For quick solder paste application, stainless steel stencils are used. The stencil layout includes SMD footprints via which the solder paste is pressed in the screen-printing process. Since the stencil is cut according to the PCB design, it has to be altered if any changes or improvements occur in the project. Most often we use 100- or 120-micron stainless stencils, to apply the right amount of solder paste to the pads.
Due to the high cost of the laser equipment used to cut the stencils, EMS companies often outsource the stencil production. To make a new product introduction stage shorter, we have the cutting laser at our facility. So for a new project or its improvement a new stencil can be designed by our engineers and cut in house.
One of the laser cutters we use is LPKF Stencil Laser P6060. It offers high flexibility with aperture modifications, engraving logos, part numbers or matrix codes.
Another one is Tannlin 11, which precisely use argon gas to join two different metal sheets, allowing us to create step stencils. This enables us to develop advanced PCB designs and improve the soldering procedure.