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In Solder Rework/Repair, Solder Training and Tools

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Mask Removal / New Pad or Trace Definition

PCB Prior to Selective Solder Mask RemovalPCB Prior to Selective Solder Mask RemovalIn some cases a rework has to be performed when solder mask needs to be selectively removed from different portions of the PCB. Laser mask ablation methods have the advantage of control, cleanliness and precision over other traditional techniques such as mask scraping and micro abrasion. The BEST laser machining systems have precision and control as the beam can be lined up using the fiducials on the printed circuit board as a reference point. The fast, controllable pulse energy of the BEST laser machining systems means that the ablated mask areas will be precise and be done repeatably. The high burst of energy from the BEST UV lasers means the material is removed without charring and the mask is ablated or vaporized without remnant materials remaining on the board. In addition because of the high energy of the laser it can very rapidly perform the solder mask removal process.

Close Up of Extended 5mil Wide TraceClose Up of Extended 5mil Wide TraceIn some cases the removal of solder mask can lead to the exposure of underlying copper layers in order to “manufacture” a pad or trace. This allows for the board to be used without having to scrap or “re-spin” the printed circuit boards. Pads as small as a few mils or thousandths on a side or a trace width of 3 mils can be fabricated using the laser machining of solder mask to create a pad or trace.  In some cases BEST can get the selective metal surface finish or even HASL coating placed back on the board in select area.

In other cases pads may have to their shape or dimensions modified in order to modify the design or have a lot of boards modified in order for their design to meet manufacturability and yield standards. Micro machining using lasers to expose larger or different pad patterns will yield the desired noise or RF characteristics. In even other cases the PCB fabricator simply missed a pad or trace and one needs to be from existing with no time for a board spin. In all of these cases solder mask laser machining otherwise known as “laser solder mask ablation” can offer the precision and repeatability required.

PCB Mask RemovalPCB Mask RemovalOther applications include: cleaning up of solder mask plugged holes, silk screen removal and feature definition on the surface of the PCB. BEST lasers can also selectively cut traces or other conductors, provide the testing and subsequent coating for protection.

BEST can take data in the form of GERBERs, AutoCAD and others in order to develop both the fixturing and laser ablation files. Typically the jobs involve several phases including process and tooling development, first article acceptance and then finally a production or lot run. BEST can provide packaging, testing, coating and part replacement services as part of the laser ablation process. During the process development of a laser rework process there may be involvement of an outside analytical lab in order to verify process parameters.

BEST knows how to handle printed circuit boards making sure that all of the IPC J-STD-001 process guidelines are followed. This mean that MSD and ESD procedures are followed as either your populated or unpopulated printed circuit boards can be reworked using laser tools.

For options on solder mask ablation methods including the use of a laser for precision solder mask removal, please find more information here. 

Call BEST today to discuss your laser mask removal or pad production application.

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Testimonials

  • You Guys Freaking Rock with turnaround time.
    Thank you all SOOOOO much!!

    You Guys Freaking Rock with turnaround time.
    Thank you all SOOOOO much!!

    Welch Allyn

  • BEST is excellent in meeting delivery dates and are very good with clear communication of shipments, quantities, issues, etc. Their quality and technical assistance has been superb.

    BEST is excellent in meeting delivery dates and are very good with clear communication of shipments, quantities, issues, etc. Their quality and technical assistance has been superb.

    RW Technologies

  • BEST has solid high quality service every time, and at the right price. They are very dependable. I am able to start a project in less then 24 hours with no hassles. The teams always work to meet the... View More..

    BEST has solid high quality service every time, and at the right price. They are very dependable. I am able to start a project in less then 24 hours with no hassles. The teams always work to meet the demands placed on them by the customer, and are very honest about what they can do and when they can do it. They offer great value to the customer; they are willing to go the extra mile to make the customer happy.

    Motorola

  • Best has always come through when we needed them. We started using them for board repairs, now they assemble all of our boards. BEST is always responsive to our needs. On many occasions, we needed... View More..

    Best has always come through when we needed them. We started using them for board repairs, now they assemble all of our boards. BEST is always responsive to our needs. On many occasions, we needed boards repaired immediately. They have always come through for us.

    Lovejoy Controls Corporation

  • Your company name exemplifies exactly what you are, the BEST!!!

    Your company name exemplifies exactly what you are, the BEST!!!

    Alpha Circuits

  • You guys are really soldering geeks. Keep inventing those cool products.

    You guys are really soldering geeks. Keep inventing those cool products.

    Analog Devices

  • …always are very friendly and try to accommodate my short lead times

    …always are very friendly and try to accommodate my short lead times

    Qualcomm

  • There was not doubt that Francisco know the material, how to present it, and how to make the class participants feel at ease..all of my guys came to me and how me how much they had learned.

    There was not doubt that Francisco know the material, how to present it, and how to make the class participants feel at ease..all of my guys came to me and how me how much they had learned.

    Alabama Power

  • Just wanted to let you know what a fantastic job/effort James put in too insure our guys were thoroughly training and qualified. Everyone involved was very impressed with his knowledge, flexibility,... View More..

    Just wanted to let you know what a fantastic job/effort James put in too insure our guys were thoroughly training and qualified. Everyone involved was very impressed with his knowledge, flexibility, and work ethic. We really appreciate the fact that he went above and beyond.

    EMAC

  • Man, you guys are unbelievably fast!

    Man, you guys are unbelievably fast!

    Blur Development Product

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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT US

  • You Guys Freaking Rock with turnaround time.
    Thank you all SOOOOO much!!

    You Guys Freaking Rock with turnaround time.
    Thank you all SOOOOO much!!

    Welch Allyn

  • BEST is excellent in meeting delivery dates and are very good with clear communication of... View More..

    BEST is excellent in meeting delivery dates and are very good with clear communication of shipments, quantities, issues, etc. Their quality and technical assistance has been superb.

    RW Technologies

  • BEST has solid high quality service every time, and at the right price. They are very dependable. I... View More..

    BEST has solid high quality service every time, and at the right price. They are very dependable. I am able to start a project in less then 24 hours with no hassles. The teams always work to meet the demands placed on them by the customer, and are very honest about what they can do and when they can do it. They offer great value to the customer; they are willing to go the extra mile to make the customer happy.

    Motorola

  • Best has always come through when we needed them. We started using them for board repairs, now they... View More..

    Best has always come through when we needed them. We started using them for board repairs, now they assemble all of our boards. BEST is always responsive to our needs. On many occasions, we needed boards repaired immediately. They have always come through for us.

    Lovejoy Controls Corporation

  • Your company name exemplifies exactly what you are, the BEST!!!

    Your company name exemplifies exactly what you are, the BEST!!!

    Alpha Circuits

  • You guys are really soldering geeks. Keep inventing those cool products.

    You guys are really soldering geeks. Keep inventing those cool products.

    Analog Devices

  • …always are very friendly and try to accommodate my short lead times

    …always are very friendly and try to accommodate my short lead times

    Qualcomm

  • There was not doubt that Francisco know the material, how to present it, and how to make the class... View More..

    There was not doubt that Francisco know the material, how to present it, and how to make the class participants feel at ease..all of my guys came to me and how me how much they had learned.

    Alabama Power

  • Just wanted to let you know what a fantastic job/effort James put in too insure our guys were... View More..

    Just wanted to let you know what a fantastic job/effort James put in too insure our guys were thoroughly training and qualified. Everyone involved was very impressed with his knowledge, flexibility, and work ethic. We really appreciate the fact that he went above and beyond.

    EMAC

  • Man, you guys are unbelievably fast!

    Man, you guys are unbelievably fast!

    Blur Development Product

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