Silk-screen and cure

Most PCBs have a component legend to show which component goes where.

Today we use ink-jet printers to image the legends direct from the board digital data.  Like a conventional paper printer the ink-jet printer sprays minute droplets of ink onto the panel to generate the image.  If a legend is needed on the second side the ink is tack-dried on a conveyorised heater and the printing process is repeated.  Ink-jet printing needs no set-up.  Previously we lost time preparing and cleaning silk-screens for each legend printing.  That is why the legend is often called the silk-screen.

Currently three methods are available for applying the “Ident” to the PCB.

Manual screen-printing can be utilized when line widths are greater than 7 mil (0.007”) and the registration tolerance is 5 mil.

LPI (Liquid Photo Imaging) provides more accuracy and legibility than manual screening and is employed when line widths are greater than 4mil.

DLP (Direct Legend Printing) is the most accurate and legible of the 3 processes but also has the highest cost for consumables.

Now we finally cure both the epoxy ink soldermask and the legend. Once this took 90 minutes in a batch oven. Now it takes less than 10 minutes using a 5 stage conveyorised oven.

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NOD Electronics - PCBA - PCBA Assembly Services

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