ILFA has invested in new alkaline etching line with recycling system and tin stripper line

With the acquisition of a new alkaline etching line with a recycling system for copper and as well as a tin stripper, ILFA has increased its production capacity and continues to concentrate on expanding its technological lead.
The alkaline etching line by SCHMID makes it possible to achieve a much higher accuracy over the etched surface and therefore an optimised geometry of the etching foot. ILFA has also come close to its goal of being able to reliably produce line/space parameters at 17 μm copper thickness of 30/30 µm and at 35 µm of 50/50 µm. In addition, the equipment supplied by SCHMID considerably reduces the scrap rate and the amount of reworking in the etching technology sector. Set-up times decrease, product-specific recipes can be stored. According to the production lot, the system automatically adjusts the parameters required for processing. The parameters are very accurate within the prescribed tolerances, because the etching line and the recycling system work in a closed circuit. The system recycles the saturated alkaline etching medium continuously by removing the valuable and excess copper from the etching medium by electrolysis. The etching medium does not need to be replaced meaning that the chemical transport by truck which is subject to approvals and environmental-critical can be avoided.  

The parameters are very accurate within the prescribed tolerances, because the etching line and the recycling system work in a closed circuit. The system recycles the saturated alkaline etching medium continuously by removing the valuable and excess copper from the etching medium by electrolysis. The etching medium does not need to be replaced meaning that the chemical transport by truck which is subject to approvals and environmental-critical can be avoided.

"We designed the plant to be very compact, user-friendly and easily accessible for service to the system", says Stefan Rapp, Product Manager at SCHMID. "Through technological improvements with regard to dosing accuracy, chemical carryover and filtration, we have been able to further increase machine availability. Thanks to the excellent cooperation with ILFA and MacDermidEnthone, the chemical supplier, it was possible to supply a very user-friendly system that is exactly tailored to the needs of ILFA. Above all, the reproducibility of the etching which results from the recipes stored in the system, gives ILFA a distinctive competitive advantage.“

ILFA procured the alkaline etching plant as part of the investment initiative "The Project µ". With a budget of € 3.2 million for 2015-2017, the PCB manufacturer from Hanover is increasing its production capacity and is continuing to expand its technological expertise.

Picture: Alkaline etching line (high resolution)

Picture: Recycling system copper (high resolution)