Precision photo etched products are meant for a variety of applications that require high-resolution and accuracy. It’s impacts include, but not limited to: aerospace, defense, aviation, optics and photonics, microscopy and micro-optics, microelectronics manufacturing. For many companies these types of products are the key in their growth process due to low failure rates with high fatigue life. Precision photo etched products are obtained through digital printing technologies such as inkjet or electrophotography.
It is important for companies to maintain a competitive edge by optimizing efficiency through research and development of new technologies in combination with precision photo etching processes used to replicate costly prototypes without the need of investing over $10K’s into each design. Precision photo etched products includes;
- Aerospace products
This product is most commonly used in the aerospace industry, such as aircrafts and missile parts. Precision photo etched products are made by inserting a liquid containing metallic particles into a photolithographic mask at a high speed. After the design is printed, the liquid evaporates, leaving behind the metallic particles which assemble onto the product in an extremely precise manner possible only with photo etched materials.
- Optical components
This product is used for a broad range of optical applications that include components, modules, and systems. Common uses include medical equipment, telescopes, microscopes and other scientific instruments. One large advantage that these products have over other products is that they are not susceptible to the effects of thermal expansion and contraction. This allows these products to be used in high-temperature operating environments (even at high altitudes or in hot environments). Located on top of the discus is a optical clear protective coating. This layer protects against scratches, which is a common problem when discs are handled or transported often.
- Microelectronics Manufacturing Products
This product is used in microelectronics manufacturing; specifically, in the fabrication of electronic devices. The process involves the etching of product layers and patterning. Other products that are precision photolithographic include interconnects, flexible circuits, and three-dimensional arrays such as micro-arrays.
The main purpose of precision photo etched products are to replace expensive prototypes with a low cost alternative while maintaining high performance and efficiency in production. The completed products must be with high tolerances and have complete data integrity; which is provided by the photo etched material thanks to its narrow layer lines and uniform surface finish that can be replicated time after time without fail.
The photo etched process is fast and efficient in comparison to the traditional manufacturing process which takes considerably more time and manpower. This efficiency allows companies to save cost while still maintaining quality and value. The speed at which photo etching produces products is 37 times faster than it would if using traditional processes. This means that companies face less of a risk with this process as they could get a product made in only hours, instead of months as with other processes.
Companies experience an increase in overall quality when using this process because the product components are highly precise and no flaws or errors can be made when replicating them (i.e. chlorine contamination or chemical reactions due to heat).