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The initial personalization of multilayer ceramic substrates begins with the formation of vias in the individual green ceramic sheets. A fully automatic computer-controlled tool to perform this function has been developed by IBM and is in operation on its manufacturing lines. The auto punch tool creates more than 40 000 vias of two different sizes (0.14 mm and 0.15 mm) in green ceramic sheets of two differenct thicknesses (0.20 mm and 0.28 mm). The positional distribution of the vias is on a 0.3 mm grid. Other than the grid the vias may be randomly distributed. Their positional accuracy is within 0.03 mm at 3 v. The vias are created at a rate of 1440 vias per second. All data needed to operate the tool and to create the vias flow automatically from a factory host computer (IBM System 370/168) through an area controller (IBM Series I) to the tool controller (IBM Series I). Manufacturing data concerning each individual green ceramic sheet are returned to the factory host computer.