18. Jul 2016 15:54, rigidflex
PCB Production: A comprehensive Guide To The Process A printed circuit board may be single, double or multi sided. It consists of electronic components which are embedded in to copper strata. It helps to electronically and mechanically hold electrical components together. This device is in much demand nowadays. The US market revenue for this device had been sixty million US dollars in 2012. A pcb production consists of a number of steps, some of which are given below.
The manufacturing process starts from the fabrication data of a PCB generated by a CAD. There are many files within this data, of which the Gerber or Excellon are never used in a direct manner on the manufacturing equipment. But there is a reason why these files are still generated as data. It is because these files are always read in to the computer aided manufacturing software which is known as CAM. This software performs a number of functions such as input of Gerber data, verification of data, compensation of deviations in the entire manufacturing process, panelization, and output of digital tools.
Now you have seen that the CAM software plays a very major role in the manufacture and production of a PCB. The next step towards its production is known as panelization. This is a process where a number of PCBs are clustered at the same time on a panel. This panel may consist of a single or multiple designs. Usually it is a single design. When it has a multiple design, it is actually a mixture on the panel of single designs. The panels are of two major types.
These are assembly panels known as arrays and bare board panels. The assembly panels have a characteristic of mounting components on the panels instead of using singular PCBs. This becomes a much easier process in many ways. The bare board manufacturing panels which you have usually use panels as a matter of efficiency. Along with that, flex pcb it also uses this because of the requirements of the plating process. Thus during pcb production a manufacturer panel may consist of a cluster of individual circuit boards or of array, rigid flexible pcb depending on the requirement.
The process of depanelling is also important for pcb manufacturing USA. Here the individual PCBs in the entire whole are broken apart. This is the process known as depanelling. This process is done by drilling holes or perforations on the entire length of boundaries of the individual circuits. You may also cut V shaped groove like holes along the entire dimension of the panel. This would eventually cost you lesser space. The PCBs may then be broken individually along this line which you have made.
Nowadays, the process of depanelling is done with the help of lasers during pcb production USA. The lasers can cut the board without any contact whatsoever. This type of panelization reduces stress or strain on circuits which could be very fragile. The copper patterning on the fabricators CAM system is then replicated. This is done with the help of a protective mask on the copper foil. Etching after this process removes all unwanted copper.