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Mike Garner

Managing Director at Garner Osborne Circuits Ltd

Enhanced accuracy with pinless bonding and automated registration for PCB Fabrication

All companies invest in new equipment from time to time. Maybe it’s to increase profitability. Maybe it’s to increase productivity. However, we’ve recently taken delivery of a new piece of machinery that heralds a new age for PCB Fabrication.

The new Limata UV-P200 doesn’t just bring one benefit, but a whole raft of benefits to everyone; our customers, our staff, and our customers’ customers.

Yes, it will speed up the PCB fabrication process, printing directly from Gerber files, saving us 2-3 hours of tooling every day. This means lower lead times for clients. But the thing we’re really excited about is its ability to print a registration pin into both sides of a board, enabling enhanced accuracy when lining up the sides of the composite boards, before they are joined together. This delivers heightened accuracy when bonding multi-layered boards, improving both their performance and reliability.

The Limata also enables pinless bonding. By welding layers together, rather than bonding layers together with pins, fewer stresses are placed on the composite boards improving the reliability and robustness of our assembled printed circuit boards.

We work with many businesses in the automotive industry where printed circuit boards are used within vehicles from very early stages. A single short or open in a circuit, or an undetected fault, can be costly, leading to disassembly and removal of the offending part. If this happens whilst still on the production line it can be problematic enough, but if it happens later, once the car has left the forecourt, unreliable components can detrimentally affect the brand, or even put lives at risk.

The amount of repeat business we get is evidence of the focus we place on the quality of our printed circuit boards. And as such, we have always invested heavily in ensuring that each board, on leaving our warehouse, is perfect.

 

Our staff are highly trained, and each PCB goes through two separate inspection stages. One at the copper imaging stage, and one prior to despatch. We have visual tests and an automatic optical inspection that tests all multi-layered boards for opens and shorts.

In case that wasn’t enough, we have a state-of-the-art, double-sided simultaneous flying probe that we use to test each unit too. Any shorts or opens detected in any of these processes then get remedied before the PCBs leave Garner Osborne.

So, whilst we’ve always impressed with the quality of our circuit boards, the new Limata will enable our production process to be more accurate first time around with fewer stresses on the board and enhanced reliability of connections, with more accurate bonding of two sides that the human eye alone could manage.

The machine also automatically adjusts the size of an image to match the size of the circuit board, enabling us to ensure identical PCB production regardless of the exact size of the boards, whilst enhancing consistency and reliability.

Our investment in the new Limata-UV-P200 shows how we continually strive to offer enhanced quality and service for all of our customers, all the while investing to ensure we remain competitive.