Chip Shield Manufacturing: Fotofab and Inter-Coastal Electronics Case Study

Chip shield gasket with case study title 'Fotofab & Inter-Coastal Electronics Case Study'


About Fotofab

Fotofab specializes in chip shield manufacturing precision metal parts for industry leaders in Aerospace, Defense, Medical, Alternative Energy, and Electronics.

Using the process of photochemical machining, also known as etching, Fotofab achieves faster lead times and tighter tolerances than traditional manufacturing methods.

We take pride in partnering with our customers to deliver the best design for manufacturability (DFM) solutions while providing expertise, reliability, and quality.

About the Client

Inter-Coastal Electronics (Inter-Coastal) is a forward-thinking innovator and global market leader that designs, develops, manufactures, tests, delivers, and supports live training solutions that increase warfighter effectiveness and survivability worldwide.

Assorted metal parts etched by Fotofab




In 2004 Inter-Coastal Electronics was working with a U.S. Government client that required chip shields to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) in communication devices. The team sought a trusted metal and chip shield manufacturing partner who could help them solve the problem of unwanted noise interference while meeting rigorous International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) compliance standards. For this engagement, they would need a fast turnaround.



When the Inter-Coastal team considered which partner would be the best fit for developing ITAR-compliant shields, they turned to Fotofab for their metal and chip shield manufacturing expertise and solid experience in industrial applications.

Early in their relationship, the Inter-Coastal and Fotofab teams worked together to test chip shields for other projects. To kick off the new project for ITAR-compliant shields, the two teams met to discuss the requirements. Using a collaborative approach, Fotofab worked diligently on the initial design and quickly provided a quote.

As they worked through the project, Fotofab designed a radio cover made of tin-plated steel with soldered corners. They also completed board testing and final assembly testing.

Fotofab was able to provide ITAR-certified personnel for soldering the shields and was able to provide expertise in Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC). After the final design, the Fotofab team was able to specialty-package and deliver sealed, compliant shields within a week


stainless steel etched shield on chip circuit board


By working with Fotofab, the Inter-Coastal Electronics team was able to deliver to their client on time using a high-quality product that was both ITAR compliant and met EMC standards. The Inter-Coastal team also appreciated having a single point of contact throughout the project and was pleased with Fotofab’s communication, expertise, and delivery.

Since their relationship began almost 20 years ago, the Inter-Coastal team has been extremely satisfied with Fotofab’s quality and noted that they have never had an issue of significance. They have returned to Fotofab for products year over year, which has allowed them to successfully deliver end-products to their clients.

Contact Us About Your Project

To learn how Fotofab can support your precision metal parts needs, contact one of our technical experts today.