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Firstronic is expanding its conformal coating capability, adding a new line in both Grand Rapids, Michigan and Juarez, Mexico. The Grand Rapids facility now has four conformal coating lines. Three are running urethane and one is running silicone. The Juarez facility was running silicone on its line and the new line will be running urethane.
Each line includes a PVA automated conformal coat machine/UV cure oven. The conformal coating equipment has been modified to utilize nitrogen, as operation in an inert environment helps maintain raw material in its original state.
The new conformal coating equipment is configured with an atomized spray head and two needle heads. This increases flexibility and throughput. The UV oven enhancement allows products coated with UV materials to be immediately cured. A wide range of coatings are used and the equipment is segregated from other production operations to prevent contamination issues that can arise when silicone-based coatings are used.
One key enhancement has been the addition of line width verification.
"The most common measurement in automated conformal coating is thickness. However, when you are running a variety of products, a good additional quality check is spray line width verification. This helps ensure that coverage remains even and areas that shouldn’t have coverage are excluded as the spray nozzles move in an x-y pattern over the printed circuit board assembly (PCBA)," said Steve Fraser, Firstronic's Vice President Operations.
"Our automotive customers prefer conformal coating as an in-house capability, rather than a subcontracted operation. We continue to expand our capacity to meet growing business requirements," Fraser said.