A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is used to connect electronic components through lines and pad on a copper sheet via a conductive pathway. It is a thin board made from fiberglass, composite epoxy, or other laminate material. A series of steps from the design to the implementation process are to be followed for a PCB assembly. In this post, we’ll discuss the series of steps involved in design of a PCB assembly.
What are the Steps Involved in Designing a PCB Assembly?
The steps involved in designing a PCB are as explained below:
- Determining the Material: Product designer is the first person to choose the type of material for the board. Laminate is created by pressure curing the layers of cloth or paper. This is done using thermostat resin in order to create a uniform thick panel. Material type used during curing determines the laminate classification, which includes characteristics like dielectric constant, sheer strength, fire resistance, and tensile strength.
- Etching the Circuit Board: This is one of the dynamic approaches followed by majority of PCB assembly manufacturers. Etching is used in the production of PCB, wherein acid is used to remove the unwanted copper from the previously built laminate in the circuit board. Hence, a temporary mask is applied to protect the laminate from the acid and safeguard the copper layer
- Drilling Holes in the PCB: Holes are drilled in a PCB with the help of drill with small diameter. These drills are prepared from coated tungsten carbide. High speed automatic drill is used to make sure that the holes are drilled properly. Drilling holes in a PCB allow connection of various components. This also avoids marring and tearing up of copper tracks.
- Inspection and Testing: Post assembling of the PCB units, an optical inspection is done, in order to identify the underlying problems like wrong resistor, and check solder connections or missing cap. The high power cameras at different angles ensure all the correct components are connected at right places on the board. Further, manual testing of these PCB units is performed to identify if there are any lags.
- Washing and Packaging: Sometimes during the manufacturing process, residues are left behind on the board. Over the time, these residues become sticky and acidic, leading to weakening of solder joints. Hence, washing the board is necessary. Post washing, the boards have to be cleaned dry and individually heat sealed into ESD plastic.
Electronic PCB assembly find significance in many applications and industries. If you plan to a purchase high-quality PCB assembly, then you should approach an expert. Accelerated Assemblies is one of the reputed PCB manufacturers and suppliers in the US. The Company delivers circuit boards at competitive prices.