Now that the inner layer has been sheared and drilled on for about 30 minutes the inner layer is now complete and can move on to the next step. The sheets of metal and copper are sent off for copper sheet lamination in a huge clamping machine, capable of laminating a large number of PCBs at the same time. We were unable to see this machine on our tour in action as no PCBs were being laminated during our tour, but the machine can be seen above. The PCBs that pass the screening step that is done after this stage are then routed to ensure that they are the correct size. Once this process is completed, the PCBs are sent off to the edge beveling machine. Now that the inner layer has been laminated, routed, beveled and drilled on for about an hour the ‘inner lair’ is now complete and can move on to cleaning.
The large sheets of PCB are cleaned at this point in time . The PCBs are brushed, drilled and then de-burred before rinsing. Here you can see the boards going into the rinsing machine.
The boards come out the other side of the machine (as seen above) and are then stacked into groups so they can be copper plated.
Before the outer layer can be etched into the PCB, the board needs to be plated with copper. Pictured above are hundreds of boards waiting to be dipped in the copper plating solution.
When the boards are ready to be dipped ECS operators carefully clean the boards in a chemical tank (seen in front of the men hanging the PCB’s)before each PCB is hung and dipped into the solution. ECS is able to do dozens of boards at the same time, so this process goes pretty quick. We got lucky on this part of the tour and was able to see some boards being hung for copper plating.