Project Code: 17063
Project Title: Automated IP Protection of Open-Frame Printed Circuit Boards
Project Type: Industry
Project Intellectual Property: Company Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: Apex Microtechnology
Description: Project goal: To design a new manufacturing tool to automatically dispense encapsulating epoxy onto open-frame printed circuit boards. Manufacturers are concerned about protecting intellectual property, or IP, which can be compromised by reverse engineering of electronic hardware. The team developed an encapsulating device that protects IP quickly and economically. The design combines two industry-standard technologies into one easy-to-operate system: a precision x-y translation stage and a bulk-adhesive pressurized delivery vessel. The x-y translation stage allows customizable shapes and areas of epoxy application onto the printed circuit boards, while the dispensing pressure vessel brings uncured epoxy to the printed circuit boards at flow rates that can keep up with the manufacturing line. The machine’s versatility yields additional manufacturing cost savings by eliminating the need to fill syringes or move the boards to custom trays.