Your Concise Guide To PCB Manufacturing

Printed Circuit Board fabrication (also known as PCB manufacturing) is the name given to the process where circuit boards are assembled. Consequently, PCB manufacturing is a critical part of our daily lives and work. This is due to the fact that circuit boards are the main feature behind just about every kind of technology you use in your daily life and work. This is true for everything from the most innovative laptops and smartphones to the simplest of clocks. We take a closer look at this process below.

Understanding the Basics: A Little More About the PCB Manufacturing Process

1. Variety

There are different kinds of printed circuit boards that can be created from companies like Unsurprisingly, need as well as type and function (or purpose) of the device go a long way in determining the type of PCB that will be created or manufactured. Of course, the kinds of circuit boards needed for clocks will not be the same circuit boards needed for cellular phones. Even among clocks and cell phones, the brand and make will determine which kind of circuit board will be appropriate. As such, organizations will need to look at the device being serviced and the kind of circuit board that will be needed for the highest possible functionalities.

2. Manufacturing options

Importantly, companies can opt to do their PCB manufacturing in-house or outsource the same. Naturally, the better of the two options will depend largely on the organization’s standing – including size, budget, and other available resources like human capital. Some organizations can afford to have their printing done in-house and may find the same to be more cost-effective. On the other hand, some organizations may find it more feasible and prudent to outsource the same.

Additionally, as far as constituents and substances are concerned, PCBs can be made from (or using) a variety of materials. Of course, it goes without saying that the higher quality materials correlate with circuit boards that can function at higher capacity levels. This is due largely to the fact that a higher quality material the greater level of stability needed to process and accommodate the high-functioning, complex tasks that are an increasing feature among today’s smaller and simultaneously smarter devices.

4. The Process

The PCB manufacturing process includes carrying out the following steps:

– Choose available bare PCB boards

– Remove the unnecessary copper and create the required tracks

– Place printed circuit board into ferric chloride to etch those areas where both the tracks and the copper is not needed. Importantly, the board should stay in the ferric chloride for the right amount of time as determined by the thickness of the copper used on the board, as well as the concentration of the ferric chloride. This method is known as photographic processing.

– In addition to photographic processing, there are other PCB manufacturing options that are less popularly used. These include the silkscreening process and the milling machine process.

5. Multilayered Circuit Boards

As intimated above, electric circuits are becoming increasingly complex. As such, one circuit board layer with only two sides simply may not be enough. Admittedly, a greater degree of accuracy and quality control at the manufacturing level needs to be employed for multilayered boards. Importantly, each layer of the multilayered circuit board is thinner than if only one board were being used.

Bringing it All Together

Importantly, the above is by no means an exhaustive expose on PCB manufacturing and all that the process entails. This is as many new areas of technology has facilitated improvements to the process which have in turn resulted in circuit boards that are more stable and more complex. Essentially, PCB manufacturing is a continuously evolving process that needs to move with the evolution and dictates of technological developments across all sectors of society.