Simultaneous Improvement of Energy Efficiency and Product Quality in PCB Lamination Process


Recently, efficient use of energy resources has become a very critical issue in most industries due to various reasons such as the high price of energy resources and environmental problems. The printed circuit board (PCB) industry is known as one of the major manufacturing industries that consumes a moderately large amount of electricity. Of all PCB manufacturing processes, the photolithography process is the most complicated. The photolithography process consists of: 1) a lamination process; 2) an exposure process; and, 3) a development process. Particularly, the lamination process appears to consume the most energy among the entire PCB manufacturing processes. This is due to the use of high temperatures and high pressures in that process which are required to employ photo sensitive dry film resist-coating on the panel. In addition, the PCB panel quality after the lamination process is highly dependent on conditions of three main operating parameters, temperature, pressure, and conveyor belt speed. In this research, we employ designed experiments and model-building techniques to obtain optimal settings of the three main operating parameters which will simultaneously minimize energy consumption while maximizing the probability of creating a non-defective PCB panel during the lamination process.