Laser Drilling in the Electronics industry
The electronics industry is an industry that we all play a part in every single day, whether this is by being involved in the design, development, manufacturing or marketing process itself, or through the host of electronic items that we use.
When we turn off our alarm in the morning, turn on our lights, use our mobile phones, drive to work, watch TV or do a number of other things, we are using electronic goods. The fact that the use of electronics is so widespread means that a reliable process is needed to ensure the world of electronics keeps on turning smoothly. Below we look at how laser drilling is used for this within the electronics industry.
How large is the electronics industry?
There are hundreds of thousands of electronics companies around the world, and there is a difference between those that manufacture components, such as printed circuit boards, and those that manufacture consumer electronics such as mobile phones and computers.
We’re all familiar with big name electronics brands such as Apple and Samsung, but companies from many different industries, such as Toyota from the automotive industry, Cardinal Health from the pharmaceuticals industry, and Nestle from the food and beverages industry all have uses for electronics within their own manufacturing processes as well.
It is estimated that the electronics industry will bring in around 240 billion euros worldwide in 2016, and so it is an industry that has become a vital part of our everyday lives.
Manufacturing electronics reliably with laser drilling
Each of the electronics that we own is comprised of dozens of different parts from several companies from all over the world. For example, the iPhone alone is made up of parts from at least five different countries and at least seven different companies.
This is down to many different reasons, such as companies owning different patents or the need for sourcing cheaper parts. Whatever the reason, it’s extremely rare that a company produces every single electronic part that goes into the final manufactured products.
The electronic industry works so smoothly as the manufacturing and production processes are streamlined for optimum efficiency. Laser drilling is used throughout this process for electronic parts of all shapes and sizes as it is one of the few pieces of drilling equipment that can match the level of efficiency and quality required while working with multiple materials.
We’re living in an age of innovation, and this innovation means that the electronics we use are getting smaller and slicker, but with more complex parts. The items we use continue to downsize, meaning it is now almost physically impossible for conventional machines, such as twist drills, to drill the necessary holes into the electronic parts.
Laser drilling, on the other hand, thanks to the level of control that it allows with beam intensity, heat output, and duration, is the perfect solution for drilling holes of all diameters; some that are almost too small for the human eye to see, in a range of different electronic parts.
Alongside this, laser drilling is a non-contact process, meaning that it won’t damage the electronic parts that it is working with. Electronic items are highly complex pieces of equipment, and by maintaining the original quality of the electronic components, laser drilling ensures that they continue to operate at the best level possible.
Finally, there are a number of laser drilling processes that can be used, such as percussion laser drilling and trepan laser drilling, which further add to its adaptability.
What uses does laser drilling have in the electronics industry?
The electronics industry is an industry that uses a huge number of different metals, including steel, copper, and ferrous alloy. Alongside these metals, you’ll also commonly find plastics, composites, diamond, and even glass being worked with. Laser drilling is one of the few processes that can seamlessly adapt between each of the different materials that it is working with, making it the ideal piece of machinery for the electronics industry.
Such uses for laser drilling in the electronics industry include drilling tiny holes, too small for a conventional drill to be used, into circuit board materials to allow for a current of electricity to be passed through. These tiny holes are called ‘microvias’, and they are what allow the current to be passed through to each different layer of a circuit board. This is all achieved without damaging the circuit board in any way.
Want to know more about laser drilling?
It’s not just the electronics industry that laser drilling has found great uses within; it is also widely used in many other industries such as the aerospace, medical, and semi-conductor industries. Our Pulsed Fiber Lasers and Continuous Wave Fiber Lasers are the perfect solution for laser drilling, please get in contact with us if you would like more information.
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