Increased technical requirements in PCB manufacturing driven by more advanced PCB designs (towards thinner materials, more complex and finer structures at only small design rule tolerances) have set limitations for the conventional mask contact lithography (phototool) method in particular for the production of more advanced PCB applications.
This has led to a shift in production technology from conventional mask contact lithography to the Maskless Direct Imaging of PCBs, where a software controlled laser or light-source is used to image a pattern directly on a photoresist coated panel or to image liquid solder mask/resist layers at the backend of the PCB manufacturing process.
Key advantages of the Direct Imaging (DI) technology include:
- Higher accuracy in registration as well as printing (line uniformity)
- Higher depth-of-focus
- Full product and process traceability during the manufacturing process (data interfaces)
- Higher productivity and quality levels (throughput and yields) during PCB production
- Lower process costs and total costs of ownership versus conventional mask/film lithography during the pattern or solder mask process
Backed by a dedicated in-house hardware & software engineering team, LIMATA has developed a complete LDI system product line for the PCB patterning and solder mask process. In addition and after a joint application/process analysis, LIMATA provides its international PCB customer base with system customizations, MES-interface programming services and complementary automation solutions.
Key laser imaging components used in LIMATA‘s system solutions consisting of laser scan/beam units, UV-diode lasers and optics have been either developed internally or in-close cooperation with key component suppliers. A fully in-house developed software platform completes LIMATA‘s system product offerings.