MESMOPROC; MASKLESS ELECTROCHEMICAL SURFACE MODIFICATION PROCESS
MTG Research Ltd, UK
Coventry University, UK
Protection des Metaux SAS, France;
Pragoboard s.r.o., Czech Republic;
EIPC Services B.V., Netherlands
International Project Management, Plating and Materials, France
Royenface Ltd, UK
The MESMOPROC project aims to achieve the first application of an innovative process that combines electrochemical reactor engineering with novel ultrasound agitation to enable selective metallisation of microscale devices, components and printed circuit boards (PCBs) without requiring conventional photolithographic processes.
Key objectives of the project will be:
- a novel low cost, resource efficient and sustainable process validated at manufacturing facilities
- enhanced efficiency via a much shorter and simpler process using fewer materials and less energy
- reduced waste generation and CO2 emissions
- IPR; detailed trial data; techno-economic modelling and a life cycle assessment to determine environmental impact.
It is anticipated that the MESMOPROC project will have significant socio-economic, industrial and environmental impact. At the end of the project, the specific aim is to have a process that will enable a 95% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to existing conventional lithographic processes, along with similar reductions in the use of hazardous, toxic and dangerous materials. It is also predicted that the quantities of waste generated will be reduced by a factor of around 20 times and the new process will also allow water and energy reductions of around 95% to be realised. Within two years of the end of the project, and with successful implementation within the available market, it is estimated that the technology will facilitate greenhouse gas reductions of 560 tonnes per year along with annual water and electricity savings of 60 million litres and 750 MWhours respectively.
The perceived market for the new MESMOPROC technology within Europe is the estimated 6000 surface engineering and PCB manufacturing companies which employ upwards of 80,000 people and that have sales in excess of £8 billion. In respect of potential uptake of the developed technology, some 2,000 companies within Europe could adopt the new process and equipment within a ten to fifteen year timeframe.
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