Before we look at some of the tips and processes applied by OEM PCB manufacturer for best PCB Assembly, it will be worthwhile to look at the definition of OEMs and see what they stand for and the kind of offerings they make.
OEM is an acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer and is a company, which manufactures products, which are, in turn, used as components in the products of another company, which sells the finished goods to the final consumer. In case of electronic devices, an OEM undertakes contract manufacturing of components. This allows the other printed circuit board manufacturing company to focus on its core capabilities and processes. The OEM PCB manufacturer, therefore, has the right capabilities and expertise in creating cutting-edge PCBs that are ahead of the curve. In fact, equipped with industry insights the OEM PCB manufacturer ensures that the final product lives up to its reputation and that costly mistakes that can cost the company its reputation, are avoided.
By using the services of the OEM, the PCB manufacturing company ensures that they do not have to incur increased cost or increase capacity in areas that aren’t their forte.
What are some of the tips for OEM PCB manufacturers can bring to the table?
The one way the PCB manufacturing process can be improved is through PCB Penalization. Simply put, PCB penalization is the art of organizing multiple boards on a single panel. This not only makes production faster, but also more cost-effective. However, to reap the advantages of penalization, here are some tips and tricks that are to be followed. Sample some of these below:
It is imperative to make use of fiducial markers to ensure that the position of the objects is accurate. Some of the rules that are followed for fiducial markers include:
- The copper pad should be 1 to 2 mm in diameter.
- The fiducial is made in the copper layer to ensure accuracy
- There is ample space between the pad and vias.
- Copper pads must not be coated with Solder mask or silkscreen
- It is recommended that 3 fiducial marks be used. 2 marks can also be used as long as they are staggered. Use of 4 marks, however, isn’t recommended.
It is also important to keep depanelling, stress free. As a leading PCB manufacturing company in USA, we ensure that mechanical stress is reduced through the following choices:
- Breakaway tabs present one of the cheapest though riskier options, when it comes to removing PCBs from the panel.
- V-engraving is an effective way that involves tracing grooves on the top and bottom sides of the panel. Individual boards can then be removed along the v-groove by applying pressure either by hand or through a fixture. Although it is possible only on rectangular cards, it is a quick method.
- The process of routing involves using a deplaning router to remove PCBs from the panel. While the risk to break a board is quite low, there still is the fear of sensitive components being damaged.
- In case the design involves an unconventional shape and has tight tolerances, laser cutting has emerged as a good separation method. In fact, it is known to produce least mechanical stress, although it comes at a high cost.
In order to ensure that manufacturing is seamless, it is best to factor the penalization aspect into the designs. That way, you can create multi-board arrays, which are replete with depanelization clearances within the Gerber file that is sent to the PCB manufacturer.
Although different printed circuit board manufacturers have different limitations related to board size, a thumb rule is to use 18×24 inch panels or if your board is too small, to use 2×2 inch panel. That way you can minimize the amount of wastage from any panel and remain efficient.
At Technotronix, we are fully equipped to handle your PCB manufacturing requirements. With over 4 decades of experience in PCB manufacturing as well as assembling PCBs with differing levels of complexities, we follow industry best practices to ensure we deliver cutting-edge products. Our team of experts and state-of-the-art equipment ensures that all our PCBs meet the industry standards of quality and testing. It is our vast portfolio of satisfied clients that stand as the biggest testimony to our success. In case if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org