Hi5’s 2014 investment ends with black hole (machine!)

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black hole process of PCB production

2014 saw us bid a fond farewell to our venerable Resco Black Hole machine and welcome our new improved machine, manufactured by Lantronic of Holland.

What is the Black Hole process?

In order to make the holes in a printed circuit board conductive (prior to the copper plating stage), we need to apply a microscopically thin film of carbon to the fibreglass and resin to make the hole conductive (as well as black). This is then built up with copper to boost the conductivity of the PCB and improve current carrying. This process is actually much more environmentally friendly than most alternatives. It’s completely free of noxious chemicals, such as the formaldehyde that’s used in electroless copper, and the overall process also uses less water and electricity.

Lantronic PCB machineLantronic technological improvements

The new machine furthers this eco-approach, being optimised to save yet more resources. All the pumps and rinses are computer controlled, only activating when required, saving an estimated 50% of the water and 30% of the electricity. Additionally, the air balance on the machine is so good that the extract pipe diameter has been reduced form 150mm to 40mm, which makes the machine far more comfortable for those operating it.

Hi5 – investing in the future

Roving probe tester PCB production

The purchase of the Lantronic machine completes our 2014 investment program, which has seen us buy an additional Microcraft Emma roving probe tester and re-equip one of our drills with the latest computer hardware and software. We also invested in our plating line by installing a new pulse rectifier as well as completely upgrading the network, storage and backup.

And of course, 2014 saw us introduce our market-leading online prototype ordering service. Why not give it a try and see how competitive ordering your prototype PCBs from Hi5 can be?



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