3 technical articles added by LPKF Laser & Electronics
Investigation of Cutting Quality and Mitigation Methods for Laser Depaneling of Printed Circuit Boards
Sep 11, 2019 | Ahne Oosterhof, Eastwood Consulting, Javier Gonzalez, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG
There are numerous techniques to singulate printed circuit boards after assembly including break-out, routing, wheel cutting and now laser cutting. Lasers have several desirable advantages such as very narrow kerf widths as well as virtually no dust, no mechanical stress, visual pattern recognition and fast set-up changes. The very narrow kerf width resulting from laser ablation and the very tight tolerance of the cutting path placement allows for more usable space on the panel. However, the energy used in the laser cutting process can also create unwanted products on the cut walls as a result of the direct laser ablation. The question raised often is: What are these products, and how far can the creation of such products be mitigated through variation of the laser cutting process, laser parameters and material handling? This paper discusses the type and quantity of the products found on sidewalls of laser depaneled circuit boards and it quantifies the results through measurements of breakdown voltage, as well as electrical impedance. Further this paper discusses mitigation strategies to prevent or limit the amount of change in surface quality as a result of the laser cutting process. Depending on the final application of the circuit board it may prompt a need for proper specification of the expected results in terms of cut surface quality. This in turn will impact the placement of runs and components during layout. It will assist designers and engineers in defining these parameters sufficiently in order to have a predictable quality of the circuit boards after depaneling....
Apr 27, 2017 | Ahne Oosterhof, Eastwood Consulting
Using modern laser systems for the depanelization of circuit boards can create some challenges for the production engineer when it is compared to traditional mechanical singulation methods. Understanding the effects of the laser energy to the substrate material properly is essential in order to take advantage of the technology without creating unintended side effects.
This paper presents an in-depth analysis of the various laser system operating parameters that were performed to determine the resulting substrate material temperature changes. A theoretical model was developed and compared to actual measurements. The investigation includes how the temperature increase resulting from laser energy during depaneling affects the properties of the PCB substrate, which varies from no measurable change to a lowering of the surface resistance of the cut wall depending on the cutting parameters....
Feb 22, 2013 | LPKF
Productivity. Innovation. Time to market. Day to day, year over year, businesses are forced to make critical R.O.I.—related decisions that impact the future and the bottom line—some of them reactionary, some forecasted. For a growing number of electronics manufacturers, many of those decisions revolve around whether a function should be performed by an outside contractor or kept in-house. But for many companies in the RF/microwave industry, this decision is often concerned with continuing to employ an outside PCB fabricator for prototype PCBs, or to make a $10,000 to $100,000 investment in an inhouse, rapid PCB prototyping machine that may represent a key competitive advantage....