Electro Scientific Industries (ESI), a division of MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ:MKSI) and an innovator in laser-based manufacturing solutions for the micro-machining industry, today announced an order for its recently-released CapStone laser drilling solution for processing flexible printed circuits (FPC). The order follows an extensive on-site system evaluation at Compeq Manufacturing, Huizhou, China, where CapStone delivered exceptional throughput and performance. Similar evaluations are underway at other major manufacturers where systems have already been qualified for production.
“Our testing and evaluation process for CapStone has been rigorous and extensive,” said Cathay Wu, director, purchasing, Material Division, Compeq. “We have processed thousands of panels over the last few months with the CapStone system. We evaluated the system on a wide range of applications and material stacks, as well as numerous via types and sizes—in both panel and roll-to-roll processes—and achieved excellent yield. CapStone showed significant increases in throughput and savings in cost-per-panel, and has met or exceeded our expectations. We look forward to leveraging CapStone for a number of applications and taking advantage of its throughput and yield to stay competitive in this very demanding market.”
“Capstone offers twice the throughput of our previous-generation system while maintaining yields, increasing uptime and significantly reducing maintenance costs,” said John Williams, ESI’s vice president of marketing. “These all translate directly into greater productivity and lower cost per panel. In the simplest analysis, doubling throughput doubles return on investment and halves the payback period.”
“Since we put our first CapStone systems in the field, we have processed over a hundred thousand panels,” Williams continued. “All systems are currently qualified and running in high-volume production. Given the cost-driven nature of the printed circuit board (PCB) processing industry, and CapStone’s extraordinary value proposition, the system continues to generate significant interest and early customer adoption. We are looking forward to finalizing the placement of additional systems as the market learns what CapStone can do.”
Developed by ESI, the CapStone system is optimized to process the FPCs widely used in consumer electronics, such as smartphones and other handheld devices. Building on the proven ESI platform, CapStone’s new laser technology and control capabilities deliver breakthrough performance at twice the throughput of the previous-generation model, and with equivalent accuracy and precision in critical parameters such as via diameter and placement.