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Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Archive >  December 2009 Issue >  Product Preview: productronica > 

Laser-Free HDI PCBs from Rainbow
Munich, Germany — A new method of producing High Density Interconnect (HDI) boards is being unveiled by Rainbow Technologies, a sister company to Teknek. Traditional laser systems are expensive to buy and costly to operate, and their output is notoriously slow — usually imaging only one side at a time.\par \According to Rainbow, its new system will revolutionize printing of fine line detail, conductive tracks and resists for etching or plating down to 20µ. The process can produce 300 HDI panels (double sided) per hour. Operating costs will be less than 25 percent of an LDI unit and will be more environmentally friendly. The unit itself is only six meters in length and consumes less than 7kW of power.

This all-new approach to printing fine lines and spaces down to 20µ and below reportedly provides the ability to produce fine detail over a large area. The process is unique and the typical process time is approx 10 secs per panel at 610 x 460mm (double sided).

Like ink jet, Rainbow offers quick setup but does not suffer from many of the drawbacks of ink jet such as blocked jets, or stepped edges on diagonals. Using a specially formulated resist applied at a thickness of only 5-7µ, the process is substantially "green" and totally lacks the landfill issues of dry films with their protective Mylar.

Currently configured to handle copper panels for printed circuit boards, the process lends itself to other flat materials either rigid or flexible. The entire process from bare copper panel to imaged panel ready for etching occupies a space of approx 6 x 2.5 x 2m and is performed automatically. Since the environment inside the Rainbow unit is supplied by a HEPA filter, there is no need for expensive clean rooms.

Other applications include making additive circuitry by imaging a plating initiator, and building conductors using electrodeless copper. Imaging of dielectrics is also possible; the process is very scalable and although the process is currently configured for imaging sheets, inline R2R versions will be available in the future.

Contact: Teknek, River Drive, Inchinnan Business Park, Inchinnan, PA4 9RT, Scotland, UK +44 (0) 141 568 8100 Web:

See at productronica Booth B2.341.

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