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Posted: Oct 01, 2010

DEK ProActiv Rewrites Printing Rules to Revolutionize Paste Transfer Efficiency

(Nanowerk News) DEK has launched ProActiv, a breakthrough process technology designed to enable electronics manufacturers to rise to the challenge of increasing miniaturization by rewriting the area ratio rules that limit conventional printing with smaller stencil apertures. Ideal for manufacturers dealing with high density heterogeneous boards and ultra fine pitch assemblies, ProActiv enables next generation components to be printed alongside standard components, using only a conventional printing process with a single thickness stencil.
While there are many facets to the stencil printing process, it is stencil aperture ratio that fundamentally dictates what can be printed. Consequently, as the stencil aperture area ratio decreases with the emergence of miniaturization and heterogeneous assemblies, the chance of successful printing decreases. In the future, if trying to incorporate 0.3mm pitch CSPs into existing processes, stencil apertures with area ratios of approximately 0.4 will be required significantly beyond today's printing rules. However, the launch of ProActiv from DEK has rewritten these rules, presenting a new printing technique that extends the print process window down to a level that makes consistent printing of small apertures for 0.3mm CSPs and 01005 passives a reality.
Each ProActiv installation contains a control subsystem and a set of squeegees featuring embedded electronics. When activated, ProActiv energizes the paste that is in contact with or in very close proximity to the squeegee blade. This unique energizing action does not alter the paste but causes it to be far more compliant, improving the packing density of solder particles into apertures and enhancing the bond between those particles. In turn, this transforms solder paste transfer efficiency to deliver incremental improvements in quality, yield and throughput, even with today's subassemblies.
Having implemented a highly successful ProActiv Beta Test program, DEK has already recorded excellent results with this process technology. One Beta Test customer, EMS provider JJS Electronics Ltd., uncovered a range of process advantages by using ProActiv. Frazer Hayton, Manufacturing Manager at JJS, explains: "With ProActiv we are able to feel more confident as an engineering and manufacturing team in winning and delivering on new business - finer pitch and more intricate designs that we just weren't highly comfortable with prior to this. Ultimately DEK has given us more process room to work with."
High-profile contract house, Hansatech, also claimed to have never seen a board printed so well, while German manufacturer, Siedle, was able to significantly increase its production throughput by reducing understencil cleaning frequency from every 3 to 5 boards, to every 8 to 10 boards.
Commenting on DEK's new release, European ProActiv Product Manager, Rick Goldsmith, explains: "ProActiv is not just the best way to extend current print capability to cope with ever smaller component sizes and higher board densities, it's the only way! Designed to future-proof our customers' process investments, ProActiv delivers a highly stable process that significantly increases yield to reduce rework and scrap. Not only that, but it also increases throughput by reducing cleaning frequency, and increases stencil and squeegee blade life by reducing squeegee blade to stencil friction. The result is significantly lower production costs and unprecedented paste transfer efficiency."
Download our on-demand webinar to find out more about ProActiv at www.dek.com/proactiv or book a live demo.
About DEK
DEK is a global provider of advanced materials deposition technologies and support solutions including printing equipment platforms, stencils, precision screens and mass imaging processes used across a wide range of applications in electronics pre-placement subassembly, semiconductor wafer manufacture, and alternative energy component production. For more information, visit DEK at www.dek.com.
Source: DEK (press release)
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