Automated circuit board assembly gives so much trouble when you are working with smaller boards and this result in frequent defects during the assembly procedures. Now, to minimize these defects and in order to improvise the whole process and quality of the product, numerous companies use a technique called as panelization, which ultimately results in a PCB panel. Now let us talk about the PCB panels.
What is a PCB panel?
A PCB panel, which is also known as a PCB array consists of multiple boards assembled on a single master board. After the assembly process is completed, the panel gets depanelized into single pieces of PCBs. The major benefit of this process is it lessens the defects which were available abundantly in the automated assembly process. The panelization also reduces the cost of the whole procedure and makes it economical for the maker. Now, let’s talk about the different panelization methods.
PCB Panelization Methods: –
In the case of PCB panelization, there are multiple methods available and each of them has their own benefits and drawbacks. The design of the boards which are constructed on the panel plays a large role and, in this case, the panelization method has the best possible success results. There are some factors which are responsible to make the panelization process perfect.
- Materials: The materials which are used in the PCB in some cases limits the number of types of panelization methods that can be used in a certain scenario. This is because some materials are prone to splintering during the breakout. The thickness of the PCB board is also a factor as some boards tend to break more easily than others. Board of a particular thickness shall always be selected in this case, too thin and it will break, too thick and it won’t work at all.
- Components: The components which are used on the board are the next most important factor. Selectively sensitive and connectors play a decisive role in the complete panelization and breakout process.
- Design: designing of the board plays another major part in the proper functioning of the PCB. The amount of space or clearance between the components and the design of the board edges may make certain methods more suitable than the others.
Now, proper selection of these factors limits the choices which are available in any PCB panelization process. Many companies use the combination of the factors so that the structure of the product can be kept intact.
For making a perfect PCB, you need the most technologically sound and advanced software which can give you the finest results from every aspect and also the process of making the product must be economical so that you can deliver a good product at a great price point. PCB Panelization software is a great option in this regard that is known for its efficient work and various features.
There are 3 most common panelization techniques which are used nowadays but among them, two are most commonly practiced. These are;
- Tab Routing Panelization: Tab routing method is among the 2 methods which are most commonly used. With this method, the PCBs are cut previously from the array and are held in place with perforated tabs in its place. In general, 3 to 5 holes are used in these specific patterns. Edge-hanging component designs are brilliantly supported by these types of designs.
- 2. V-Score Panelization: Here, the PCBs are individually separated from the grooves that are mainly V-shaped. When the grooves are removed, there is a reduction of approximately one-third of the thickness of the board from both the top and bottom with an angular blade. A machine is commonly used for finishing the breakout process and breakout process can’t be done by hand in this case whereas, it can be done by hand in the first process.
- Solid Tab Panelization:Solid tab method is used in case of designing arrays by placing solid tabs between each board which in turn improves the overall strength. However, the depaneling method here requires either a depaneling router or a laser-cutting tool. This particular fact makes this process costly. The router that is used here may also cause the formation of dust and vibration.
V-Score and Tab Routing are the most preferred and most used panelization methods for almost all the applications. The most important thing for the PCB designers is to understand the constructing methods and which one to use in which circumstance.
Maximum of them prefer the V-groove panelization technique because of its efficiency and reduction of the surface stress. Depaneling machinery that is used in this process is relatively inexpensive and is also cost-efficient. The method and machinery that are used in this process are also portable and low-maintenance hence this has become the most preferred method among all.
Today, the finest quality Panelization software is developed for your work because the developers understand that this single software can make or break your company. Such design is for all of your printed circuit boards. This will provide you the most efficient and the best-possible quality products that the whole market has to offer. The software comes with some stunning features which include, powerful data-management tools, advanced routing technologies etc. This also supports the cutting-edge grid-flex board design.
What are the benefits of the PCB panelization process?
The most prime benefit of this printed circuit board production process is that each board is made or constructed uniformly. In a normal process, the bards are made non-uniformly that is they are not made to the scale and hence they are discarded which in turn results in wastage of the resources. Also, the precise designing and smaller circuit boards are not properly made via the old methods. All of these things can be easily accomplished via the PCB panelization process and which is one of the biggest reasons why this has become the most preferred method for making PCBs.