RUSCON 2016: 25 years of Materials and Equipment New Technologies Development Experience

International scientific and management conference RUSCON 2016 was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, December, 13th -14th , organized by the Russian manufacturer of the equipment  and developer of the technologies for the printed circuit boards production –  SPbC ELMA Ltd.

Conference issue-related background was based on modern solutions in the sphere of printed circuit boards production including presented by SPbC Elma technologies and equipment.


from left to right: President of Verdant Electronics Joseph Fjelstad, EIPC Technical Director and Consultant Michael Weinhold, SPbC ELMA General Director Valentin Tereshkin

General Director and moderator of the event has welcomed all the participants and pointed out a special significancy of the conference dedicated to the SPbC ELMA’s anniversary leading its activity since 1991. Its 25 years of effective development of the Russian scientific and engineering company which develops and delivers technological processes, concentrates of chemical solutions, chemical and electroplating equipment for manufacture of printed circuit boards: the present event made an image about the whole work done at this moment and results are very impressive.

Modern Russian technologies in the sphere of printed circuits boards and its influence on business development and output product quality are the minor part of information which leading specialists and directors of industry-specific enterprises was able to receive,  ask their questions, discuss and moreover get the answer for the targeted issues.

Especially it is interesting to hear the opinions of foreign colleagues.  And such communication opportunity was given to the RUSCON ‘participants: they were able to talk to the invited peakers of the conference Mr. Michael Weinhold, EIPC Technical Director and Consultant, and Mr. Joseph Fdjelstad, President and Founder of Verdant Electronics, USA.

Michael Weinhold, EIPC Technical Director and Consultant

Michael Weinhold, EIPC Technical Director and Consultant

Leaping ahead it is important to mention that foreign specialists were impressed by the fact that such «multi industry» private company is existing here in Russia which individually specialized in chemical concentrates development and production of the equipment for printed circuit boards.  All it happens despite the fact that there is a tendency towards separation of the manufacturers into narrow focus specialized companies taking the market place only in their own definite niche.

First report of the conference was dedicated to the domestic “Elma’s production Protective Soldering Mask ELMA 1401”.  At the present moment ELMA 1401 has turned from the scientific research result into output product with serial number. Domestic protective soldering mask ELMA 1401 is actively implemented into enterprises of Russia. Circuit boards with such mask pass production type tests successfully. Protective Soldering Mask ELMA 1401 meets requirements of present-day standards for the printed circuit boards:

  • GOST Р 54849-2011 Protective soldering mask for the printed circuit boards.
  • GOST 23752.1-92 Printed circuit boards. Test method
  • Standard IPC-SM-840D:2010.
Alexey Makhrov, Leading specialist of SPbC ELMA Ltd.

Alexey Makhrov, Leading specialist of SPbC ELMA Ltd.

Now SPbC ELMA actively is appealing all Russian PCB’s manufacturers to start implementation of ELMA 1401 in order do not pull back this inevitable process for the future.

Apart from soldering mask developing the ELMA Company is preparing for the serial production. At the conference was presented report “First Russian Mask Spray Application: Economy and High Quality”.

Characteristics of real spray application which is under the process of development on the SPbC ELMA’ production site in Saint Petersburg now has become the resource base of the report.    Spray application is almost ready for production tests. Detailed information concerning each unit of the spray application is stated in the report.

In the presentation «Metallization of high-density multilayer printed board. Cyclic voltammetry. Experience of introduction at the industry enterprises» the high-density printed circuit boards (HDI-boards) actuality for direction development was noted. The market appearance of circuit board with HDI is caused by effort of industry for miniaturization of end devices. Therefore production engineer shall solve the problem of holes metallization with a high ratio of diameter to thickness (AspectRatio parameter). In the presentation the results of holes metallization with ratio diameter of holes to thickness (for example 1:20) are presented.

Special attention should be given to control of electrolyte mineral composition and especially to the chloride ion analysis. It is known that chloride concentration excess leads to the polarization of the anodes but low concentration leads to banding (the formation of bands) on the overlayer and to the additives increasing expenditures. At the same time the optimum concentration of chloride ions with simultaneous use of cold rolled AMF anodes gives rise to stable conducting film at the anodes and prevent the sludge formation.

The most important factor for successful metallization HDI circuit boards is control of organic additives in electrolyte copper plating. «ELMA cyclic voltammetry» equipment complex demonstrated in the presentation is used to perform the quantitative control of additive ratio (by method of cyclic voltammetry). ELMA CVA complex as well as the system of separate adjusting additives for galvanic copper plating currently are being implemented by a number of Russian companies.

Mrs. Gukasova Aleksandra, Commercial Director of SPbC ELMA Ltd. In her report «Chemical Galvanic Lines for manufacture of PCB 5-7 accuracy class” noted that even the most advanced technology could not be a panacea if the equipment does not conform the technology.

 Based on this approach – company develops own equipment from technology to a machine. Presenting to the customers already known chemical galvanic line «Elgamet HD» speaker pointed out a number of important improvements carried out over the last year. While maintaining all the previous features of monitoring and control by all process parameters we have added an additional function for monitoring the state of the line in time with data entry in the system’s memory, access in the “on-line” mode.

All theoretical aspects have been considered in the presentation “Vertical Jet Treatment Units for chemical processing of  PCB (printed circuit board)” contributing to an increase in non-uniformity of processing field.

Special attention was paid to the solution of non-uniformity of etching in the direction of oscillation, “waves” and pressure equalization on the nozzles issues.  Application result of all these solutions has become insuring of minimum copper undercut and high etch factor on both sides of all sizes printed circuit boards without additional vacuum devices.

SPbC ELMA representatives

SPbC ELMA representatives

  At present day SPbC ELMA serially produces PCB processing Vertical Jet Treatment Units for all wet processes:

  • Ammonium copper etching process (Eltrachim Т)
  • Metal resist etching unit ( Eltrachim TOL)
  • Photoresist development unit ( Eltrachim PRF)
  • Photoresist removal unit ( Eltrachim SNF)
  • Metal resist brightening unit ( Eltrachim ОSV)
  • Unit for the surface treatment before tinning ( Eltrachim PGL).

One of the new expected products from RUSCON in 2016 became presentation of new line of ELMAKON horizontal conveying type machine. In the introduction to the presentation head of company Mr. Tereshkin Valentin pointed out the experience of Vertical Jet Treatment Units «Elmachim» application which has shown that in many cases of enterprises operational needs it is required most highly productive equipment (from 2 m2 / hour and higher) with the size of panel more than 350×450 mm. Therefore owning the modern technology for printed circuit boards chemical treatment we could not leave our market without filling this empty niche with our domestic equipment.

The most important feature of the New ELMAKON horizontal conveying type machine is compliance with requirements «Industry 4.0» (the possibility of introducing Elmakon control systems into the modern IT-structure of the enterprise). The machine provides precise control of the maximum number of parameters in real time, identification of work-piece, data capturing about production process and supports equipment in management scheduling.  At the same time the company is ready to satisfy the simpler requirements as for material consumption, energy demands and active used area. At the production site of SPbC ELMA RUSCON’ participants had the opportunity to see a developmental prototype of mentioned above machine.

In details about the advanced technology ELNIS 1000 providing the application of nickel-silver finishing  two-layer plating has been discussed in the presentation «Galvanic nickel pickling and silver-plating PCB as effective finish coating with simultaneous protection of elements before etching». This process provides a coplanar cover performing not only protective metal resist function (resistant to alkaline pickling liquid), but also a protective finishing coat.

The technology is economic because it eliminates the cost for temporary metal resist application and removal operations.  Silver-plated with nickel underlayer has excellent solderability and the ability to be soldered.

The main feature of ELNIS 1000 technology is that nickel and silver coating are applied from acidic electrolytes.

In particular such events as the Scientific International Conference RUSCON 2016 give the chance to the companies to receive the advanced information about new technologies and perspectives about industry development especially in difficult macroeconomic situation; to get answers on issues of importance connected with enterprises functioning in the conditions of import substitution; to learn about successful practical experience of implementing of the latest Russian technologies and to get to know with technology development forecast and the market in Russia and overseas.


Michael Weinhold (EIPC Technical Director and Consultant) and Dmitriy Glebko (SPbC ELMA Chief Technology Officer)

Conference RUSCON 2016 along with numerous positive feedbacks has gained a reputation as the professional event which is necessary for the specialists of printed circuit boards’ sphere.

On the following day of the conference all members were able to check all stated in ELMA’s representatives report information and see production site with equipment.

And then Yusupov Palace opened the door and dipped into the mystery of palace revolution.

Success of RUSCON 2016 allows the ELMA Company to announce the following conference RUSCON 2017. Details about the forthcoming conference will be announced soon on the website (News section).


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