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Date: 06-01-15

Laser marker helps to protect the electronics product from copying

If you have designed the electronic circuit which you do not want your competitors or rivals to know about the components you used and also wanto to hide PCB legend drawings, which is more relevant in the case of aerospace defence electronics. Then here is a equipment from Switzerland based ESCATEC which can remove markings on the PCB and IC semiconductor components without stressing the components.

To block the reverse engineering a product, many companies use manual grinding to clear the markings, which is time consuming and can often damage the component and stress the solder joints.

ESCATEC uses CO2 laser marker that was installed to change the surface structure of the solder resist to give a clear and permanent marking on the surface of PCBs. The marking can be for machine-readable codes as well as text, graphics and logos, which show up as white areas on the PCB.

"We found that using the laser to burn on a 'sea of numbers' pattern on the tops of the components made sure that none of the markings can be read," explained Martin Muendlein, Engineering Manager at ESCATEC. "There is no damage or stress and the laser is very fast and accurate to within ±0.1mm. Most importantly, it is fully automatic so that we cut out a huge amount of time that was previously spent grinding the markings off and therefore reduce production costs for the customer."

An example of a PCB with the markings removed from the key components below
Before removal
ic mark

After removal
ic mark

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