Monday March 2, 2015
End of Feb saw the annual pilgrimage to the West Coast for APEX. This year the show was in San Diego. As we spoke to existing customers and presented Getech's depaneling systems to new customers a recurring theme became evident. In previous years the Q and A has been directed toward speed, accuracy and material capabilities. The secondary conversation may have included vacuum and contamination control. This year the common theme was dust contamination control and extraction from the vast majority of the visitors spoken with. Clearly the finer dust particles that result from the high Tg materials and concerns with moisture retention are causing engineers to want to know, "Can you keep the Dust off the PCB?" Fibre Glass, the base material for FR4 is hygroscopic, that is it attracts and holds water. The ultra fine particles of dust once in contact with any surface will tend to "Stick" to that surface by mutual attraction and are very difficult to remove without a great deal of effort and potentially an additive cleaning process. Should dust particles find their way around or under devices and via environmental exposure come into contact with a moist environment the potential for further damage or shorts increases. The best method of avoiding such a situation is an adequate extraction system designed to eliminate the issue of dust contamination. The Getech approach has been to maximize air volume and air speed by incorporating 2 x 5HP vacuum blowers into the depanelling systems while designing a gas flowed manifold that surrounds the cutting head minimizing the noise generated by moving so much air at high speed. Meeting CE while meeting the dust extraction demands of the process is a challenge.
We are currently developing a white paper describing the system and its benefits to the end user. if you have an interest in receiving a copy please email me. firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Dust Dust Dust"