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You Did it in the Lab, But Will it Work for Mass Production? | Thin-film Conformal Coating Deposition Repeatability and Scale

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Mallory McGuinness | October 30, 2020

In any production process, repeatability is a critical factor. Ultimately, it will determine the yield of your nano and/or thin-film conformal coating deposition process. Although you have produced a protective thin-film solution that works in the lab, how confident repeating mass-production results?

Repeatability Matters

What drives yield? Quality and precision are the main drivers, producing repeatable results and ensuring your protective solution works as they should. If your thin-film conformal coating process enables optimal results, including deposition rates, uniformity, and cycle times, in the lab, that’s great. But without repeatability, the quality of your protective coatings can vary. Repeatability facilitates lower yield loss and higher net throughput, two critical factors required to meet a low cost of ownership and high-volume production.

Yet as you implement your conformal coating solution, you may find yourself walking a tightrope between a concurrent need for high throughput as well as repeatability. To achieve the type of repeatability you need, look to better process and specialized equipment.

Learn more about risk and reliability with Stephen Gold, Chief Business Officer

A Repeatable Solution for Life Beyond the Lab

We’ve configured a dependable solution beyond the laboratory’s confines that works for mass-production protection on your terms.

Impressive Intellectual Property

  • Our extensive patented portfolio of material options gives our customers a measured advantage at driving repeatability, augmented by the availability of our application and process engineering resources, coating engineers, and coating technicians.

 Better Processes

  • For chemical vapor deposition (CVD) production, HZO has introduced automation to streamline the masking and demasking process, using advanced material removal processes (i.e., plasma ashing, laser ablation) that drive efficiency and quality.

Remote Monitoring

  •  We’ve paired our equipment with our own internet-enabled software to build and execute complicated recipes with precision, eliminating errors and improving repeatability. As our software provides continuous remote monitoring, measuring critical data points in real-time to guarantee quality and consistency, we can control critical factors, such as pressure, temperature, and other essential operating parameters – all in real-time.

Proven Methods

  • Our coating equipment is proven, with reliability designed into every component. Our systems are optimized to help ensure uptime while maintaining continuity of the thin-film deposition process.
  • Patented processes manage advanced chemistries, delivering unparalleled water, liquid, and dust protection levels.
  • Our equipment prioritizes precision for better process control over key specs like uniformity across the printed circuit board components and film thickness. This type of control puts you in a better position to attain repeatability throughout your entire process.

View a webinar about proven corrosion resistant methods delivered by Dr. Sean Clancy, Director of Coating Technology at HZO & Anti-Corrosion Expert

Scalability Matters

But repeatability isn’t all that matters. While a high precision deposition method is useful for repeatability, it can still be slow and expensive, rendering your process unrealistic and too costly for high-volume manufacturing. With 41.6 billion connected devices expected to be deployed into mixed environments by 2025, the need for scalability is real. That’s why we’ve prioritized our proven equipment for scalability, physical aspects, and chamber size.

The demand for protection is why HZO built machines that demonstrate unparalleled flexibility to deliver scalable results.

Our coating chambers are the largest in the industry and utilize a unique cubed shape to boost the loading of printed circuit boards and complex substrates with dense topographies. Unlike typical cylindrical chambers, our equipment handles scaling and mass production volumes efficiently so that we can coat one component, or one hundred million, consistently, reliably, and cost-competitively. Our IP related processes optimize deposition times, consistency, and throughput.

What drives yield? Quality and precision are the main drivers, producing repeatable results and ensuring your protective solution works as they should.

Conclusion

Whether your process requires small batch runs in the hundreds or inline processes in the millions, HZO has the experience and track record to deliver repeatable, predictable protective coatings with more productivity and more efficiency. The combination of material management, chamber capacity, digital control, and patented processes allows for greater throughput, efficiency, quality, and productivity.

When it comes to coating equipment, repeatability and scalability matter. If you’re interested in our precision process, get in touch with us here.

When it comes to coating equipment, repeatability and scalability matter.

Mallory McGuinness

Mallory is an electronics protection evangelist who writes content for HZO. In her free time she is reading non-fiction, and hanging out with her beta fish, King Awesome.

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