Summary below video: 2-Shot Molded Interconnect Device (MID) Antennas
Manufacturing process for 2-Shot Molded Interconnect Device (MID) antennas; includes molding, plating, RF test and packaging.
Transcript: Molded Interconnect Device
- The 2-shot MID process begins at molding. Here, two plastics with specific properties are molded together to form a single piece.
- In most products, a first-shot plastic, which will not be plated, will be shot into the mold. This plastic forms the base of the part and leaves space for the next plastic to be injected.
- The mould rotates, and a special second-shot plastic is injected. This material is chosen for its high plateability, as well as compatibility with the first shot.
- This fully automated moulding process degates the parts, removing leftover material and transferring it for reuse or scrap.
Electroless Plating Process
- The Qingdao Plating Line is one of the biggest of its kind. Parts are loaded into racks, carrying four plastic barrels, specially designed to allow easy, quality assurance sampling…
- …during the plating process. Parts are transferred, using an automated hoisting system, to the first part of plating process: Chromic Etch. The etch activates the surface of the product… allowing the second-shot material to plate.
- The full-build copper bath can hold three individual lots of product at a time. The electroless copper deposits on the activated areas of the part and places anywhere from six to 15 microns on the part.
- After the copper layer has been deposited, a palladium initiator is used to promote the application of one to three microns of electroless nickel. The nickel provides a strong barrier to corrosion and protects the copper surface from oxidation.
- A final plated layer of electroless gold is used on some products to allow for the easy attachment of components through soldering.
- Once the plating process is completed, the parts are transferred from the plating barrel to…
- … industrial spin dryers. Water is removed efficiently from the parts to reduce the chance of staining the finished metal surface.
Antenna RF Testing
- Finished antennas undergo 100% RF testing at TE Qingtao. Specially designed features are used to test the resonating characteristics of the parts and make sure that they meet strict performance criteria.
- For large-scale processing, TE has developed an automatic analyzing system, which uses a robotic handling system to move parts through RF testing and directly into the tray for packaging. The network analyzer checks the parts and activates an alarm if a product fails, so it can be separated from good product.
- Parts are placed in trays designed individually for each product to ensure that no damage can occur to the part during shipment.
- Some electronic components can be fragile and contamination of the surface can damage their performance. TE recognizes this and puts emphasis on proper packaging. Stacks of trays are first bundled with tape, and then placed within a plastic bag.
- A final layer of packaging material is then secured around the bundle and the parts are placed in boxes for final shipping.