Printed Circuit Board Fabrication

Printed Circuit Boards, otherwise known as PCBs, is a self-contained unit of interconnected electronic components. These interconnected PCBs act as mechanical supports and electric connections of electronic materials. PCBs are used in almost all electronic products. There are many companies that provide PCB assembly and PCB Fabrication services. Depending on specifications, some companies require as little as five days to assemble PCBs, and around 10 days or less for fabrication. This is of course, dependent on the completeness of data that will be sent to them.

In PCB assembly, conductive tracks and pads are etched using copper sheets. They are then formed on a layer of conducting material. After that, they are laminated into a non-conductive substrate. There are many types of PCBs that are put together during the assembly process. It is possible that PCBs can only have one copper layer or single sided, or even two copper layers or double-sided. The third type has multi-layers. These types of construction have different methods during PCB fabrication. Single-sided layers only have components on one side of the substrate. Double-sided boards are used when the number of components is just too much that a single-sided board is not sufficient. Multi-layers have a surface that is made up of layers of circuits and divided by layers of insulation.

PCB assembly requires a much more complicated method than wire wrap or even point-to-point construction, but it can be automated. Assembling is actually faster and cheaper compared to other wiring methods. When a PCB is wired with many electronic components, it is referred to as a printed circuit assembly. Advanced and complicated PCBs require many components such as capacitors, active devices or resistors. There are two types of technology that are used in electrically connecting the circuits. Through-hole technology and surface-mount technology are both utilized in PCB assembly. Single-sided boards usually use through-hole components. Surface-mounted technology is most commonly used in multi-layer PCBs. This type of technology was first patented in the year 1961 by US-based company,Hazeltyne.

PCBPCB assembly and PCB fabrication should be done in a stringent and clean environment. All materials should be free from contamination. The substrates that are most commonly utilized in are fiber glass, woven glass polyester and even Teflon. However, there are new and better materials being developed all the time. The material is reinforced with epoxy resin with a copper foil bonded to one or both sides. During the manufacturing process, two types of quality control inspection are done to ensure that the product is done to the correct specifications and it has no flaws. The first one is through visual means, and the other one is through electrical method. Most of the flaws are actually caused by automated machines.

Both the PCB assembly and the PCB fabrication process requires technical knowledge of not just the components that comprise the actual PCB design, but an overall familiarity with the finished product. There are actually a number of stages that one has to go through in manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards.The highest quality should be maintained in all stages of the process. What is important is that all these processes work efficiently as a unit and as a whole in order to achieve an excellent product.

There is a high worldwide demand for PCBs. Asia has the highest percentage in terms of PCB production in the entire world, with China having a huge percentage of PCB firms. With a high number of PCB producers, competition in the industry is stiff. Still, it’s a given that a company will have an edge if it consistently adheres to strict quality standards.

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