What you should know about PCB design for assembly guidelines?
The importance of designing boards that have ease of manufacturability cannot be overstated. After all both the cost as well as the time taken in manufacturing is high & hence any errors at the design phase can prove to be costly as they could lead to assembly rework.
For seamless designing, it is important that the designer understands the assembly requirement from end-to-end. Following the right design for assembly practices are therefore critical. Let us look at the reasons why DFA guidelines are very important.
What is the importance of PCB Design for Assembly Guidelines?
It is important that the PCB layout and design lends itself to ease of manufacturability. The many issues that can arise during the manufacturing process include:
- Component availability – If the components aren’t readily available the cost of manufacturing can increase. Additionally, it will also add to the lead time that can go a long way in impacting quick time-to-market & in turn, your competitiveness.
- Part Placement – The right placement of parts is extremely important as it can drive up costs. Issues such as how the component rotates also go a long way in impacting solderability.
- Layout – Since the PCB has to connect to other boards or interfaces, it is important that these aspects have been considered.
If the design of the board adds to its manufacturing expense, it can render the project unviable. In fact, this aspect becomes extremely important particularly at the prototype stage as if the design isn’t optimized it will lead to issues at the mass production stage. Alternately, you will waste time going back to the drawing board & re-designing the prototype.
PCB Design Guidelines for Seamless Assembly
Some of the PCB design for assembly guidelines that are extremely important include:
- Ensure that the components that your design incorporates are easily available. It is critical to check that end-of-life parts are not incorporated as they can waste precious assembly time as also increase your expenses.
- It is recommended that all SMT parts are put on one side of the board as having them on both sides will add to the costs.
- Solderability of the board gets impacted if unusually sized parts are used. Additionally, as far as possible such parts should not be juxtaposed with smaller parts.
- Ensure that components aren’t placed too close to the board edges especially when you are dealing with small boards as these can cause issues in taking the boards out of the panels.
- As far as possible, an orthogonal placement of parts needs to be undertaken.
- In part placement their solderability needs to be kept in mind. There needs to be enough room for soldering fixture development.
- It is important that test probe points be provided for testing & debugging
- The connectors should be placed optimally. Additionally there must be enough room to plug & unplug cables during assembly.
- Last but definitely not the least, it is imperative to work closely with your electronics contract manufacturer at the design stage itself for your PCB design to work seamlessly at the manufacturing stage.
The important role your contract manufacturer can play!
It is important that your CM is involved at the design stage to be able to review your design. That way the CM will be able to guide you about component selection. In turn, this will mean that you will not have to contend with a delay in the availability of parts. Additionally, the other advantage that will accrue is that they will be able to help you with optimal placement of components that will increase the manufacturability of the board. Done well this will have a positive repercussion on:
- Cost of boards
- Cycle time, and more.
In fact with the right contract manufacturer you will be able to tide over any difficulties including manufacturing boards that are highly complex. Armed with industry best practices they will be able to help with design & documentation that can ease manufacturing. Also, needless to mention that the right contract manufacturer will be able to offer you both low as well as high volumes as per your bespoke requirements.
Technotronix offers PCB manufacturing services with 40 years of expertise. We follow industry best practices to ensure we deliver cutting-edge products. Our team of experts and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility ensures that all our PCBs meet the industry standards of quality and testing.