Trackwise makes further upgrades to its FPC manufacturing operations
Flexible printed circuit technology company Trackwise is continuing to strengthen its production capability and capacity by investing in new equipment.
The company has installed a new – highly advanced – roll-to-roll direct imaging system and has at the same time also invested in a roll-to-roll flexible circuit laser drilling system. Situated in the manufacturer’s recently commissioned Class 7 cleanroom facility I Gloucestershire, the new direct imaging system is able to deal with features down to dimensions of just 25µm as well as providing significantly increased throughput. Given that the system is also suitable for use on a much wider range of photo-imageable materials, the investment provides a significant increase in capability and capacity to Trackwise’ length-unlimited FPC manufacturing, a press release reads. The recently purchased high-power diode-pumped UV laser is capable of processing extremely thin and sensitive FPCs at high throughput, maintaining processing accuracies of ± 20µm over the entire panel area. A web handler compensates for the continual acceleration and deceleration during production avoiding wrinkling and other stretching issues. The investment’s power and precision has boosted the company’s cycle times, further improving process quality and yield. This investment, as well as the acquisition of Stevenage Circuits Ltd (SCL) earlier this year, will according to Trackwise, enable the company to significantly boost its operational throughput and address constantly growing customer interest in FPCs based on its proprietary Improved Harness Technology (IHT). The finesse of IHT is that it enables the fabrication of ultra-thin FPCs with very fine traces that can meet any potential length requirement. Competing solutions are generally restricted to just a couple of metres. “The ongoing capital investment we are making into state-of-the-art equipment and cleanroom resources underlines our clear commitment to gaining greater traction for our IHT and high-precision printed antenna solutions,” says Philip Johnston, CEO of Trackwise in the press release. “Through these activities, we are now much better positioned to serve future market opportunities as they arise – supporting greater volume demands, as well as providing enhanced levels of quality.”