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Investigation of Cutting Quality and Mitigation Methods for Laser Depaneling of Printed Circuit Boards

Published:

September 11, 2019

Author:

Ahne Oosterhof, Eastwood Consulting, Javier Gonzalez, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG

Abstract:

There are numerous techniques to singulate printed circuit boards after assembly including break-out, routing, wheel cutting and now laser cutting. Lasers have several desirable advantages such as very narrow kerf widths as well as virtually no dust, no mechanical stress, visual pattern recognition and fast set-up changes. The very narrow kerf width resulting from laser ablation and the very tight tolerance of the cutting path placement allows for more usable space on the panel. However, the energy used in the laser cutting process can also create unwanted products on the cut walls as a result of the direct laser ablation. The question raised often is: What are these products, and how far can the creation of such products be mitigated through variation of the laser cutting process, laser parameters and material handling? This paper discusses the type and quantity of the products found on sidewalls of laser depaneled circuit boards and it quantifies the results through measurements of breakdown voltage, as well as electrical impedance. Further this paper discusses mitigation strategies to prevent or limit the amount of change in surface quality as a result of the laser cutting process. Depending on the final application of the circuit board it may prompt a need for proper specification of the expected results in terms of cut surface quality. This in turn will impact the placement of runs and components during layout. It will assist designers and engineers in defining these parameters sufficiently in order to have a predictable quality of the circuit boards after depaneling....

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Company Information:

LPKF Laser & Electronics

With its broad product range LPKF is one of the world market leaders in the "in-house rapid PCB prototyping" and "StencilLaser" services

Tualatin, Oregon, USA

Drilling/Routing, Manufacturer of Assembly Equipment

  • Phone 503-454-4200
  • Fax 503-682-7151

LPKF Laser & Electronics website

Company Postings:

(10) products in the catalog

(3) technical library articles

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