PCB design is something that many people don’t take into account or are completely unaware of — but they do affect the average person on a daily basis. A PCB is a thin board of fiberglass, composite epoxy, or another type of laminate material — seemingly innocuous. What make PCB so valuable are the pathways that can be etched onto the board. These designs connect different PCB components, like transistors, resistors, and integrated circuits. Ultimately, what this means is that PCB is a crucial part of both laptop and desktop computers. PCB designers typically find themselves hard at work on prototypes before designs are finalized. Prototype assembly services are often more complicated than many would think — as are circuit board assembly services. But this is a major industry in the United States; in 2014, the revenue from circuit board and electronic component manufacturing in reached $44 billion. Below, we’ll look into how circuit board and prototype assembly services work, as well as the variations in PCB.
How Do PCB Designers Work?
PCB designers are craftsmen, and their services take a lot of skill. With that being said, it isn’t as if they’re hand-etching pathways into PCB without specific plans in mind. Usually, board designers use computer-aided programs to lay out the circuit pattern on the board. By the time they’re done, the spaces between electrical conducting paths are often .04 inches or smaller. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything always works out according to plan. 70% of surface assembly quality issues could be accounted for by problems with the printing techniques, without consideration of PCB design or quality of components and printed boards. When there are quality issues with PCB, laptops and computers can be rendered completely useless. Therefore, it’s important that these boards are well-made.
How Are Boards Assembled?
When it comes to circuit boards, there are several different methods of assembly. Typically, double-sided circuit boards connect the circuits on both sides using one of two methods: through-hole technology and surface-mount technology. Of course, boards need to be soldered, as well — but soldering quality can be dependent on the temperature involved in the process.
How Is PCB Trace Thickness Measured?
One factor to take into consideration regarding PCB is trace thickness. Trace thickness is measured in ounces of copper. Usually, PCB designers use one ounce or two ounce copper, but many manufacturers can provide six ounces of thickness. When copper thickness is over three ounces, in the inner and outer layers, it is referred to as heavy copper PCB. No matter what type of PCB is used for circuit boards or prototypes, it is crucial that professional services are used to render them.
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