Scalable entry-level Direct Imaging system for PCB production

Scalable entry-level Direct Imaging system for PCB production

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

German Direct Imaging (DI) system developer Limata has launched a flexible cost-efficient system platform for dry-film patterning and solder mask imaging designed for PCB manufacturers with quick turnaround production configurations.

The X1000 can be configured as an entry-level solution that provides PCB manufacturers with a modular and scalable system platform that can be quickly upgraded in-place within just a few hours. This allows manufacturers to start with a low-cost single-head machine and, as volumes increase, ramp up capacity to up to three heads with 18 simultaneously working laser diode sources.

The high-end model, the X1000HR achieves a resolution of 8 µm line and 12 µm space that meets the stringent demands of IC substrate and MSAP process production and makes fine line printing affordable for small series production.

Accuracy and reliability are key in high-precision PCB fabrication. A change in position or room climate can easily affect the accuracy of critical components, for example the power of the laser or position of the laser beams, and thus necessitate re-calibration and downtime. To address this issue, Limata has developed an integrated auto-calibration system that eliminates manual adjustments and resulting production downtimes.

Limata’s LUVIR technology for rapid solder mask (SM) direct imaging reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by up to 40 percent compared to competing systems by cutting  ultra-violet (UV) power requirements. It uses both UV and infrared (IR) lasers to significantly reduce UV power consumption, which cuts imaging cycle times and increases production throughput. LUVIR is compatible with all conventional solder mask ink types and colours, achieving best-in-class ionic contamination (‘bleeding’) values.

“With the X1000, we provide QTA PCB manufacturers easy and affordable access to the benefits of LUVIR,” said Matthias Nagel, CTO of Limata. “These benefits include unmatched speed, high resolution and profitability in high-mix production runs.”

The X1000 has the smallest operational footprint, enabling it to neatly fit into clean rooms and runs efficiently on single-phase power, making it a very compact, power-efficient unit, says Limata.

For high volume manufacturers wishing to streamline and update their manufacturing processes with automation features, the X1000A model enables a fully automated and integrated inline LDI system, which can be installed in a single or twin configuration.In combination with LUVIR, the twin-set configuration X1000A-Twin delivers market-leading throughput of up to 180 exposures per hour on conventional solder mask inks such as Taiyo PSR-4000 BN or AM03TS.   

As a fully-integrated system from a single vendor, the X1000A adds seamless automation without having to work with multiple suppliers. The low starting price of the X1000 system platform removes the financial entry-barrier for quick-turn-around manufacturers wanting to transition from mask/film and to invest in a digital system solution for solder mask direct imaging.

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