Enabling Chemistry Further Validated with Global Technology Award, Expanded Licensing Agreements and Customer Acceptance
At last week's Productronica event held in Munich, Germany, FCT Assembly was honored with a Global Technology Award for its new, VOC-free stencil coating, NanoSlic® (www.nanoslic.com). This award win comes on the heels of several successes for NanoSlic, including recent expansion of the company's licensing network and increased use of the coating technology among global electronics manufacturing firms.
Introduced to the electronics market in 2014, NanoSlic is a proprietary coating chemistry that renders metals, glass and polymers hydrophobic and oleophobic for improved protection and performance. FCT has developed not only the breakthrough chemistry, but also the equipment and coating process that provide a turnkey coating solution. Though used in multiple markets for various safeguarding purposes, for electronics assembly applications, NanoSlic-coated stencils dramatically improve printing performance.
"NanoSlic has quickly emerged as the most robust stencil coating technology for modern electronics assembly processes," says Brent Nolan, Vice President of FCT Assembly. "As apertures become smaller – and area ratios more challenging – new techniques are necessary to accommodate the material deposition obstacles of miniaturization. Because of its novel chemistry and its ability to coat both inside the aperture walls and the stencil underside, NanoSlic is enabling transfer efficiency improvements of as much as 40%, while reducing required understencil cleaning frequencies for cost savings and greater process stability. It's gratifying to have the Global Technology Award judging panel recognize NanoSlic's market impact; we are grateful to Global SMT Packaging magazine for sponsoring this contest."
The requirement for improved print performance for today's challenging device dimensions has accelerated the use of NanoSlic-coated stencils and this demand has initiated expansion of NanoSlic licensing worldwide. There are currently three authorized NanoSlic licensees globally, and several more exploring opportunities with FCT. Likewise, customers have discovered the unique capabilities of NanoSlic-coated stencils and have noted marked print process improvements.
Harris Corporation Engineer, Nazeeh Chaudry, says the company has had striking results through the use of NanoSlic-coated stencils. "Our yield on 15.7 mil (0.4 mm) pitch QFNs went to 100% just by changing to NanoSlic-coated stencils," he explains. "Solder paste deposits have brick-like definition and are precise and repeatable on QFNs and other fine-pitch components."
"The growth of NanoSlic has been incredible," comments Nolan in summary, "and this is just the tip of the iceberg. While the coating chemistry is making a huge difference for PCB assembly processes, NanoSlic's applications extend far outside the confines of the electronics industry. It's going to be an exciting journey."