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Infrared Laser Marking of Solder Masks

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000062574D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baldauf, L: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A very fast, accurate, and economical method of marking printed circuit boards is described which involves training a laser on a solder mask that has been treated to change color with intense heat. At present there are four main ways to mark a printed circuit board. The first is to generate the nomenclature the same way as the circuits. The advantage of this is that there is no chance of mislabeling, every part has the same ID. This is also the disadvantage of this system; it is impossible to serialize the panels. The other problem with having copper labelling is that since it is conductive, it has to be well away from the circuits to prevent spacing violations. This prevents this method from being used to label critical board areas.

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Infrared Laser Marking of Solder Masks

A very fast, accurate, and economical method of marking printed circuit boards is described which involves training a laser on a solder mask that has been treated to change color with intense heat.

At present there are four main ways to mark a printed circuit board.

The first is to generate the nomenclature the same way as the circuits. The advantage of this is that there is no chance of mislabeling, every part has the same ID. This is also the disadvantage of this system; it is impossible to serialize the panels. The other problem with having copper labelling is that since it is conductive, it has to be well away from the circuits to prevent spacing violations. This prevents this method from being used to label critical board areas. Another way of labeling boards is to screen print the information on the board after the solder mask operation. This has an advantage over copper marking because the inks used are non-conductors. The disadvantages of this method are that serialization is impossible and that it requires a separate operation which is time consuming and operator intensive. A method of serializing the boards is to stamp the nomenclature on each panel. These machines automatically increase the number stamped each cycle so that every panel is different. Since this damages the laminate, it cannot be used in an active area. The fourth method is to use adhesive labels. This allows for high quality lettering and even the ability to use bar codes. Unfort...