For the next in our PCB101 series we will be talking about the final fabrication on the board.
Once we finished applying the board finishes mentioned in our last post in this series it is time to cut our rout out the individual boards.
The boards can be routed out as individual small boards or they may be an array (multiple boards) still connected via tabs or score lines. This is done to make the assembly process faster and the boards are broken apart afterwards. We will be publishing more details on arrays in a later post as well.
The panels are placed on a CNC router and a router bit that is typically .093 in size is used to cut out the boards. The panels will be stacked two or three high depending on the overall thickness of each of them.
Other fabrication that might need to be done are slots, chamfers and beveled edges. Slots and chamfers are usually done during the final rout process. If needed a different size of router bit can be used to cut out slots as needed.
Beveling of edges such as for card connector boards is done by hand. A small jig is setup to make it easier for the operator to keep the boards at the right angle to make the needed sanding to get the right bevel on the board edge.
The boards will be checked for cleanliness, sharp edges, burrs etc. and cleaned up as needed.
Circuit Boards Assembly
The boards will need to be electrically tested (which we will talk about in a later post) before circuit boards assembly can begin, and then have a final inspection to make sure they meet the IPC-600A inspection guidelines for the required class of board (I, II or III). The most common is class II.
The boards are then packaged up and shipped out. Circuit boards assembly can be started.
It’s a takes a lot of different processes to get to this point but the final boards will be very high quality and will be a key part of the product that it will eventually be manufactured in.
It is a always a satisfying feeling when we ship out another set of quality boards to our customers.
If you have any questions about this post please feel free to add it to the comments below.