Ask the Experts
May 5, 2008 - Updated
May 5, 2008 - Originally Posted

Automated VS Manual Depanelization

For the depanelization of pcb's in a high mix production line environment, is there a laser depanelizing machine or water cutting machine that would allow us to avoid for avoid manual depanelization? Note: We are using "V" cut panel pcb's.

F. C.

Expert Panel Responses

Depaneling is a major concern for almost anybody in a flexible manufacturing environment. The problem is that all manual technologies available are high –stress technologies, versus the automated depaneling with a saw or shaft router requiring tooling and that can get very expensive for a big product mix. The latest depaneling technology is laser depaneling, which offers a low stress – no dust technology. The limitation for this technology to take off seems to be the capital investment for the equipment and the limit in board thickness. ASYS offers a semi-automatic system and an inline system that can cut FR4 material up to 1.2mm thickness. Unfortunately both units still require tooling, although it is a lot simpler and cheaper than for a traditional depaneling system. Please contact me for more information or visit our website at

Markus Wilkens
Mr. Wilkens has been working in the SMD industry for over 10 years. He came to the USA in 1999 to start up the operations for ASYS, a global company with a product portfolio including Handling Systems, Marking Systems, Depaneling Systems, Screen Printers and end of line Automation.
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