One potential issue with considering selective conformal coating with a robotic conformal coating system is misaligned components on the PCB which can potentially damage the spray heads which are moving along a set pattern on the board and the components themselves be damaged as they travel. Spray heads are one of the most critical parts on the spray robot. Repairing damage can get costly.
Selective conformal coating with a robotic conformal coating system does not automatically remove the requirement for masking. There can be several reasons for masking a board during selective spraying, including the requirement to coat extremely close to connectors, which can “wick” conformal coating into the body. Plated or un-plated mounting holes that must coating free are tricky to program around and it may be easier to mask these areas.
In all cases, there is an initial, one-time cost for programming that needs to be included in the cost for the project. Depending on the complexity of the board’s coating free area requirements, this can be a costly and timely process. Make sure to factor this into your decision to use a spray robot.