Flexible PCB Audit Checklist

SFS Buyer's Guide
Cu Laminate Standard panel sizes with saw-cut edges. This significantly reduces contamination in subsequent processes (e.g., imaging, testing, etc.)
Drilling Excellon Cobra Hybrid Laser system featuring both UV and IR laser capabilities; Vision assisted panel alignment: Automatic fiducial recognition and multi-point alignment algorithms for optimized registration 4-level zoom vision system; Cobra system provides the essential capabilities to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of the electronics industry. It combines high throughput with reliability and low cost of ownership; advantages that makes it easier to step into the laser processing market.is a single station precision drilling system. It is designed with features to provide high accuracy and speed, and is the perfect tool for prototyping and small/medium production batches. Equipped with linear drive positioning, internal layer inspection capability with “best fit” alignment algorithms, and precision depth control, it comprises all the necessary tools to meet the demanding requirements of today’s electronics industry.
Image Room Class 10,000 Clean Room minimizes foreign material from creating common shorts in the imaging process. Strict temperature and humidity controls prevent distortion in customer artwork.
Img/Exposure Standard: SFS uses MultiLine equipped drawers for imaging. MultiLine tooling removes the human factor involved in lining up the bottom film to the top film. This results in significantly reduced off-registration issues.

Advanced (inner layers): SFS also employs the use of an Olec AX-28 automatic exposure unit that uses two cameras to align the top and bottom artwork. This machine can hold registration as tight as +/- .0005 mils front to back for inner layers.

Industry-Leading (inner and outer layers): SFS has purchased and installed four Olec AT-30 automatic alignment exposure units. These units use four cameras to align artwork top to bottom, and then use panel motion systems to automatically adjust the panel position to a best fit to the artwork. Furthermore, these units have hybrid-collimated light units that ensure exposure light attacks the panel at 90 degree angles to the artwork, which is critical for fine line resolutions.
Plated Through Hole (PTH) SFS has two plating lines installed. SFS has built a custom automatic plating line that has been designed and constructed primarily in-house. The intent was to minimize plating variation, which is the main goal of production plating. This was accomplished by including the following:

  • Houses racks that only allow panels to be plated one-high.
  • Anode-to-anode distance is 24 inches (max distance for plating).
  • Water-submerged positive cathode contact.
  • Chemical-submerged anode bars for positive contact.
  • Eductor system HV chemical flow parallel to panels for chemical agitation.
  • Mechanical agitation allows chemical to flow through holes.
  • Vibration removes air from microvias and blind microvias.
  • Dual-sided rectification equalizes Cu plating throughout rack.
  • Innovative rectifiers (2-per-rack) with 0.5% max ripple effect.
  • Reverse pulse plating reflectors for high-aspect ratios and blind via plating.
  • Panels plated at 15 ASF (industry avg: 45 ASF) ensures uniform plating.
  • High ductile plating process meets C7000 specs for 1,000 hour cycle tests.
  • Chemistry revised for high-aspect ratio plating.
  • Lines calibrated to plate 10:1 aspect ratio.
Hollmuller SES line incorporates the latest in spray technology that minimizes chemical puddling. This is line capable to accurately and uniformly etch down to 2 mil lines and spaces.
Pre-LPI Cleaning Instead of using a chemical cleaning process that may increase ionic contamination and compromise the surface finish, SFS utilizes an Aluminum Oxide Jet Scrubber. This process uses aluminum oxide slurry that is sprayed on the panels to remove copper oxidation.
Solder Mask
Three Argus spray coating lines for less soldermask within holes and eliminates dimple marks on the board surface resulting in uniform soldermask thickness across product surface area.
LPI Image
Three Olec AT-30 automatic alignment exposure units use four cameras to align artwork top to bottom, and then use panel motion systems to automatically adjust the panel position to a best fit to the artwork. Furthermore, these units have hybrid-collimated light units that ensure exposure light attacks the panel at 90 degree angles to the artwork, which is critical for fine line resolutions.
SFS has conveyorized the developing, final baking, and cleaning processes into a single production line. This should improve quality through reduced handling and utilizing higher-end machinery. Our developing line is constructed of a single-chamber, stainless steel developing line.
Final Baking
SFS has installed a Bassi Tunnel oven to perform final baking. Since heat is uniformly applied to the boards and the machine controls the cycle time, quality is improved dramatically.
Cleaning SFS installed a Hollmuller conveyorized cleaning line in 2009, in line with the other major wet process upgrades we have made since 2007.
Four Lantronics TT-30 vertical hot air levelers designed with the intent of using this finish on finer pitch devices than in the past. SFS uses two of these units for SnPb HASL and another two for Nihon Superior’s SN100CL lead-free solder finish process.
SFS has custom fabricated a high-pressure, high-temperature post-cleaner for use after the HASL process. This is a stainless steel post-cleaner unit that runs at 150°F, sprays regular and D.I. water at 1 to 1.5 gallons per minute at 50 psi using 7.5 HP pumps (1/2 gallon per minute, 20-30 psi, 1.5 HP is the best available on the market). Furthermore, the cleaner uses 8-1” wide toothbrush-type agitating brushes versus an industry best of 4-0.5” brushes. This custom process has been proven to remove ionic contamination from the surface of PCBs to well below industry standards.
SFS augments its visual inspection process by utilizing automated optical inspection equipment. The AOIs have been outfit with a visual final Inspection software module which can adjust the standard inspection process.
Electrical Testing SFS offers a variety of testing alternatives. First, SFS has 5 Mania double-sided, double-density grid testing machines. The fixture cost for these testers is half the cost or less than those used in more traditional clam shell testers since we build everything in-house. Also, SFS utilizes six flying probe testers for smaller and prototype orders. This allows the customer to forego the cost of a hard testing fixture and, instead, pay a modest testing fee.
Cleaning after Routing
SFS has installed a washer in its shipping department that uses de-ionized (D.I.) water to clean the boards. D.I. water results in a cleaner board, but more importantly it further removes ionic contamination that may have occurred after HASL.
Duplicate Processes All of SFS' processes incorporate duplicate equipment so that in the case of an equipment failure, SFS’ production capabilities will not be compromised.
Advanced Capabilities
In-house capabilities include laser drilling, laser routing, PTFE plasma preparation, Plasma treatment and etchback, and special project groups to assist customers with critical and technologically demanding products.
Min Hole Size .002”
Min Line/Space
.003” / .003”
Surface Finish  HASL; Lead-free HASL; Immersion Silver; Immersion Gold; OSP; Full Body Gold
 ISO 9000:2000, TS16949, Delphi C7000, ISO14000; AS9100; ITAR
Financial Liabilities  $0 Bank Debt; $0 Accounts Payable; $0 Lease obligations