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7 Tips to Prepare Printed Circuit Board Assembly Documentation

Upon the completion of the design process, it is essential to give it to the appropriate PCB supplier. Then it is necessary to provide the complete circuit board documentation to the PCB manufacturer

 

The complete circuit board documentation is essential because it provides the PCB manufacturer with complete PCB production information, layout, required materials, etc. It also helps find and solve problems in time, which is beneficial to improving the speed of PCB assembly. So, complete printed circuit board documentation is essential. Some tips that you must consider when preparing printed circuit board assembly documentation include;

Upon the completion of the design process, it is essential to give it to the appropriate PCB supplier. Then it is necessary to provide the complete circuit board documentation to the PCB manufacturer.  The complete circuit board documentation is essential because it provides the PCB manufacturer with complete PCB production information, layout, required materials, etc. It also helps find and solve problems in time, which is beneficial to improving the speed of Printed Circuit Board Assembly. So, complete printed circuit board documentation is essential. Some tips that you must consider when preparing printed circuit board assembly documentation include;

Clear Assembly Drawing

Before manufacturing a PCB, it is good to have clear assembly drawings that will go alongside the designs. To ensure the successful manufacture of PCBs, the designer must know everything that the manufacturer needs in the drawings. 

· Stacked view

During the documentation process, you must specify the different layer dimensions and board materials that the manufacturer will use for making the circuit boards. You can include detailed information about the board materials in the drawing notes to ensure a brilliant job during the PCB assembly process. 

· size

Include the board specifications i.e., the general information about the board size that you want. It will help the manufacturer know the exact size that you wish to and ease the assembly process. Include the required board dimension under the measurement unit which you will use for the board. 

· Drilling size

Define the size and the location of holes you want the manufacturer to drill. Provide adequate information about the drill location and the different drill symbols for each drill size. By adding a drill chart containing the drill information, the manufacturer will know the right thing to do, making no mistakes. 

· Special processing requirement

During assembly documentation, you need to provide your manufacturer with specific assembly documentation, such as drawing templates, which your manufacturer will include with your PCB design. It will make the design process more comfortable, and the printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) as error-free as possible. Highlighting your special processing requirement will enable your PCB manufacturer to understand the design. 

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Problems in the Bill of Materials

A statement of material (BOM) is a comprehensive list of all raw materials, components, assemblies, and other essential product manufacturing materials. If the PCB is the bill of materials is incorrect, the manufacturer or assembler may encounter some problems during the design and assembly process. The content statement needs to be accurate and have enough details to make the Printed Circuit Board Assembly meet the customer is specifications. 

· Description match

Before you give PCB designers or assemblers of this work, be sure to provide a detailed description of the appearance of the PCB you want. Your BOM should comprise the essential requirement and other necessary items that your PCB assembler may likely overlook if you don’t include it. Ensure to give a detailed list of each part of the PCB, such as voltage, color, dimensions, amongst others. By providing this, the manufacturer will use the right components for your PCB assembly. 

· Correct part number

By listing the manufacturer’s part number on your bill of material, you will know the right parts you need for your PCB. Since every part number is unique, listing the part number on your BOM will ensure that the PCB assembler uses the right material. An incorrect part number can slow down the manufacturing process of your PCB. So you must document the correct part number to avoid any form of delay. 

· Complete information

A BOM should contain all the information your PCB manufacturer or assembler needs leaving no room for guesswork. Provide the complete list of information to avoid any form of mistakes, which will cause time, energy, resources, and money wastage. Some of the reports include procurement type, package type, flexibility indicator, part number, the quantity of the part, supporting files, placement method, amongst others. Ensure that you include the complete information as an omission can cause a waste of time. If there is a need to change the information on the BOM, ensure that your PCB designer updates the BOM after effecting the change.

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Gerber File

Gerber is a file format that you can use to get your design data to your PCB manufacturer or assembler. The Gerber file is an open ASCII vector format file that contains information about each PCB layer that the assembler will use during the PCB assembly procedure. A Gerber file is an important document that you must create, which the assembler will use to create the PCB. It contains circuit board objects like;

1.Copper wire

2.Silk

3.Solder mask

4.Pads

5.Silkscreen images

PCB manufacturers usually use the Gerber file to translate the details of your PCB design into the physical components of the PCB. By documenting your Gerber files correctly, your PCB manufacturer will build the circuit board according to your specific needs. 

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Supplier List

When developing electronic equipment schematics and bills of materials, electronic designers will also improve the approved vendor list (AVL). It is essential to review your supply base AVL. It will enable you to know the suppliers to keep and the ones to let go. By following a clear understanding of your AVL, you will know the companies that meet your PCB needs and determine the amount of money you spend on each supply chain. A detailed supplier list will allow you to improve your negotiation skills and identify the rankings of your suppliers. 

After compiling your AVL, find out more information about them, such as their brand specialty, payment terms, projects, and other vital information that you need to know before doing business with them. 

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Be Sure to Understand the PCB Document Standards 

It is essential to have a good understanding of the PCB documentation standards to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing process. One way to achieve excellence and accuracy of PCBs is by adhering to the rules from IPC, the trade association for the electronic interconnection industry. IPC provides rules for the assembly of electronic equipment and offers training, public policy advocacy, and market research. 

The IPC standards help PCB manufacturers and assemblers produce reliable and high-performance PCB products for customers’ satisfaction. By complying with IPC standards, your PCB manufacturer will provide quality PCB products that will improve the company’s reputation. 

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Documents That You Usually Forget

It is essential to have a good understanding of the PCB documentation standards to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing process. One way to achieve excellence and accuracy of PCBs is by adhering to the rules from IPC, the trade association for the electronic interconnection industry. IPC provides rules for the assembly of electronic equipment and offers training, public policy advocacy, and market research. 

The IPC standards help PCB manufacturers and assemblers produce reliable and high-performance PCB products for customers’ satisfaction. By complying with IPC standards, your PCB manufacturer will provide quality PCB products that will improve the company’s reputation. 

Electronic circuit board schematic.jpg

Characteristics of High-quality Documents

Some attributes of high-quality PCB documents include;

  1. Dimensional hardware drawings
  2. The Bill of Materials (BOM)
  3. layout format
  4. Component placement file
  5. Schematic
  6. Assembly drawings
  7. Gerber file

Complete netlists

Providing your PCB manufacturer with the right documents will ensure the avoidance of PCB failures and save your time, money, and resources. 

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Conclusion

Preparing the perfect PCBA documentation can be stressful and unproductive without the right information. Getting a reliable and high-quality circuit board is the joy of every customer. By following the tips mentioned above, you will be on your way to having an error-free PCB. Ensure that your PCB manufacturer or assembler has the right information and skillsets to bring your PCB designs into reality. 

Want the touch of expertise and excellence in your present or future PCBA project? WellPCB is your answer. At WellPCB, we have experts who will give you the worth of your money and more. We offer quality services such as PCB manufacturing, Printed Circuit Board Assembly (SMT PCB assembly, and SMD PCB assembly). Contact us today to book an appointment and learn more about your PCB needs. 

Hommer
Hi, I am Hommer, the founder of WellPCB. So far we have more than 4,000 customers worldwide. Any questions you can feel free to contact me. Thanks in advance.

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