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Re: Stencils Universal?

Nancy

#12252

Stencils Universal? | 15 March, 1999

Are stencils universal from one printer to another? We are looking into the possibility of going from Solderprint 1414 manual printer to a more automated printer. We are also considering bringing some boards we currently outsource in house. I was wondering if we would be able to use the same stencils even if we go with a different printer.

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Steve Schrader

#12253

Re: Stencils Universal? | 15 March, 1999

| Are stencils universal from one printer to another? We are looking into the possibility of going from Solderprint 1414 manual printer to a more automated printer. We are also considering bringing some boards we currently outsource in house. I was wondering if we would be able to use the same stencils even if we go with a different printer. |

No, they are not completely universal. You need to check each printer for the types and sizes of stencil frames they will accept. Most automatic and semi-auto printers have an adapter plate that will allow you to use either a cast or an aluminum frame, but the sizes can vary from machine to machine.

Steve

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Dean

#12254

Re: Stencils Universal? | 15 March, 1999

| | Are stencils universal from one printer to another? We are looking into the possibility of going from Solderprint 1414 manual printer to a more automated printer. We are also considering bringing some boards we currently outsource in house. I was wondering if we would be able to use the same stencils even if we go with a different printer. | | | | No, they are not completely universal. You need to check each printer for the types and sizes of stencil frames they will accept. Most automatic and semi-auto printers have an adapter plate that will allow you to use either a cast or an aluminum frame, but the sizes can vary from machine to machine. | | Steve | ...also, find out the minimum acceptable distance of foil artwork to mesh/foil bond. When hand printing you typically can get away with much less than automated machines with two squeegee blades (you do not want your blades starting out on the bond--ouch). Dean

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Steve Gregory

#12255

Re: Stencils Universal? | 16 March, 1999

Hi Nancy!

Just as Steve and Dean said, most printers have some sort of restrictions of what frame, where the image is positioned, ect. before the stencil will work in the printer. The two manufacturers that I'm most familiar with DEK and MPM do have adapters that will allow you to use different frames, but even still, there's limited types of frames you must use.

However, the year before last at NEPCON when I was working for Zevatech, there was a printer that was used in the PCMCIA portion of the TAC line (where we had two machines set-up) that impressed me, it was from a company called Ekra. Supposedly, they've been around quite awhile, just have never marketed the printer here in the states.

We were doing a double-sided PCMCIA card and the line we had set-up was a flip line, so there were two of these printers in the line. We were doing flip-chip, Micro BGA, and BGA and the printers did really good.

The neat thing was that you could use any frame you wanted, and as long as the image was centered, you were in fat-city. The printer used vision, had variable, controlled PCB/Stencil separation speeds, and variable print stroke speeds, and the price at that time was 100K...pretty darn cheap when you look at what the others cost.

-Steve Gregory-

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Chris G.

#12256

Re: Stencils Universal? | 16 March, 1999

| Are stencils universal from one printer to another? We are looking into the possibility of going from Solderprint 1414 manual printer to a more automated printer. We are also considering bringing some boards we currently outsource in house. I was wondering if we would be able to use the same stencils even if we go with a different printer. | Nancy,

You have some options. If you go to say a semi automated Dek 249 or SMTech 100 series you could probably use your old stencils. Both Dek and SMTech/Quad have universal adapter frames. Or have an adapter frame made. Another option is to possibly have the stencil foil, from old stencil, reframed on the new frame needed for your new printer. Cost is approx. $100.00 per stencil. Another option would be to buy a Tech Foil Universal frame and have old stencil foils unmounted and etched to fit on Tech Foil frame. Tech Foil frame is a tensioning device for etched stencil foil. You then only order foil and place foil on Tech Foil frame to tension and place into machine. Keep in mind that it may not be as costly as you think to order new stencils. If you purchase a stencil printer which accepts 29"X29" frames and your product is small, you can probably put multiple product on one stencil. I currently put 5 different images on one 29"X29" stencil.

Thanks,

Chris

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Dan Hughes

#12257

Re: Stencils Universal? | 23 March, 1999

Nancy,

The mounting hole locations in most standard frames are the universal in both the screen and stencil industry, more over some of the newer machines clamp the frame in place. Most printers are very adjustable this way.

If you were using a "quick mount" or foil only type of system on your old printer, we could etch a new border on it and mount it on a frame that would fit your new printer.

In any case, either the new printer will adapt to your existing stencils frame size or a stencil vendor like myself will be able to convert the stencil to fit the machine for a fraction of the price and effort to have a new stencil made. good luck...dan.|

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