Most Common Manufacturing Problems Faced by Manufacturers for PCB Designing
PCB or Printed Circuit Board is the heartbeat of your electronics. Any malfunctioning can lead to a complete shutdown of your device. The process of designing and assembling a PCB is a critical job, which makes it essential for a PCB designer to be thorough with the hardware designs for uninterrupted manufacturing of the circuit board.
Gelco, with its years of experience in PCB designing and manufacturing, is here to share its expertise with you and make things convenient. Below we share with you some commonly faced problems that might help you avoid any manufacturing issues.
Exposure to High Temperature
PCB manufacturing process exposes the board to high temperatures. But not all components hold the capacity to withstand such exposure and can lead to overheating and burning of the components on the board. Make sure there is enough space between the components for the heat to pass through. This reduces the chances of trapping of heat in between the components that cause overheating.
Quality of the Components
Usually, the components used on the board are poorly manufactured or outdated. The designer needs to be aware of the quality of the components being used. Outdated or old components might not be that effective which could affect the functioning of the board. Also, check for loose components, any residual on the boards or any connection issue to avoid damage.
Not all materials might be functional on different circuit types. Each circuit type requires specific materials for its smooth functioning. Ensure the material being used for fabrication or on the board is well suited as per the operating environment.
A common problem that occurs is that during the deposition process if the copper layer isn’t evenly spread, voids are created in the plating. This interrupts the smooth flow of electric currents and can also cause air bubbles and contamination.
Copper Exposure to cause Corrosion
Copper is an active component of a PCB but due to its vulnerability towards corrosion, it can cause many issues. Usually, the copper is layered with other materials to avoid exposure which reduces the risk of corrosion. This makes it essential for the designer to check if the copper is properly layered and there is sufficient clearance between the copper and the edge. Because if it isn’t, then there are chances that during trimming the coating also gets trimmed and leave the copper open for exposure. The PCB design software has a feature – Design Rule Check, this can come in handy to check for such errors. Missing solder between the pads can lead to the formation of a solder bridge during assembly which can also cause copper exposure.
One of the key components for the soldering process are the thermals. They connect the pads to the surface and help the pads to disperse heat. PCB designers need to be cautious of the formation of any voids as they restrict the heat transfer and can cause overheating. The situation is common if the vias are placed too close to each other.
Angles as Acid Traps
Mostly during the etching process, acid gets trapped in the angels. The trapped acid eats up the materials being used and can cause issues with connections leading to defective circuits. Cupric chloride etching is suggested as it doesn’t face such a problem.
During the entire PCB manufacturing, many chemicals are used. One must ensure of any leakage as they leave traces behind that could cause corrosion of material and further damage like a short circuit.
The PCB designer needs to be sure that the design of the circuit board is free from any flaws. One of the common design flaws is electromagnetic interference. The manufacturing process generates a lot of electromagnetic energy. If PCB isn’t well designed the energy generated can cause interference with the circuit functioning and can damage the board.
While designing or manufacturing a PCB, do keep the above points in mind to avoid any issues. Also, it is suggested to make use of DFM (Design for Manufacturability). It helps to identify any possible problems and ensures their elimination during the assembly process itself. It thoroughly inspects the layout of the board and any errors can be fixed before assembling the PCB, hence saves time, effort and any possible damage.