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Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Archive >  October 2007 Issue >  Product Preview: Productronica > 

Fico/BESI Intros Carbon-Free Laser Depaneling
Clean laser depaneling system.
Duiven, Netherlands — Fico, member of the international Besi group (Euronext Amsterdam: BESI), has launched a high quality laser depaneling solution which reportedly has solved the carbonization issues which have long prevented acceptance of laser depaneling in the PC board industry. Called the Fico Bright Line, the new carbon-free system reportedly provides a high degree of accuracy. In the PC board industry, the majority of depaneling is still performed by mechanical routers. In recent years, the industry has pushed the limits for better accuracy, yield and cost reduction for the depaneling process partly due to the ongoing miniaturization of products. Laser depaneling has been an interesting alternative for routers, but introduction of this process has been blocked by the fact that laser cutting typically leaves behind black carbonized cutting edges.

According to the company, the new Fico process is absolutely free of carbonized edges, which means that the PC board industry can finally profit from the advantages of laser cutting.

Wide routing lanes in traditional PC boards waste a lot of expensive board area while the cutting width needed for the laser is only about 0.3mm. This can increase the number of products from the same panel area from 40 percent up to 80 percent. Also, the closed structure of a PC board that is used for full contour depaneling prevents the products from warping during the reflow process which results in a higher assembly yield.

The accuracy of the laser is typically ±50µm, much better than traditional (pre-)routing systems. This creates more space on the PC board so more components can be placed in the same overall board area. In addition, the company has developed a special angle compensation procedure that results in almost straight cutting edges. This saves even more space on the area where the product is being placed — such as modules inside a cell phone.

For more information, contact: Datacon North America, Inc., 3150 Tremont Avenue, Trevose, PA 19053 215-791-7070 fax: 215-791-7074 E-Mail:

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