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Circuit Board Processing Flow

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The circuit board fabrication process flow is a series of precise manufacturing steps used to produce printed circuit boards (PCBs). The following is a general circuit board fabrication process flow:

Design Input: 

Create PCB layout and routing design based on circuit design input.

Manufacturing Preparation: 

Determine board specifications and type.

Prepare documents required for manufacturing such as Gerber files, drill files and netlist data.

Inner Layer Fabrication: 

Copper Clad Board Preparation: 

Select appropriate boards and attach copper cladding.

Graphics Transfer: 

Transfer of the design onto the copper foil, usually using photographic or direct imaging techniques.

Outer Layer Fabrication: 

Image transfer and etching of the outer copper foil to form the outer circuit graphics.


Press-fit the inner and outer layers of copper foil with insulating materials (e.g., semi-cured sheets) to form a multilayer board structure.


Drill the required holes, including through holes, blind holes and buried holes.

Hole Metallization: 

The drilled holes are chemically or physically metallized to form electrical connections.

Pattern Plating: 

Pattern plating is performed on the copper layer to increase the thickness of the copper layer and improve the reliability of the circuit.

Soldermask Fabrication: 

Soldermask is applied to the copper layer to protect it from contamination and corrosion.

Surface Treatment: 

surface treatment according to the need, such as tin spraying, organic protective film (OSP), electroplating nickel gold (ENIG), hard gold, etc..

Silk-screen Printing: 

produce silk-screen layer, including component identification and positioning marks.

Quality Inspection: 

Inspection of the appearance, size and conductivity of the circuit board.

Electrical Performance Testing: 

Perform impedance test, conduction test, insulation resistance test, etc. to ensure that the circuit performance meets the requirements.


Clean the circuit boards to remove residues from the production process.


Cut and mold the circuit boards according to the shape requirements of the final product.

Final Inspection: 

Conduct final appearance and performance inspection of the completed circuit boards.


Pack the qualified circuit boards and prepare them for shipment.


Send the packaged boards to customers.

Design Review: 

Review the design before production to ensure that the design meets the manufacturability (DFM) requirements.

Material Preparation: 

Select appropriate substrate materials, such as FR-4, HF materials, etc., according to design requirements.

Inner Layer Alignment: 

Ensure the accuracy of alignment between inner layers in the production of multilayer boards to avoid quality problems caused by misalignment.

Lamination Process: 

Control the pressure, temperature and time in the lamination process to ensure the quality and consistency of interlayer bonding.


AOI (Automated Optical Inspection): 

Use automated optical inspection equipment to detect defects on the surface of the circuit board.

X-ray Inspection: 

X-ray inspection of circuit boards to identify internal defects such as voids and cracks.

ICT (In-Circuit Testing): 

In-circuit test equipment is used to test components and connections on the board.

Flying Probe Testing: 

Use flying probe testers for more flexible electrical performance testing.

BGA (Ball Grid Array) Repair: 

Professional inspection and possible repair of package components such as BGAs.

3D X-ray Inspection: 

3D X-ray inspection of complex multilayer boards to identify more hidden defects.

Environmental Stress Screening (ESS): 

Environmental stress testing of circuit boards for high temperature, low temperature, humidity, etc. to screen for early failure.

Aging Test: 

Conduct aging tests on circuit boards to evaluate their long-term reliability.

Solderability Test: 

Ensure that the circuit board's pads have good solderability to facilitate the subsequent assembly process.

Cleanliness Test: 

Ensure that the surface of the board is clean and free of residual photosensitizers, fluxes, etc.

RoHS Compliance Testing: 

Ensure that the materials and processes used in the production of circuit boards meet environmental requirements.

Batch Management: 

Track and manage production batches for quality control and problem tracking.

Customized Requirements: 

Customized production according to the special requirements of customers.

Production Data Recording: 

Record key data in the production process for quality control and process optimization.

Continuous Improvement: 

Based on production data and feedback, continuously optimize the process and improve product quality.

Supply Chain Coordination: 

Coordinate with suppliers to ensure the quality and timely supply of raw materials.

Risk Management: 

Identify potential risks in the production process and develop corresponding risk control measures.

After-sales Service: 

Provide the necessary technical support and after-sales service to solve the problems encountered by customers in the process of use.

Circuit board processing is a comprehensive manufacturing process, involving multiple process steps and quality control links. With the development of technology and the diversification of customer needs, circuit board manufacturers need to continuously innovate and optimize the production process to meet the market demand for high-performance, high-reliability circuit boards.

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