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Aerospace Improving PCB Masking Process

A case study on improving the PCB masking process for an aerospace and defense manufacturer. 

Challenge

A manufacturer specializing in PCBs for aerospace and defense applications wanted to improve its process efficiencies by increasing throughput and with the automation of the masking process.

The customer’s original process involved masking military-grade PCBs in preparation for coating with a solvated conformal coating. Each board contained 28 plated mounting holes, 33 flush test points, and 8 through-hole connectors prior to coating. The customer’s application time was 19 minutes per board followed by racking the boards for air drying of the maskant. With five people, they were only able to process 22 PCBs per person, per day for a total of 110 PCBs.

Solution

The Dymax team recommended a SpeedMask UV solution, with automated dispense and cure options.

The Dymax Team Territory Manager and Sales Partner met with the customer to review their process and understand their needs. The Dymax team looked at a UV solution, automated dispense and cure options as an alternative. They proposed Dymax SpeedMask 9-20479-B-Rev-A and PVA Delta 8 Dispense Robot with FC100 dispense valve supported with Dymax UVCS 2.0 Conveyor with Fusion F300 UV curing lamps.

Results

The customer saw a daily process savings of 32 hours, freeing 4 operators for other processes. 

By switching to SpeedMask 9-20479-B-REV-A and the implementation of an automated process, the customer was able to cut the processing time from 19 minutes to apply only the maskant to 5 minutes to dispense and cure. Altogether, Dymax helped the customer increase production output from 22 boards/person to 96 boards/operator, a 14-minute reduction in the process. The customer achieved daily process savings of 32 hours while freeing four operators for other processes.

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