Clark Net Principal Upgrades Imaging Department

February 26, 2015

Clark Net’s rigid-flex circuit board solution recently installed a Maskless Lithography Printer and an Orbotech Paragon 9800 Laser Direct Imager at their facility.

The new printers provide advanced capabilities for imaging innerlayers, outerlayers, and soldermask on advanced technology PWB’s.

According to their Engineering Manager, “Having both systems in place gives us a tremendous increase in flexibility and processing ability. Every photoresist and soldermask that is available responds to different wavelengths of light. Having both exposure systems allows us to pick the best photoresist or mask for the application, and then pick the best piece of equipment to image it. That flexibility will advance our technology capabilities while improving our capacity at the same time.”

The installation of the Maskless and Orbotech printers are the next step in our principal’s effort to provide customers with advanced technology, at higher yields, quality, and throughput, while reducing their over-all costs.

For more information, please call or e-mail Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706 or greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Clark Net to Exhibit at OctoberBest 2014

September 11, 2014

Clark Net will be exhibiting at the 14th Annual NW Electronics Design & Manufacturing Exposition, better known as “OctoberBest,” on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

Gary Clark and Greg Bishop will be available to answer all your questions regarding Clark Net’s contract engineering and contract manufacturing solutions. Gary and Greg will be in booth G104 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

This year’s expo will be held at:

Tektronix, Inc.
3025 SW Zworykin Ave Building #38
Beaverton, OR 97005

For more information, please call or e-mail Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706 or greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Clark Net’s Rigid-Flex Circuit Principal Purchases Orbotech Direct Legend Ink Printer

September 5, 2014

Clark Net’s rigid-flex circuit solution has recently purchased and installed a new Orbotech Sprint™ Direct Legend Ink Printer.

The new Orbotech printer is a self-contained direct printer and UV cure unit. It features multiple automated serialization and bar-coding options, eliminating manual operations and reducing the opportunity for error. It also scales nomenclature in order to match the material movement, eradicating nomenclature on pads.

High depth-of-focus (DOF) multi-depth printing enables uniform legend printing over non-uniform surfaces in one pass, a vast improvement from the current 2-4 times a flexible or rigid-flex circuit goes through the printing process.

The Orbotech Sprint’s fully automated CAM data transfer, shortened prep time, pin-less alignment and unique curing technology look to greatly boost our principal’s productivity and throughput by reducing a four-hour per side process to two minutes.

The President and CEO of our rigid-flex circuit manufacturer states: “The installation of the Orbotech printer is the next step in our effort to provide our customers with improved lead time, quality and throughput, while reducing their over-all costs.”

For more information, please call or e-mail Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706 or greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Clark Net’s PCB Assembly Solution Acquires Pillarhouse Selective Soldering Machine

August 9, 2014

The new Pillarhouse Selective Soldering Fusion Line incorporates high speed transfer with maximum flexibility coupled with reduced line length at a lower cost compared to current market offerings.

The standard cell can be configured to handle PCB’s up to 508 x 952mm (fluxer/pre-heat/solder) or for high speed applications, the cell can be configured with fluxer/pre-heat and up to 3 solder modules with 5 heater options. The solder cells can be configured with any of the Pillarhouse solder technologies: Custom dip, multi-dip, jet-wave and single point AP down to 1.5mm and the new easy auto pot changer for fast non-contact changeovers.There is no limit to the flexibility of the Fusion.

For more information, please call or e-mail Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706 or greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Clark Net’s PCB Assembly Solution Purchases Thermotron SE-1000-10-10-RAC Environmental Test Chamber

June 15, 2014

Thermotron’s SE-1000-10-10-RAC Environmental Test Chambers offer a significantly enhanced airflow system which provides better gradients and improved product temperature change rates.

SE-Series Chambers feature a modular humidity system that can easily be added in the future to meet expanding test requirements. These chambers utilize Thermotron’s flagship 8800 Programmer/Controller featuring a high resolution 12.1” flat panel display with touch screen user interface, expanded capabilities to graph, data log, edit, access on-screen help, and long term hard drive data storage.

For more information, please call or e-mail Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706 or greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Microcraft Flying Probe Test Machine Acquired by Rigid-Flex Principal

April 4, 2014

Clark Net congratulates our rigid-flex circuit board manufacturer on the acquisition of a Microcraft USA flying probe test machine.

The Microcraft flying probe machine will enhance their technical capabilities for higher density flexible circuits and at the same time will improve lead time and lower cost on smaller quick-turn builds.  Eliminating the cost and time to assemble fixtures is a major improvement for the quick-turn prototyping environment.

“I am excited about our new capabilities and what it will offer our customers,” remarked their President and CEO. “We have been working toward this for some time, giving us one more tool to improve our service to our customers.”

This Clark Net principal is a U.S. manufacturer of multilayer flex and rigid-flex printed circuit boards with over 37 years of experience building circuits typically used in high reliability applications such as medical, military, and commercial electronics where customers place a premium on reliability, package density, and weight.

For more information, please call or e-mail Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706 or greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Burkle Precision Lamination System Acquired

March 26, 2014

Our rigid-flex circuit board manufacturer recently purchased and installed a new Burkle WorkCell Precision Lamination System.

The new Burkle Workcell incorporates two six opening hot presses with 30″ x 30″ platens in conjunction with a six opening cold press.  The lamination system also includes the addition of a buffer rack, which will give our principal the ability to layup multiple books at once for lamination.  Burkle’s incorporation of hot oil heaters will provide a more even distribution of heat across all platens and allow the product to be cooled under pressure at a predictable rate.

Due to the overall combined features of the latest Burkle press system, our rigid-flex solution will be more efficient in their lamination processes and better able to produce an overall improved quality of product for their customer base.

Our rigid-flex principal has utilized Burkle Lamination systems for the past 20 years. According to their National Sales Manager, “The fact that we have used the same presses continuously for 20 years shows the quality and reliability of the products Burkle builds. When making the decision to invest in a new system it was hard to overlook that consistency.  Our hope is that the installation of these new presses will improve speed and quality, allowing us to deliver an even better PCB with the fastest lead time possible.”

If you would like to learn more about rigid-flex considerations, design recommendations, buried passive rigid-flex circuits, or UL qualification on rigid flex, please call Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706, or email him at: greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Contract Engineering Principal Enjoys Unprecedented Growth

January 15, 2014

Clark Net’s contract engineering solution has experienced unprecedented growth this past year. This 20-year old company has grown from a couple of desks in a spare bedroom to an award-winning facility in Washington state with an office in Singapore.

This last year has been an especially exciting one. They launched and completed more projects than in any previous year, and their customer base grew and diversified at a remarkable pace. As a result, they made some key internal adjustments to help improve their level and quality of service.

The size of their team surged by 43% since this time last year, adding 28 employees. All of their new employees brought valuable skill-sets to the team, including, but not limited to, improved software and firmware capabilities. They completed more embedded systems projects than ever before and look forward to continually developing that aspect of their business.

In addition to bringing more personnel on board, early last year they realized they were at capacity in their U.S. assembly and product testing area. Due to the higher volume and physically larger size of their new projects, they decided it was time to invest in more space. They moved their headquarters into a larger facility and immediately went to work revamping the property to better suit their product testing efforts while maintaining ITAR compliance.

Their Washington property was not their only location making progress last year. They further expanded their footprint to include San Diego, Michigan, and Corvallis by adding mechanical engineers in those areas that are strategic to their long-term goals. Their Singapore office also added an apartment in Bangkok, Thailand. With the amount of business they are conducting in Southeast Asia, the apartment will be a home away from home for their traveling engineers and support team.

Looking back on these last 12 months, Clark Net is very proud of the strides and achievements made by our contract engineering principal. We are confident that this amazing team will continue to forge ahead providing great design and engineering services to our customers.

If you would like to learn more about our contract engineering principal, please call Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706, or email him at: greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

 

New Acquisition: Pluritec Automatic X-Ray Registration System

April 17, 2013

Our multilayer flex and rigid flex PCB solution expands their equipment line…again!

We are pleased to announce their acquisition of  a new Pluritec Inspecta Combo HPL X-Ray registration system to improve registration on complex rigid-flex manufacturing.

This new “smart drill” uses X-Rays to locate fiducials on each layer along the perimeter of the panel. The machine then optimizes the drill program to fit any dimensional shift, skew, or rotation in the layers, prior to drilling tooling holes, or the panel itself.

The machine has the ability to inspect and evaluate, prior to drilling any holes, whether or not the panel has the registration required to meet the customer’s annular ring tolerance. If the layer registration is sufficient, the machine continues the operation. If the registration in the panel is deficient, the machine will not continue, saving additional manufacturing time and expense.

The company president and CEO states:  “This will give our customers an additional edge in quality and delivery. We specialize in higher layer count, high reliability rigid flex, which means that we are working with very thin and dissimilar materials, with variable CTE rates, and are always working to improve registration. For our customers, we will know right after lamination whether or not the panel has the registration to meet their requirements. No more waiting until a few days before the product is supposed to ship. The new machine will also give our customers higher yields on their products, which results in lower costs.”

The dual head system also offers controlled depth drilling, routing, inspection, statistical analysis, and the ability to do these operations globally across the panel, or in selected areas, with registration achieved by panel, by array, or even by part or location for fine pitch BGA applications, etc.

If you would like to learn more about rigid flex considerations, design recommendations, buried passive rigid flex circuits, or UL qualification on rigid flex, please call Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706, or email him at: greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

New in 2013!

February 7, 2013

Our rigid flex PCB solution is committed to continual product improvement in 2013 and beyond.  Some items to note are:

  • A new die punch
  • A new conveyorized microetch line
  • Improvements to the lamination layup clean room
  • An overhaul of the HVAC system.

The new die punch frees up a significant amount of laser time for product that doesn’t require that level of accuracy. The microetch line will increase wet processing productivity.

The class 10,000 lamination clean room was upgraded with two HEPA filtered laminar air flow stations with ionization bars to eliminate static electricity build up. The upgrades were followed with a complete HVAC system cleaning and overhaul throughout the plant to include filtration on the intake and filtration on all of the vents throughout the entire facility. The lamination layup and HVAC system upgrades were made to achieve a significant reduction in foreign objects in circuit boards.

To quote the company owner, “The class 10,000 clean room was a good start, but these improvements should have additional effectiveness in reducing unwanted contaminants. We have customers that have zero tolerance for any contaminant, whether conductive or not. Those requirements drive us towards continuous investment in our facility and processes. We expect to see marked improvement in these areas.”

This Clark Net principal is a U.S. manufacturer of multilayer flex and rigid flex printed circuit boards, with over 35 years experience building circuits that are typically used in high reliability applications, such as medical, military and commercial electronics, where customers place a premium on reliability, package density, and weight.

If you would like to learn more about high reliability rigid flex considerations, design recommendations, buried passive rigid flex circuits, or UL qualification on rigid flex, please call Greg Bishop at (503) 484-4706, or email him at: greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

Clark Net PCB Solution Purchases First ProX5 Scanner in the United States

February 23, 2012

Clark Net is pleased to announce that our printed circuit board solution has just purchased a ProX5 scanner/measurement machine from IMPEX Leiterplatten, St. Michael, Austria. This will be the very first ProX5 unit to be placed in the United States.

IMPEX exhibited its predecessor, the ProX1, at last year’s IPC APEX show in Las Vegas, and exhibited the next generation ProX3 at Productronica in Munich last fall. Both machines have received excellent reviews. This newest incarnation, ProX5, offers a significantly larger scanning area of 22.4″ by 24.6″ (570mm by 625mm).

“When I saw the ProX1 last year at the IPC show,” our principal enthusiastically stated, “I found it fascinating, almost hard to believe, how quickly the unit could scan and analyze a part in less than a minute, for what would typically take an hour or longer,”

The ProX5 is cutting-edge; offering an extraordinarily capable measurement machine designed to meet the unique needs of manufacturers and assemblers of printed circuit boards. It combines high speed (scanning takes only 45 seconds), high resolution, high accuracy, non-contact scanning with a CCD camera that captures the image of the part and compares that image to the original DXF files.

From that image, IMPEX’s software can generate First Article Inspection Reports (AS9102, etc.), automatically completing the form with dimensions and tolerances. Or, it can use the data to generate customized statistical reports with mean, sigma, Cp, Cpk data, etc. The unit automatically compensates for temperature, and automatically aligns the image of the part for comparison to the DXF files. It can generate reports on hole diameter, hole location, pad diameter, radial or diametric true positioning, trace dimensions, contours, angles, ovals, straight lines, edges, soldermask or coverlayer clearances.

This Clark Net manufacturer purchased this specific machine because they specialize in building rigid flex boards. Our customers are designing and using our principal’s products in three dimensional applications. This forward-thinking company recognizes the importance of continuing to improve their fabrication and imaging capabilities by reducing their manufacturing tolerances. The ProX5 scanner/measurement machine will help this Clark Net PCB solution measure their results and, thus, continue to improve their operation.

Principal Acquires New Plasma Etching Unit

Plasma Etch

January 26, 2012

Clark Net’s printed circuit board principal has just acquired a Plasma Etch MK II Plasma Etching System.

Plasma etching is one of the most critical components in the manufacture of high reliability rigid flex, especially with regard to quality. Every board they build goes through their plasma chamber numerous times.  Plasma etching is an important component in high reliability rigid flex manufacturing. It is a unique process that uses a combination of electrically excited gases to remove organic materials from PWB surfaces, and thereby increases the adhesion of both the dielectrics and metals.

This U.S. company manufactures multilayer flex and rigid flex printed circuit boards. With 34 years of experience in building circuits, their boards are typically used in high reliability applications, such as medical, military, industrial, and commercial electronics, where customers place a premium on reliability, package density, and weight.

If you would like to learn more about higher volume, high reliability rigid flex considerations, design recommendations, buried passive rigid flex circuits, or UL qualification on rigid flex, please contact Greg Bishop at: greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

 

Rigid Flex Provider Expands Capacity, Increases Technology, Lowers Cost

 

January 6, 2012

Clark Net is thrilled to announce that through the acquisition of new equipment, our rigid flex provider has increased inner layer capacity and improved manufacturing yields resulting in substantial cost reductions of their rigid flex products.

Among the new capital equipment, they have installed and qualified new conveyorized wet processing equipment from Chemcut, USA, including a chemical clean line, cupric chloride etcher, and resist stripper. Each line is equipped with Chemcut’s thin material transport system, which is ideal for the thin dielectrics that are common in flex and rigid flex designs.

The added capacity and equipment has positioned our provider’s cost structure for higher volume rigid flex manufacturing, while improving repeatability, manufacturing yield, and process capability on trace technology below 75Ој/75Ој.

In the last 12-18 months alone, they have been taking larger orders and higher volume, lower cost rigid flex.  This new equipment gives them the capacity to handle the higher volume projects at a lower cost, and a much higher yield.

For additional information, please contact Greg Bishop at: greg@clarknetsolutions.com.

 

Clark Net Principal Attains Federal Firearms License!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 26, 2011

Our sheet metal manufacturer has done it again! Not only can they provide you with all your sheet metal fabrication requirements, but now, with their Federal Firearms License (FFL), they can make and sell every single gun component and accessory, including the firearm’s frame or receiver.

An FFL is required to manufacture receivers. The receiver is an integral part of a firearm, as several components must attach to it. Typically, they machine, laser cut, or stamp these receivers for their customers.

Feel free to contact us for additional information.

Sheet Metal Fabricator Announces New State-of-the-Art Equipment

 

 

Cincinnati CNC Press Brake

 

 

October 18, 2011

Clark Net’s sheet metal supplier is well-known globally for competitive pricing, superior quality management systems,  quick turn-arounds, and design collaboration with their customers. This cutting-edge company routinely invests about $1 million a year in new equipment and training for their employees. This allows our vendor to maintain their edge over other companies in the precision metal forming industry.

This 70-year old manufacturing company is ISO 9001-2008 certified and FFL licensed.  They continue to provide precision metal stampings, sheet metal fabrication, and mechanical assembly manufacturing services to customers all over the world. Yet, they remain as competitive as any local sheet metal “shop” in your neighborhood.  Their expert team can handle even the most complex metal forming challenges in short and long production runs.

Clark Net is proud to represent this amazing solution to our customers. Our goal at Clark Net is to make sure our customers are happy with all the products and services they receive from our principals. We are dedicated to provide our customers with 100%  satisfaction and are available 24/7 to answer any and all questions.

Here are more photographs of this principal’s latest acquisitions:

Hardware Insertion Machine

Hardware Insertion Machine for Rivets, Pems, and other Standoffs and Fasteners

CNC Surface Grinding Station

CNC Surface Grinding Station with Curtains to Protect Against Dust and other Debris

Timesavers Finishing Equipment

Timesavers Finishing Equipment for Deburring and Sanding

OctoberBest 2011-Great Success!

 

 

OctoberBest 2011

 

 

October 10, 2011

Clark Net is pleased to report that this year’s OctoberBest Conference and Expo, held October 5, 2011, was the most successful one to date. Attended by professionals in the high tech industry, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing “old” colleagues and making new friends.

Over the past 11 years, we have watched the regional high tech community come together at OctoberBest to promote and support our industry as well as the Pacific Northwest economy. The goal is to provide an open forum to companies involved in design, manufacturing, and test and product development.

This event offers attendees the opportunity to network and learn about emerging trends from industry leaders. Technical programs designed for learning, networking, and personal growth are offered throughout the one-day event.

Backed by local organizations, such as ERA, EMA, PNW Chapter of IPC Designers Council, SMTA’s Oregon Chapter, IEEE’s Oregon Chapter, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, OctoberBest gathers exhibitors and attendees from all facets of the electronics industry.

The show is organized by volunteers (professionals from the tech community) who plan, organize, and facilitate the event each year. A significant benefit of the conference is that it enables organizations to give back to our community. To date, the trade show has donated over $15,000 and approximately 2,500 pounds of canned food to the Oregon Food Bank.

For those of you who missed this year’s show, please make sure you attend next year.  If you want to add your name or company to our mailing list, or want to become a corporate sponsor, please contact Kevin O’Malley at: kevin@kayakmarketing.com.

 

Clark Net PCB Assembly Provider Adds SPEA 4020 Flying Probe Tester

July 11, 2011

Clark Net’s PCB assembly provider recently added a new SPEA 4020 Flying Probe Tester.   After conducting a comprehensive review of flying probe tester options in early 2011, they selected the state-of-the-art SPEA 4020. Its outstanding technology, flexibility, ease of use, and track record with a large world-wide customer base were the primary reasons for this selection.

Flying probe test is ideal for customers with low to medium volume requirements and for prototype and quick-turn projects.  Flying probe test requires no traditional complex and expensive test fixturing. As a result, it is very cost effective for design changes and rapid test development and implementation.  Other features of the SPEA 4020 are:

  • 4020 is able to perform a complete in-circuit test on the boards, as well as multi-function tests including short test, open pin test, and optical inspection.
  • 4020 overcomes all the accessibility limits that make it impossible to test the boards with bed-of-nails systems. The flying probes can contact directly the pins of ultra fine pitch components, such as 01005, 0201, and RQFP.

Clark Net’s PCB assembly provider is focused on providing outstanding service, quality, and value to its customers.  The addition of the SPEA 4020 to our PCB assembly provider’s full service test department is an example of their commitment to provide state-of-the-art manufacturing solutions to all our customers.