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PCB Manufacturing Process - How To Provide The Best Products

Of course! The Printed Circuit Board manufacturing entails quite many processes, and that is why we would be taking another moment not just to enlighten you, but also guide you in making the right choice. Since we want to believe that in one way or the other this might no longer seem new, we would love to get our customers to feedback at the later time.


Are you the type that prefers good quality PCB? Then this might be your long awaited article. Also, at the end of this information, we would guide you through the necessary steps you need to make the difference to make you achieve the best.

1、PCB Manufacturing Process

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In the manufacturing of the printed circuit board, several steps must be followed to achieve the desired or optimum result. The manufacturing process insinuates the procedures needed to be followed in the production of the printed circuit board. In the second half of this article will describe this in more detail. There are several phases in the manufacturing of the printed circuit board. The early part of the manufacturing begins from the use of a computer to make the design, through some specific software.


Computer-aided manufacturing (often called CAM) performs some operations, and these include:


• The input of the fabrication data


• The data verification


• Compensation for deviations in the manufacturing processes (e.g., scaling to compensate for distortions during lamination)


• Panelization


• The output of digital tools (copper patterns, drill files, inspections, and so on.)


In the panelization process, some small PCB are brought together to merge them as a panel. We refer to an n-panel as one that comprises of a design duplicated n-times. Another type is the multi-panel; the multi-panel brings together some different panels to form a single panel.


We also have copper patterning, and this is an initial procedure which is done by replicating the pattern in the fabricator’s computer aid manufacturing (CAM) system on a protective mask on the copper foil printed circuit board layer. Successive etching processes aid the eradication of unwanted copper. The chemical etching is carried out with the aid of a chemical known as ammonium persulfate. For projects related to PTH, additional procedures of electroless deposition are carried out succeeding the drilling of the hole.


After this, the thickness is increased or built by electroplating copper. Also, for small-scale projects, immersion etching is commonly used. The immersion etching has to do with the use of a chemical such as ferric chloride, with the board being submerged in it. The disadvantages attached to this process are that it takes much longer time when compared to the other method. Agitation and heat can be applied to the bath to fasten the rate of etching.

2、Flexible PCB Manufacturing Process

The flexible PCB allows circuitry to be made to fit electronic products, unlike designing the device to conform to the circuit board.


2.1: Advantages of flexible PCB

Some of the advantages offered by the flexible would be briefly discussed, and they include:


  • Reliability: the flexible PCB is well known to be highly reliable since they do not comprise of many potential sources that may fail.


  • Space: the flex design requires a minimal amount of space


  • Cost-friendly: the materials required for the flex design is relatively reduced.


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3、PCB Fabrication Process Steps

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You might have come to understand the fact the PCB holds some advantages of the breadboard, and some advantages of these advantages include; high density offered by the PCB, unlike the breadboard, high reliability of the PCB compared to breadboard, addition of odd components on the PCB which is technically impossible on the breadboard, and so on.


In a broad sense, As we all know, that no PCB can be referred to as being standard, that is, they all have a distinct use for a product, and therefore the procedures involved in the production of the Printed Circuit Board varies and more complex. In a short while, we would be discussing the procedures involved in the production of the PCB.


Step 1: The first thing that comes to mind is deciding what kind of electronic circuit to design on the printed circuit board. It is an essential aspect of PCB manufacturing. With the aid of your computer, make your preferred designs for your board with software like EAGLE - although there is other software you can use.


Step 2: Print out your design on a suitable type of paper using a printer - laser printer. Ensure that it is possible to fit in all the components on the print, with the size of the layout equivalent to that of the PCB. Make sure that black ink is used, and avoid taking the print immediately after it comes up, wait for some while and allow it to dry. Although there are other methods compared to the one mentioned above, this is also good.


Step 3: Trim out the layout without cutting the blank spaces along, that is, when you cut, only cut out the layout only leaving behind the blank spaces behind. With the aid of an iron box, apply heat to the printed circuit board with the paper layout on top of the PCB. While you apply the heat and pressure, ensure that the PCB maintains its position, and after some few minutes, you would notice that the board and paper are now attached to the layout. Since the paper has to be excluded, deep the board into the water for some minutes and peel out the paper. For removal of smaller bits of the paper, soak again for few hours and remove the paper bits.


Step 4: the next step is to etch the PCB. It can be done with the use of a chemical known as the Ferric chloride with the aim of removing excess copper. Immerse the board into the solution and let it maintain motion. When you can no longer see the copper layer, please continue to check and remove. Apply little acetone on the PCB to get rid of the black color.


Step 5: the next step is to drill the holes, and this can be done using a Dremel drill press depending on the size of the project. In other instances, automated drilling machines are utilized for big sized projects. The surface of the material is coated with gold, nickel, and so on.


Step 6: the last step involves the use of solder resists covering the portions that are not soldered. It is then tested and assembled.

4、 PCB Fabrication Process Technology

The technology of the PCB has continued to progress with time. There has been a significant improvement in aspects relating to semiconductor improvements, miniaturizing, and so on. The PCB has successfully been able to meet a wide variety of needs or requirements. The manufacturing of PCB depends on some techniques that go along with plating, etching, use of the machine, and so on. When we make mention of these different techniques, you would understand that each of them has its unique cons and pros, and one important thing to note in the manufacturing of PCB is the accuracy of the equipment.


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4.1: an Imaging technique

One of the initial methods used in imaging is the screen printing with advantages that include;


  • Suitability for a large project


  • Not very costly


  • Low material requirements


  • Specialized screens, and so on.


An accurate method for depositing circuit image on board is through photoimaging. The photoimaging is identified with cons which include; tool wear, stress relaxation, and so on.


4.2: Plating technique

Generally, this technique deals with the application of metal finishes to a PCB. Under this technique, we have; Electrolytic, Electroless and Plasma plating.


4.3: Laminating technique

A type of the laminating technique is the hydraulic hot press method which was a common type but of course, has been improved by continuous developments. This technique is used in producing the circuit board, alongside the production of multilayer circuitry design.


4.4: Etching technique

The etching technique majorly bases on the extraction of excess metal from the PCB surface to attain a leveled surface. The different chemicals used for etching includes cupric chloride, peroxide, and nitric acid.

5、Best Manufacturing Process PCB Fabrication Specification

As the importance of the heart to the body, the Printed circuit board is as that important to every product that has to do with electronics. The printed circuit boards are concerned with parts or components that give internal instructions to your products, and they are designed in many shapes and size.


The fabrication specification can be said to be the design requirement which is not concerned with the behaviors or function of a product, but rather, determines the manufacturability, cost, and so on.


5.1: What to note about the fabrication specification

Size: the size refers to the dimensions of the printed circuit board. At this stage, it is necessary to note that the cost of the printed circuit board varies with the size of the surface area. So to level the cost, it is essential to use the space wisely. If we should compare an irregularly shaped printed circuit board to a small rectangular type of the exact board, the irregularly shaped PCB will be more costly than the later.


Complexity: the number of layers measures the complexity of the PCB.


Type of material: in one way or the other, we must have heard about the glass epoxy which is otherwise known as the FR-4. A few years ago, the FR-2 was used (FR means flame retardant, with the number insinuating the flammability) and otherwise referred to as the phenolic paper. Unfortunately, this material wasn't a good choice due to the cons that include: toxicity and cracking. Apart from the common type of printed circuit board materials, there are also other materials which are relatively less common, and they include; PEEk, polyimide, and Teflon. These days, the most common type of material used is the FR-4, and many PCB designers prefer the FR-4 as the first option, but considering the thickness of the material, must give the greatest attention.


The thickness of the board: in a way, the thickness of the board is decided by the number of layers, about the PCB designers deciding on the dimensions that results to the thickness. The thickness of the board is an elementary mechanical specification of the printed circuit board, and sometimes, 1.6mm seems to be the standard. The designer is responsible for selecting the dimensions that will suit for the preferred thickness. For thickness ranging from 1.0mm and below, a small spaced PCB is likely to be in question.


Plating: the plating refers to the situation in which copper surfaces which are not covered are covered with another material of metal to increase the level of solderability when assembly operation completed. Hot Air Solder Leveling is a common type of plating, and we also have other types of plating which include ENIG (Electroless nickel immersion gold is more costly plating but of course gives a better result).


5.2: Checking For Design Rule Violations

Immediately you know your way around fabrication specifications, it is necessary to go along with the specification all through the development process.

6、Multilayer PCB Fabrication Process

The external coatings of our multilayer comprise of sheets of glass cloth that is pre-impregnated with uncured epoxy resin and also, a thin copper foil. Generally, the multilayer printed circuit board depicts the fact that the PCB when counted contains more than three layers. Between each layer are insulating materials that have been prepared with the multilayer printed circuit board making use of some double sided PCB.


In situations whereby the dependability of the metalized holes concerned with the printed circuit board manufacturing are to be made better, materials with heat resisting ability and firmness on dimension should be made use of by the multilayer PCB designers. When counting the layers of the multilayer printed circuit board, it is often found to be even.


There are some processes related to the fabrication of the multilayer PCB. On a normal ground the printed circuit board designer or manufacturer should be able to create inner core layer image at first, and after that, merge the inner core with maximum temperature and also including pressure with the aid of a pressing machine. For the production of outer layers, the manufacturing processes are alike when compared with the double-sided printed circuit board.


6.1: Lay-up and Bond

The mechanic (otherwise known as the upper operator) will place some material on the large steel floor, that is, the copper foil and two sheets of prepreg. After successfully doing this, he positions the previously treated core on the alignment pins and joins another prepreg sheet (2) with copper foil and an aluminum press plate. Having done this, he constructs three panels on the base plate using the same format and rolls the massive stack under a press. By doing this, the steel top plate lowering, stack together, and the complete stack are rolled out. Three stacks are collected on a loader by the machinist and loaded into the bonding press. The press has been designed in such a way that it can bond the layers of the printed circuit board together by utilizing the heated press plate and pressure.


If we are responsible for your PCB, then this only means that you prefer a high-quality type, as this is what we offer. We have taken you through the internal and external information concerned with the PCB manufacturing processes, and the least we can now do is give you the very best of your desired product.


We have made mention of different subtopics under this article, and we now believe that it would enable you to make the right choice and bring you back to us.

Why don't you contact us today and secure your interest in high-quality products?  Also, you can request for a quotation, and in case you have troubling questions or suggestions, please feel free to pass them across.

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