What Are Panel Requirements for PCB Assembly
A PCB panel offers a layout for manufacturing several boards or combinations, depending on the complexity of the board design. There are two panel techniques used in the PCB segment, both of which speed up mass manufacturing as well as assembling of PCBs. One technique comprises manufacturing of small and simple boards, such as rectangular ones, and move them to the assembly line. It is also applicable for complex boards, wherein the panels are in different geometric shapes. This technique is typically used for manufacturing single blank boards and called PCB shop fabrication panel. The other panel technique is called customer PCB panel which is used in assembling PCBs by contract manufacturers. This paneling involves surface mounting of devices, making thru holes for components and wiring, and so on to create a PCB assembly or PCBA. This post focusses on the second type of panel technique or customer PCB panel, which is for PCB assembly.
PCB Assembly Paneling Designs to Meet Diverse Requirements
Panel design for pcb assembly helps improve the overall efficiency and reduce cost. There are various types of panel designs depending on the type and shape of the board. The distance from the edge of the board is an important aspect. Here are some pointers regarding the same.
- PCB assembly paneling is well suited for automated fabrication processes, and enables optimal utilization of machine capacity. It also helps reduce material waste.
- Panel types for PCB assembly can be broadly categorized into two types.
- V-groove: Also called as V-cut or V-scoring, this has a V-shaped line which makes the board easy to break from a whole bunch of connected boards. These are widely used for regular rectangular boards. The space between each board ranges from 0mm to 3mm. So, in this, there are horizontal and vertical continuous lines which run through the length and breadth of the board. For this type, the minimum size of the board must be at least 75x75mm.
- Tab Routing: This is suitable for boards with different shapes and the panel type is also called routing or milling slot. Here, the space between adjacent boards must be at least 1.6mm with hole spacing more than at least 0.25mm. The diameter of the hole must be around 0.45mm. There must be around five to six holes on each board. Here, the pattern of lines running through the board need not be continuous. Tab routing can be done on boards without holes; however, the tab width must be minimum 2mm.
- Both these types can be used for a single board in certain cases. Here, the spacing between two boards must be 3mm with designated areas for V-scoring as well as tab routing types. The space for tab routing must be 1.6mm, and that for V-scoring 3mm.
- For easy removal of boards, there must be at least three fiducial marks with a diameter of 1mm. These are essential when assembling PCBs. They must be made at least 10mm away from the edge of the board.
- The panel design also comprises mounting holes and tool strips apart from fiducial holes. The tool strip width must be around 5mm, while the diameter of the mounting holes must be around 2mm. The distance of the mounting holes from the board edge must be at least 5mm.
If you are an OEM manufacturing mechanical or electrical devices or products, you may want to digitize them through an inbuilt PCBA. You may want to partner with a reliable printed circuit board services provider or a contract manufacturer offering end-to-end solutions. Ensure the contract manufacturer understands the design and paneling requirements, regardless of the complexity to create the right PCBA. Look for experience and expertise of the CM in your segment or industry and enquire if they can customize the assembly to meet your requirements. Accelerated Assemblies offers end-to-end PCB manufacturing and assembling solutions and has worked with clients from diverse sectors. With several years of market presence, the team at Accelerated Assemblies has developed expertise in customization, regardless of the complexity of the requirement.