. All good stuff, so how could it get even better? Laser.