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PCB West: Coating Services at HZOOctober 4, 2023 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
John Sandilands, director of sales at HZO, explains his company’s approach to the coating process, and how it stands out for companies wanting to protect their electronics products from harsh conditions. The secret is in the process itself, John says.
Nolan Johnson: John, tell me about HZO.
John Sandilands: HZO is the technology leader in solutions for protecting electronics from harsh environments. We’re involved from design inception all the way to mass production. We work with customers across all markets to help protect their electronics against environmental ingress challenges, especially when their products are outdoors, where rain, salt, fog, and other chemicals can cause corrosion. These could be consumer electronics or mission critical products in aerospace, automotive, and medical; we have multiple offerings in the thin film and nanocoating areas.
Johnson: These are the coatings themselves? Or is HZO developing the machinery as well?
Sandilands: Correct. We provide a turnkey solution to our customers by supplying the coating, specialized equipment and engineering services. We can work with customers to meet their manufacturing needs from providing coating as a service to embed coating systems inside their plants, or at a contract manufacturer’s facilities. We’re very flexible in that respect. We work with customers that have tens or hundreds of pieces a year, to customers who do tens of millions of pieces a year.
Johnson: Ten or 15 years ago, coating was regarded as very specialized, something of a boutique area; not so much anymore. Just look at who's driving the market: automotive, electric vehicles, medical, wearables, those sorts of applications. The products in these arenas need this.
Sandilands: Absolutely. Traditional methods of coating include liquid dip or spray-on, which goes on bulky (in the millimeters of thickness) to overcome some of the deficiencies for the application process. With our solutions being in the nanometer and micron ranges, you're eliminating weight along with bulk. That gives us a real advantage, especially when you look at the many markets where miniaturization is a priority.
Johnson: What is the impact on repairability? A coating that is millimeters thick is hard to get off if you need to do any rework. It sounds like your approach might be much more accessible.
Sandilands: Yes, our processes are done prior to final testing. One of the advantages of our process is that it can be reworked. Because they're so thin, they can be abraded off with a tool for spot-work. If you're looking to access a larger re-work area than you can accomplish with an abrasive material, then we could do a recoating as required. There are many advantages in that respect.
Johnson: What is the application technology to get something that thin?
Sandilands: To get down to nano and micrometer levels of thickness, we utilized chemical vapor deposition (CVD for short) to apply our coatings. Simply put, the coatings are applied in a coating chamber, under vacuum to maximize conformality and unformity. For example, our Guardian Series Parylene coatings start off as a powdered solid which is heated in a furnace, and it changes into a gas. That gas enters our chamber under vacuum. Those gas molecules then adhere to every surface of whatever we put in there. Masking, of course, is a critical aspect of what we do. We don't want to coat connectors or ports because it will make them electrically nonfunctional. This can be a positive however if customers are looking for dielectric benefits.
We also have a nano coating process that uses plasma as an application catalyst. Ultimately, the exact coating material depends on what final result the project calls for. For example, if the customer doesn't require submersion—maybe just splash protection—then they might not need a solution like Parylene. In that case, our plasma-based process may be a better fit as it has great splash resistance properties in high humidity or wet environments.
Johnson: It sounds like the trend for environmental protection continues going broader and deeper, in general.
Sandilands: One of the other aspects is to transition away from more traditional materials found in “forever chemicals”. We have solutions that do not have halogenated or fluorinated compounds in them. This is a win for both our customers and the environment.
Johnson: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, John.
Sandilands: My pleasure.
Koh Young to Dive into Dispensing Process Inspection Challenges and Explore Solutions in March 13, 2024 Webinar02/20/2024 | Koh Young
Koh Young, the industry leader in True3D measurement-based inspection solutions, invites electronics manufacturers to our technical webinar, explaining how to improve efficiency and reduce costs by implementing laser interferometry for fluid technology.
StenTech Introduces Exclusive Cutting-Edge Chemical Vapor Deposition Surface Treatment for SMT Stencils02/07/2024 | StenTech
StenTech Inc., a leading global company specializing in SMT Printing Solutions, unveils its latest innovation in stencil coating technology – the all-new StenTech BluPrint™ CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposited) Surface Treatment. Engineered to elevate the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) processes, this advanced coating offers a comprehensive set of benefits that collectively contribute to improved stencil performance, longevity, and the overall quality of the SMT assembly process streamlining production.
Rehm Thermal Systems is showcasing innovative solutions in vapor phase soldering, coating, and dispensing systems at the IPC APEX EXPO in Anaheim, USA.
StenTech® Inc., a leading global company specializing in SMT Printing Solutions, is delighted to announce the official launch of its new establishment in Clearwater, Florida.
ELPEGUARD® UV Twin-Cure® DSL 1707 NV-FLZ combines the advantages of very fast UV curing with the outstanding final properties of a silicone.