Stencilling over etching

One of the movements in electronics manufacture in recent times has been the move towards laser etching of semiconductors as a more cost efficient alternative.

Laser etching is claimed to offer greater technological performance, improved product flexibility and greater environmental friendliness. As an example of the performance of such laser stencilling equipment, the SL800 by LPKF is claimed to be able to cut up to 15,000 apertures per hour with an axial precision of +/-3 micro m with a right angle precision of less than 2 angular seconds. Repeatability is claimed to be +/-1 micro m.

Such a system has been installed by Dorset based TSL (Tecan Stencils) as an upgrade for its surface mount solder paste manufacturing service. The new machinery employs advanced linear motors instead of traditional lead-screw drives. Stencils can now be re-mounted for modification or upgrading. TSL claim the process results in smoother aperture walls which means improved paste release and finer pitch printing results. Furthermore Meshed, Tecfoil, Micromount Vector Tetra and other re-mountable stencils can be readily produced.

Tony Weldon, TSL Product Manager, noted that the new technology may not be suitable for all applications and said: “Other manufacturing techniques (PCM, electroforming and multi-level electroforming) can offer greater benefits.”

TSL Tel: 01305 765432; Fax: 01305 780194