Interplex’s advanced precision photo chemical metal etching technologies, with proprietary reel-to-reel processing methods, provide very close tolerances and high repeatability for features that are too small to achieve with conventional stamping processes.
With over 30 years of photo chemical etching innovation and product design experience, our unique capabilities are geared to help customers achieve even the most difficult and intricate geometric features on a variety of Stainless Steel and/or Copper alloys.
We understand the importance of close communication with our valued customers. We strive to maximize the best arrangement of parts to suit production requirements and demands. No detail is overlooked; all requirements and specifications are reviewed comprehensively and communicated clearly.
Product and Process Excellence
Dimensional and positional tolerances are measured in microns, and through-hole features under 100μm are commonplace. Most metal thicknesses are in the 0.002” to 0.010” range, but can range up to 0.020” when required.
Within our etching processes, we can perform half-etchings for special applications such as hand break-offs, sharp beveled edges and tips, capillary grooves and other unique features. Our photo etching processes are oftentimes only limited by the imagination of our customers.
By leveraging proven processes on the same flexible equipment for all prototype and production runs, we eliminate the need for special tooling or process migration, thereby optimizing time to market and reducing overall production costs.Typically, we can go from quote to production deliveries in less than 6 weeks and can ramp-up from a few pieces to over 10 million in a matter of weeks.
Our fully computerized process control system manages 160 critical physical and chemical process variables in real time to assure uniform and consistent results. Results are also automatically audited by online vision systems at the end of the lines.
Interplex’s photo etching processes are certified to ISO 9001, IATF 16949 and ISO 14001 specifications. Lamination and exposure processes are performed in a class 100 (ISO 5) cleanroom. Output areas of the etch lines are enclosed in a class 10,000 (ISO 7) cleanroom and parts can be immediately packed for delivery within the cleanroom environment.
General Achievable Features and Specifications
- Minimum Feature Size: 1.1x material thickness
- Minimum Thickness: 0.0008″ (0.0203mm)
- Feature Tolerance: 10% of material thickness
- Positional Tolerance: 1 – 3μm (0.001 – 0.003mm)
- Maximum Thickness: 0.0200″ (0.508mm)
- Maximum Part Width: 8″ (203mm)
- Maximum Part Length: 1,500′ (457m)
Unique Selling Proposition of Interplex’s Photo Chemical Etching Technology
- Burr and Slag Free – With metal etching, including panel etching, customers can design burr-free precision metal components with ultra-fine pitches, intricate shapes and 3D feature profiles that are otherwise not possible using traditional metal stamping processes
- Stress Free – Photo chemical etching adds no stress to the metal, as material is only being chemically removed and not physically removed such as stamping does
- No Heat Deformation – With photo chemical etching, there are no lasers used that may cause melting (slag) and heat-affected zone concerns
- Increased Repeatability – Reel-to-reel photo chemical etching significantly reduces the total cost of quality, especially in high reliability applications
- Improved Time to Market – Photo etched parts are produced using photo masks, which reduces tooling and production costs while improving time to market
- Tight Tolerance – Continuous reel-to-reel photo chemical etching can hold very tight tolerances for small feature sizes with a very high degree of repeatability and consistency
- Vertical Integration – Reel-to-reel metal etching of parts can be presented as inputs to other automated manufacturing processes such as forming, plating, insert molding and assembly on a reel, further reducing total manufacturing costs
Types of Applications
- Fiber Optics
- Oil Control Valve Filters
- Fuel Injector Filter Screens
- Medical Sharps and Devices