Trouble in Your Tank: Never Stop Learning

Introduction

My father always told me, even when I was 40 years old, that I should never stop learning. Of course, he was a teacher and an administrator, so he made it his mission to make sure others had great learning opportunities. And my dad never stopped trying to learn new things, either.

This lesson applies to the PCB manufacturing industry, as well. I have spent my life trying to get better at my job and, in turn, help others too. This is where constant learning and new skills development come into play. Let me introduce a few if you haven’t heard these already.

How to Troubleshoot a Technical Issue

This should come as no surprise to those of you who read my monthly columns or have met me in your circuit board facility; remember that time is money. And the longer a problem goes unresolved, the more money and certainly future customer goodwill can be lost. When being called on to solve technical issues—whether it is a delamination situation, copper plating failures, or solderability defects—I stress a few simple rules: 

  1. Walk the line and watch the operators in action.
  2. Review documented work procedures.
  3. Check rinse water quality and dwell times. Are you rinsing away the contaminants or simply dragging them along with the boards to the next critical process?
  4. And the biggest sin, “Yes, everything in the chemistry is being controlled per the datasheet.”

What I’m saying here is quite simple: develop the troubleshooting skills necessary to solve process problems efficiently.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the December 2019 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

 

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2020

Trouble in Your Tank: Never Stop Learning

01-03-2020

Michael Carano's father always said to him, "You should never stop learning," even when he was 40 years old. This lesson applies to the PCB manufacturing industry as well and is where constant learning and new skills development come into play. Mike introduces a few new things you can learn, both technical and soft skills.

View Story
Back

2019

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2018

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2017

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2016

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2015

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2014

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2013

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2012

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

View Story
Back

2011

Trouble in Your Tank: Changes and Concerns Regarding HDI Technology

12-12-2019

One does not have to look too far back to point out some significant changes that have taken place in our industry over the past few years. Processes, materials, equipment, and board designs continue to change. If I were to pick one to focus on for this column, it would be in the ever-increasing trends toward higher circuit density. This relates to finer lines and spaces, smaller diameter blind vias, and even multilevel stacked and staggered vias. All of these changes will continue to place significant pressures on bare PCB fabricators to increase their investment and onboard new and critical skill sets.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 2

11-15-2019

In my previous column, I presented several options with which to accomplish blind and through-hole via filling. In this edition of “Trouble in Your Tank,” I will discuss filling blind vias and through-holes with polymeric pastes.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Working With Flexible Circuits

10-24-2019

Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Via Hole Filling and Plugging, Part 1

09-11-2019

High-density interconnect (HDI) demands that vias that do not contain component leads be plugged with either a polymeric paste or electroplated copper. In this column series, Michael Carano talks about the technology drivers for via filling/plugging in the context of HDI.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 4

08-06-2019

Copper deposit in the vias with electroless copper or alternatives, such as carbon-based direct plate processes to the vias, depends on process control, equipment design, and chemical parameters. When these are not in control, defects arise. In this installment of the column series, Mike Carano will talk about metallization for HDI blind via processing.

View Story

Trouble in Your Tank: OSP Performance—Effect of Film Thickness and Microetch

05-09-2019

Two often overlooked performance attributes for organic solderability preservatives (OSPs) are the organic film thickness and the topography of the copper after microetch. Film thickness up to an extent is critical. However, the copper topography and surface preparation also play a role. Thus, you should not overlook the critical nature of the overall OSP film thickness. Read on.

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Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Into Microvias, Part 3

03-20-2019

If we have learned anything about moving into HDI manufacturing, it is that it takes a great deal of thought and discipline to be successful. Unfortunately, as the following bullet points delineate, all too often, the fabricator underestimates the scope of HDI and what this manufacturing strategy truly entails.

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Trouble in Your Tank: Surface Preparation and Cleaning, Part 3

02-28-2019

Surface preparation and cleaning are essential aspects of metal finishing and PCB fabrication. The PCB fabricator has several processes that fit the broad category of cleaning and surface preparation. However, the organization needs additional studies to enhance the broad portfolio of products for their respective fitness for use in today’s technology.

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Trouble in Your Tank: The Art and Science of Resist Stripping, Part 2

02-12-2019

Yes, there is some art to the resist stripping operation. However, it is more about the science. In a future column, I will present process control methods for resist stripping as well as dive into additional troublesome activities related to the process.

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