The PCB manufacturing process is not simple, there are lots of elements that need to work together to create the circuit board and if one of these has no been inputted correctly then things can wrong. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the things that you should know about the PCB manufacturing process. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more.
Gathering Information Before Starting PCB Manufacturing
Before you even get started on your PCB design, you need to think carefully about how your design will be translated into the manufacturing process. It can be easy to get started and worry about this afterwards but if you don’t think about it before beginning, you might not have everything you need.
If you don’t have the right information on all of the different aspects of the design, then your manufacturer won’t be able to complete the project. The PCB design manufacturing process is not simple so think about things like the thickness, the surface finish, the number of layers and the copper weight. If you are able to provide this information, then the process should run a lot more smoothly.
When someone else is going to be manufacturing your PCB, you will often have the option of ordering your materials yourself or asking them to. There are some important things that you should know about doing either of these options including the fact that you need to check the lead time. You should also take a look at the minimum order quantity and calculate any loses that might occur. It is advised that you order 10% more materials than you need to account for these losses and if you don’t do this then you might find yourself in trouble when it comes to manufacturing.
When it comes to placing the components on your PCB, you need to make sure that you know which method you are going to be using – SMT or through-hole mounting. When it comes to the manufacturing process, you must try to consolidate your components so that you can reduce the number of SMT runs. You also might find that some of your bigger components can’t be mounted using the machine, so you’ll need to work on these using manual through-hole work. It is important that you know this before sending your PCB design off for manufacture to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
The final thing that you should know about the PCB manufacturing process is that there is extensive testing that takes place on the different components. Your PCB will be tested within the circuit with an ICT test as well as through X-ray and an AOI. Your manufacturer will consider all elements of the circuit and might need to alter certain things if problems occur.
Make sure that you know everything you need to know about the PCB manufacturing process before starting your design to ensure that you know what to expect.