One of the things that makes Amitron a leader amongst PCB manufacturers in the USA is our 72,000 square feet brick & mortar facility. With the help of our dedicated production team, our manufacturing facility runs 24/7, including holidays. Below is a virtual tour of our U.S. PCB manufacturing process, if you would still like to see more, request a live PCB factory tour.
Inner Layer Pre-Treatment
Amitron begins its inner-core production with a chemical pre-clean which removes any residual matter and oxidation. Panels are fed directly into the clean room environment where a dryfilm resist is applied and queued for exposure. This streamlined process minimizes costly handling and related defects.
Develop, Etch, & Strip
After exposure, multilayer inner cores feed from Amitron’s cleanroom into an integrated system that develops, etches, and strips the inner layers. This IS system is stainless steel and titanium. Computers control the parameters of the process, yielding consistent quality. Exiting the line is a finished core.
Camtech Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) equipment is used to inspect all inner layers before proceeding to the next step in production. This process identifies opens, shorts, and reduced traces. Identification of these defects prior to lamination is critical since they cannot be detected until the final Electrical Test or sometimes not at all!
Multiple cavity presses from Burkle are then utilized to laminate the multilayer panels. This equipment features hot oil heated plattens with a full vacuum assist for maximum lamination consistency. Load systems move the panels from the hot presses to the cold press/cool down stages of the process. The entire lamination process is computer controlled.
Multilayer hole-to-pad registration is controlled utilizing Pluritec x-ray equipment. Targets on the internal layers are located using x-rays, and fresh tooling holes are then drilled for optimum alignment of primary thru hole drilling.
Drilling is very critical to the printed circuit board process. Amitron uses high speed Pluritec drilling machines for medium to high volume production. Every drill bit is laser verified against the NC drill data to verify diameter, length and run-out(wobble) prior to drilling a single hole. With drill speeds up to 120,000 RPM, these machines are not only precise and efficient, but drill some of the cleanest holes in the industry. For small lots, we utilize single spindle drills with the same laser verification and high speed spindles for unsurpassed speed and flexibility for your prototype requirements.
One continuous process deburrs, desmears and deposits conductive material in the holes of the drilled panels. This type of automation is found throughout Amitron’s facility eliminating handling, reducing labor, and increasing overall process efficiency.
Auto Dry-Film Lamination
After hole preperation the panels continue directly into the Clean Room via conveyor where an automatic cut-sheet laminator applies dryfilm photo-resist and panels are queued for the outer layer imaging process. This type of automation reduces cycle time and increases the quality and overall efficiency of the process.
Photo artwork is inspected utilizing magnification as well as automated optical inspection before progressing to exposure.
This photo process places an image of the circuit onto the drilled panel. Imaging is performed in a clean room environment utilizing Automa Tech collimated light exposure units with 4-Camera auto-alignment technology. All artworks are photo-plotted in the same temperature and humidity controlled environment for optimal image alignment.
Automated Plating System
Copper/tin plating is eductor-based, allowing high aspect-ratio plating with superior copper distribution characteristics and surface to hole ratios. High output rates coupled with low labor content is an added plus. Based on the photo image film of the desired circuit, copper, then tin, is plated on the circuit image.
After plating, the process panels travel to the etching process. PLC controls and in-process sensors provide excellent real-time control of the process. All copper is removed except the circuitry that is protected by the tin plating applied during the previous process. The tin is then stripped and the copper is cleaned and the newly prepared circuit is ready for solder mask.
Liquid Photo-Imageable (LPI) solder-mask is applied and processed utilizing automated Argus horizontal spray or DP1500 vertical systems. Amitron can process many types and colors of masks. A vertical unit applies LPI ink with computer-controlled squeegies and then "tack" cures the ink, preparing it for imaging. The horizontal system simultaineously sprays the liquid mask on both sides of the panel, for uniform coverage, then tack cures the panel in one continuous process. Once the panel is exposed and developed, it moves through final cure and on to final surface coating.
State-of-the-art Accuscore scoring equipment is used for fast, accurate V-grooving. These precision machines are capable of Jump-Score and Aluminum V-scoring. CNC routing is also utilized to remove individual parts or arrays from the process panel.
Amitron’s state of the art test facility utilizes TTI dual sided, double density test equipment to quickly and accurately detect opens or shorts if they exist. In addition to net list testing with this equipment, Amitron also provides Flying probe testing for short runs to minimize tooling costs for our customers.