Everything You Need to Know About PCB Design & Manufacturing

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the essential-most element of all electronics. These small boards are green in colour and help to connect every component inside the electronic device. Without these, the functioning of electronic device is not possible. These are used as the base in maximum electronics. These are used not only for the physical support but also the wiring area. Constituents of PCBs include composite epoxy, fibreglass or any other composite material. These could be both simple or complex, depending upon the requirement. Computers, television sets, radio sets, mobile handsets etc. are the devices where these are essentially used.

A Definite Guide to Successful PCB

PCBs are manufactured after assembling several green boards and therefore, one needs to have a lot of knowledge and practical ideas about the same. Generally, people seek help from PCB assembly manufacturer for the same. This quick guide gives an idea how to get the PCBs manufactured:

  • Designing –Before beginning the process of manufacturing a PCB, it is important to get the board designed first so that placement of green boards and wires could be done accordingly. Software and trace calculators are used for completing the design process successfully.
  • Design Printing – Plotted printer is used for printing the design of a PCB. Film produced by this printer shows the layers on the board. Non-conductive areas are shown by clear ink while black ink shows conductive traces of copper and circuits.
  • Substrate Creation – Substrate is an insulating material made up of glass fiber and epoxy resin, which binds all the components on the structure. It gets created by passing the material through an oven for getting semi-cured.

On both the sides of the layer formed, Copper is pre-bonded and then inscribed to show printed films designs.

  • Inner Layer Printing – Printing of the design is done on a laminate and a photo-sensitive film made of photo-reactive chemicals hardens in ultra-violet light and covers the structure. This helps in aligning the blueprints and then drilling of the holes in PCB.
  • Removal of un-necessary Copper – All unwanted Copper is removed with the help of an alkaline chemical solution and the only remain is hardened photo-resist structure.
  • Inspection of Layers –Drilling on the structure is not done without inspecting it well for the alignment. Inner and outer layers are aligned together by drilling holes and then and optical punch machine drills pin through holes to line the layers up. And then, a machine checks the defects to remove those.
  • Laminating and Pressing of Layers – Layers are fused together and the board takes the shape. Metal clamps bind layers together and then the process of lamination starts. Substrate layer goes over prepreg followed by a layer of Copper foil and more prepreg resin. Post this, a mechanical press is used for pressing the layers together.
  • Drilling and Plating – Computer-guided drill creates holes for exposing the inner panels and substrate. Again, extra Copper is removed, and after this process; the board is plated with chemicals.

After the completion of these basic processes; other second-level processes like outer-layer imaging, plating, etching etc. are followed.