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PCB Process from Design to Production

The process of PCB from design to production usually includes the following steps:

Design: According to the circuit schematic and parameter requirements, the use of electronic design automation (EDA) software for circuit design, and generate PCB board diagrams.

Plate Making: According to the PCB board plan for plate making, commonly used plate making methods including photolithography, laser imaging method, electron beam exposure method.

Etching: The copper layer after plate making is covered with glass fiber (or other materials), and then the unwanted parts are corroded off using chemicals to form the circuit pattern.

Plating: The surface of the copper layer is plated with a layer of metal to enhance its conductivity.

Hole Punching: Punching holes in the board according to the position in the circuit diagram where the components need to be inserted.

Coating: Printing text, symbols, etc. on the PCB board and marking it with numbering, categorization, etc.

Welding: Welding components to the PCB board, usually using wave soldering, manual welding and other methods.

Test: PCB board function test to verify its electrical properties and reliability.

Packaging: The PCB board has been tested and qualified for packaging and labeling.

The specific process may vary slightly depending on the actual situation.


Characteristics of PCB from Design to Production

Complexity: The production process of PCB involves several links and multiple procedures, including design, material preparation, manufacturing, testing, etc.. Each link has its own specific requirements and operational specifications, requiring operators to have certain specialized knowledge and skills.

High Precision: PCB design and manufacturing requires high-precision equipment and processes to ensure the accurate layout and precise size of electronic components. At the same time, for some high-precision requirements of electronic equipment, PCB manufacturing also needs to meet the corresponding accuracy standards.

High Degree of Automation: In order to improve production efficiency and reduce costs, the PCB production process as far as possible using automated equipment and processes. This reduces human error and improves product quality and consistency.

Customized Production: PCBs are often customized to the needs of specific electronic devices. Therefore, PCBs need to be designed and manufactured with a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to respond quickly to customer needs.

Reliability: PCB is the core component of electronic equipment, its quality and reliability directly affect the performance and service life of the entire electronic equipment. Therefore, the PCB production process requires strict quality control and reliability assurance.

Environmental Requirements: PCB production process will use some harmful substances and energy, so it is necessary to take appropriate environmental protection measures, such as waste classification, recycling and reuse, in order to reduce the impact on the environment.

Fast Technology Update: With the continuous development and progress of electronic technology, PCB design and manufacturing technology is also constantly updated and upgraded. New manufacturing processes, materials and equipment continue to emerge, making the PCB production process has a high technical content and innovation.

Participation in The Entire Electronic Equipment Life Cycle: PCB not only in the design and manufacture of electronic equipment plays a key role in the process, but also throughout the life cycle of electronic equipment. Once the electronic device is put into use, PCB needs to work continuously and stably to ensure the normal operation of the electronic device.

Material Diversity: There are a variety of options for materials used to make PCBs, including metals, insulating materials, conductive materials, and so on. Different materials have different characteristics, such as high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, conductivity, etc., and can be selected according to the needs of electronic devices.

Interaction in The Manufacturing Process: In the manufacturing process of PCBs, there is a need for close interaction and coordination between various segments. For example, the design process needs to take into account the feasibility and efficiency of the manufacturing process, and the manufacturing process needs to be accurately processed and assembled according to the design requirements. This interaction makes the PCB manufacturing process highly synergistic and dependent.

Strict Quality Control: Due to the core position of PCB in electronic equipment, its quality is directly related to the performance and service life of the whole electronic equipment. Therefore, the PCB manufacturing process needs to implement strict quality control, including raw material inspection, production process monitoring and finished product inspection and other links.

Continuous Technological Innovation: With the continuous development of science and technology, PCB manufacturing technology is also continuous innovation and progress. New manufacturing processes, materials and equipment continue to emerge, providing more choices and possibilities for PCB manufacturing. At the same time, in order to meet customer requirements for high performance, low cost and environmental protection, PCB manufacturing enterprises need to continue to technological innovation and upgrading.

Strong Industrial Correlation: PCB manufacturing involves a number of industrial fields, such as electronic components, semiconductor materials, chemical materials and so on. The correlation and interaction between these industries have an important impact on the PCB manufacturing process. At the same time, the survival and development of PCB manufacturing enterprises also depends on the stability and development of these industries.

High Cost: PCB manufacturing needs to go through many links and processes, involving a wide range of equipment and raw materials, so the manufacturing cost is relatively high. At the same time, in order to meet customer requirements for high quality and high performance, PCB manufacturing companies need to invest more money and human resources for research and development and production.

Need for Specialized Skills: PCB manufacturing requires specialized skills and knowledge, including circuit design, board making technology, welding technology and so on. Operators need to undergo rigorous training and assessment in order to be qualified for the corresponding positions and jobs.

Need to Combine with A Variety of Disciplinary Knowledge: PCB manufacturing involves electronics, chemistry, physics and other disciplines of knowledge. For example, in the circuit design process requires the use of electronic and circuit knowledge, in the production of boards need to use chemical and material knowledge, in the welding process requires the use of physical and process knowledge.

Customized Design: PCBs are usually customized according to the needs of specific electronic devices. Different electronic devices have different requirements for PCB specifications, performance and layout. Therefore, PCBs need to be designed with a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to respond quickly to customer needs.

Strict Safety Measures are Required: Since the manufacturing process of PCB involves some hazardous substances and operations, such as chemicals, high temperature, high pressure, etc., strict safety measures and operating procedures are required to ensure the safety of operators and environmental protection.

Involving Environmental Issues: The manufacturing process of PCB will produce some waste and pollutants, such as waste gas, waste water, waste residue, etc. These wastes will have a certain impact on the environment. Therefore, PCB manufacturing companies need to take appropriate environmental protection measures, such as waste classification, recycling and reuse, in order to reduce the impact on the environment.

Carrying Electronic Components: PCB, as a support body for electronic components, is an important foundation for realizing the functions of electronic equipment. It can fix and protect the electronic components to ensure that the electronic equipment can work normally.

Realize The Electrical Connection: PCB on the line and components through welding, plugging and other ways to realize the electrical connection, so that electronic equipment can complete the signal transmission, power supply and other functions.

Improve The Reliability and Stability: PCB design and manufacturing needs to go through multiple inspection and testing to ensure its reliability and stability. For example, warpage test, high temperature resistance test, etc. are required during the manufacturing process to ensure that the PCB can maintain stability in different environments.

Adapt to Diversified Needs: PCB can be customized according to the needs of different electronic devices. For example, single panel, double-sided tin spraying board, double-sided board nickel-gold plating, multilayer board nickel-gold plating, multilayer board immersion nickel-gold plate and other different processes PCB can meet the needs of different customers.

Long Production Cycle: PCB manufacturing needs to go through several links and processes, including design, board making, welding, testing, etc., so the production cycle is relatively long. At the same time, in order to meet customer requirements for high quality and high performance,PCBmanufacturing companies need to invest more time and resources for research and development and production.

Involving a Variety of Technical Standards and Norms: PCB manufacturing needs to follow a variety of technical standards and norms to ensure its quality and reliability. For example, IPC (International Electronics Industry Connection Association) developed the IPC standard is an important reference in the PCB manufacturing process.

Fast Update: With the continuous development and progress of electronic technology, PCB design and manufacturing technology is also constantly updated and upgraded. New manufacturing processes, materials and equipment continue to emerge, so that PCB manufacturing enterprises need to continue technological innovation and upgrading to meet market demand.


Considerations in PCB Design and Production

Design Rule Check: After the PCB design is completed, a design rule check is required to ensure that the design meets the specifications and requirements. This includes checking whether the component layout, wiring rules, signal and power levels, etc. are reasonably compliant.

Avoid Signal Interference: In PCB design, the problem of signal interference needs to be considered. For example, for high-speed signal lines, it is necessary to avoid cross-wiring with other signal lines, and also to avoid excessive distance from the ground. In addition, for some components that are susceptible to interference, it is also necessary to carry out a reasonable layout and protection.

Component Layout: In PCB design, the layout of components is very important. Need to consider the size, shape and pin location of components, but also need to consider the distance between components and mutual interference. Reasonable component layout can improve the performance and stability of the circuit.

Routing Rules and Paths: In PCB design, routing rules and paths are also issues that need attention. Need to comply with certain wiring rules and paths, such as avoiding signal lines and power lines cross wiring, need to avoid signal lines and the distance between the ground line is too large, to ensure that the wiring path is simple and intuitive. At the same time, you need to consider the level of signal and power to avoid mutual interference and impact.

Production Process Issues: In the PCB production process, the need to pay attention to the production process issues. For example, it is necessary to ensure the quality of the surface treatment of the PCB board, the processing accuracy of the pads, and the reliability of the welding of components. These process issues directly affect the quality and reliability of the PCB.

Testing Issues: After the completion of PCB production, testing needs to be carried out to verify its performance and quality. Attention needs to be paid to the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the test, such as the need for functional testing, performance testing, reliability testing, etc., to ensure that the PCB meets the design requirements and specifications.

Environmental Issues: In the PCB design and production process, need to pay attention to environmental issues. For example, the need to choose environmentally friendly materials, reduce the generation of waste, the use of environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, etc., in order to reduce the impact on the environment.

Material Selection: PCB material selection needs to consider circuit performance, temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, insulation and other factors. Different materials have different characteristics and need to be selected according to actual needs.

Manufacturing Precision: PCB manufacturing precision needs to be strictly controlled to ensure the accuracy of the circuit board dimensions and the accuracy of component location. This requires the use of high-precision manufacturing equipment and processes, and in strict accordance with the process requirements.

Reliability Testing: PCB reliability testing is an important part of ensuring its quality and reliability. Environmental adaptability test, life test, stress test, etc. are needed to evaluate the performance of PCB in different environments and usage conditions.

Safety Issues: PCB design and production process needs to pay attention to safety issues, such as preventing over-current, over-voltage, short-circuit and other safety risks. Need to take appropriate protective measures to ensure the safety and stability of the circuit board in the process of use.

Cost Issues: PCB design and production need to consider the cost issues, including material costs, manufacturing costs, labor costs and so on. Need to ensure quality and reliability under the premise of reducing costs as much as possible to improve cost-effectiveness.

Maintainability and Repairability: PCB design and production need to consider the maintainability and repairability. Standardized design needs to be used to facilitate the replacement and repair of components, but also to consider the upgrading and expansion of the circuit board to meet changing needs.

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC): PCB design and production need to consider electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) issues to ensure that the circuit board will not interfere or be interfered with by other electronic equipment during use. EMC testing and evaluation is required to ensure that the board complies with relevant standards and specifications.

Character Cover Pad and Character Design Size: In PCB design, character cover pads and character design size are issues that need attention. If the character cover pads are too large, it will make the printed circuit board pass test and component soldering becomes inconvenient. Character design is too small, will lead to screen printing difficulties, too large to make the characters overlap each other, difficult to distinguish.

Single-panel Design Issues: If the single-panel design in the TOP layer, such as not adding the description of the positive and negative do, made out of the board loaded with devices may not be good welding.

Processing Level Definition is Not Clear: In the multilayer PCB design, the need for multi-layer design based on circuit requirements and cost considerations. If the processing level definition is not clear, will lead to the production of PCB board may not meet the requirements.

Insulation: For high-voltage circuits, PCB materials with high insulation properties need to be selected for manufacturing. At the same time for special circuit design, also need to consider the insulation performance requirements.

Layout of The Pads: Should be a reasonable layout of the pad location and size, to avoid short circuits between the pads or spacing is too small, resulting in unreliable welding.

Special Material Selection: For special circuit design, it is necessary to select high temperature, high voltage and high frequency resistant materials for manufacturing to support specific performance requirements.

PCB Warpage: PCB warpage also needs special attention, excessive warpage may lead to soldering difficulties or circuit failures.

PCB Surface Treatment: PCB surface treatment will also affect its quality and reliability, need to choose the right surface treatment to adapt to different application scenarios.


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