PCB Marking & Depaneling
Laser PCB Marking
Marking or etching codes/numbers/logos on printed circuit boards (PCB) during manufacturing is a difficult proposition outside of laser PCB marking. The marking is necessary to aid in inventory control and part tracking, but conventional methods, including chemical etching and screen printing are time-consuming, and require additional consumables and cleaning processes. CMS Laser PCB marking systems require no extra processes, and have no direct contact with the sensitive components, circuits, and substrate of the board. It is completely automated, and can integrate with existing SMT lines.
CMS Laser’s PCB marking systems also allow you to connect with mainframe data so your marking can be real-time data tracked by your high level manufacturing system. Our laser systems run as free-standing machines, or can be added to your fully automated manufacturing line. Unlike others, we provide PCB laser marking performance specially tailored to your unique needs in a high-performance, reliable and cost-effective package. Systems can be designed to use automatic stackers, flippers, or any other kind of part handling system.
Benefits of CMS Laser PCB marking systems:
- Adjustable width through-conveyor board transport accommodating boards up to 24L” x 18W”
- Permanently marking on a wide variety of board materials including FR4, CEM1, Paper phenolic, Ceramic substrate, and Solder mask.
- Low maintenance
- Non-contact marking
- Low consumables
- No Additives
- Computer controlled marking content
- Flat panel touch screen
- Edge-belt conveyor
- Pneumatic board stop
- NEMA 1.2 Power Distribution
- PAT light system status indicator
- SMEMA interface with input/output conveyors for intelligent handling of production flow
- CDRH Class I compliant
- Welded steel base for mechanical/optical stability
- Vision system for Simultaneous or Sequential 2D Matrix and Linear BarCode Verification
- Integrated Reject Station
- Automated Bulk Load/Unload Upstacker/Downstacker
- Hardened Part Transports/Guides for Ceramic Substrates
- Ytterbium Fiber laser for ceramic/metallic substrates
- Manual/Programmable Z-axis for other board thicknesses
- Other loading configurations-manual load, rotary table etc.
Laser PCB Depaneling
Laser PCB depaneling and singulation laser systems have gained popularity due to circuit boards getting more complex with higher component ratios. Mainstream depaneling and singulation is done with routers, die cutters, and dicing saw methods. However, as the boards get more sophisticated, these methods are producing more mechanical stress to the parts. For PCBs getting thinner and smaller every day, breakage, stress on boards and components, and lower throughput can occur. Laser PCB depaneling/singulation offers perfect precision and accuracy, and allows SMT integration.
Challenges with routing, die cutting, and dicing saw methods
- Damages and fractures due to mechanical stress
- Damages to PCB due to accumulated debris
- Constant need for new bits, custom dies, and blades
- Lack of versatility – each new application requires ordering of custom tools, blades, and dies
- Lower throughput rate due to lack of precision (low quality of cuts)
- Not useful PCB Depaneling/singulation smaller boards < 500 microns
- Design limitation – lack of ability to cut more complex and multidimensional printed circuit boards
Lasers, on the other hand, are gaining market share world-wide for PCB depaneling and singulation due to higher precision, lower stress on the substrate, and higher throughput. They demonstrate superior results in every aspect of the process. Because of their accuracy and speed, lasers can handle cuts right up to the edge of important components and circuits that might be damaged or stressed using traditional depaneling methods. Lasers also leave a clean, burr-free cut on the substrate. A simple change to the software can move the beam in fractions of millimeters, allowing for quick adjustments in cutting paths.
With lasers, there is no bit or blade sharpening, reordering dies and parts, or limitations of where and how to cut. Laser PCB depaneling machines can also handle a wide variety of substrates, including Teflon, ceramic, aluminum, brass, copper, and more.
Because laser PCB depaneling is dynamic, is non-contact, and the beam has no limits on how, where or when to cut, lasers prove themselves to be more cost effective when compared with more traditional methods. CMS Laser depaneling systems also offer Optical Recognition which keeps your machine making good parts. If the panel is not set correctly, or is not the correct panel for the job running, Optical Recognition will stop the program from starting until the correction is made. This limits down time, increases throughput and quality piece percentage, and lowers costs per piece by virtually eliminating bad parts.
Benefits of laser PCB depaneling and singulation
- No mechanical stress
- No tooling cost. No consumables.
- Versatility – ability to change applications by simply changing settings
- Fiducial Recognition – more precise and clean cut
- Optical Recognition before pcb depaneling or singulation process begins – CMS Laser is one of the few companies to provide this feature
- Ability to depanel virtually any surface such as Teflon, Ceramics, Aluminum, Brass, Copper, etc
- High quality of cuts due to higher precision and laser control
- No design limitation – ability to cut virtually any complex and multidimensional boards