Bay Area Circuits recently installed a new Accu-Score AS-100-MAX V-scoring machine in our Silicon Valley facility. This new scoring machine will not only improve the quality of the printed circuit boards scoring process, but also shortens manufacturing process time. Both big wins for our customers. In this post we’ll share a little more information about V-Scoring to help you understand exactly what it is and when to use it.
Let’s answer these basic questions:
What is V-scoring?
Why is V-scoring used?
How do you specify V-scoring?
V-Scoring for Printed Circuit Boards
What is V-scoring?
V-scoring is the process of cutting a “vee” shaped groove on the top and bottom of a circuit board while leaving a minimum amount of material in place so the PC boards stay together. It may be referred to as V-Groove Scoring or V-Scoring.
Why is it used?
Scoring is used primarily when grouping a set of circuit boards together in an array to make the assembly process more efficient. The idea behind scoring the printed circuit boards is to provide a solid structure for the assembly process that would allow for minimal pressure to be applied to then separate the assembled boards.
You can learn more about arrays in our previous post on the subject.
How do you specify scoring?
You can specify the V-score based on the depth of the score or from the cross-sectional view, indicating the distance between “vees”. This residual material is called the Web. The standard way to specify this is by dividing each measurement equally, 1/3rd cut on top and 1/3rd cut on the bottom, leaving 1/3rd web in the middle. This method can be adjusted based on overall size of the array and the desired difficulty to later separate or de-panel the boards (for more information on this, view the Web Thickness Guidelines published by AccuSystems Corp).
If you want to be more technically accurate you can look at the width of the score line. Most frequently a 30 degree blade is used for cutting the score line. Each specific width specified will have a corresponding depth of cut. The remaining Web can then be calculated based on the thickness of the board material being used. It is important to remember that for any of these measurements there is an allowed tolerance of +/- .002″.
Less commonly used (but sometimes necessary) is the option for jump scoring. Instead of completing a continuous score from one end of the array to the other, the blade stops before the end of the PC boards. This allows for a much more rigid array during the assembly process.
Of course if you have any questions we have an experienced staff that is ready to assist you!