ThePCB Manufacturing Processes

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      <br>In the world of electronics, PCB manufacturing is a vital part and processes that can be utilized to create products of varying sizes, shapes and colors as well as various functional applications. A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and connects electronic or electrical elements with conductive traces, pads and other physical features etched into one or more layer levels of a non-metallic substrate. The standard thickness of a PCB is only about 0.6 mm, though many boards are available in other thicknesses and widths. Printed circuit board manufacturing is done mainly in two distinct areas of the world: in China and in Taiwan. Outsourcing to these two PCB manufacturing hubs provides companies and manufacturers with high-quality and less-cost production capabilities.<br>
      <br>While in the Orient, China, high-tech printed circuit board manufacturing takes place, traditionally, at a “plant” facility consisting of several individual workplaces. One area of these plants is typically devoted to the production of flexible PCBs, which are then “hot-rolled” in a mechanical oven. These PCBs are made by using a hot roll process, also known as a roll-forming process, in which hot air is compressed between rollers and sheets of resin. To form this hot roll, a roller excites a chemical reaction between resins and heat. The resulting material is then shaped like a tube by applying pressure to the hot roll, which hardens into a smooth, uniform rod of resin that is then “pulled” through a die (torque).<br>
      <br>Flexible PCB manufacturing in the United States has traditionally been done at large industrial companies with extensive facilities that enable the assembly of large numbers of flexible PCBs. While these large facilities may be able to handle large orders, they have difficulty in producing samples for small companies and even small batches. Many small firms decide to work with small manufacturers who are able to meet their tight deadlines and, because they are usually much smaller firms, have lower costs.<br>
      <br>For smaller firms working with a single supplier, it is common to work with the supplier to derive both the PCB and the solder mask separately, with the PCB manufactured by a separate company. This is sometimes combined with a hot lamination process (which use a heat pressurized liquid solution) to obtain a more consistent thickness of the PCB layer, as well as greater flexibility. Often, the two parts are then combined for production. Alternatively, some firms choose to utilize a PCB fabrication company to perform all of the components of the PCB, including pcb design, pcb production, and even soldering. Because the firm is using a single vendor for the major components of the PCB, it can be easier to obtain a more consistent end product than if the firm were performing each of these tasks itself.<br>
      <br>The PCB has played an integral role in the design of many different consumer products over the years, including personal digital assistants, mobile phones, medical equipment, watches, cameras, hearing aids, televisions, and other electronic devices. In the past, companies designing these consumer products had to use either glass or plastic due to the difficulty of designing circuits with either one of these materials. Advancements in PC manufacturing have resulted in the development of PCBs that exhibit a greater level of flexibility compared to both glass and plastic.<br>
      <br>Flexible PCB manufacturing has become increasingly popular as a result of advances in PCB technology. These new printed circuit boards exhibit greater electrical performance than their predecessors. The flexible PCBs are able to exhibit a higher level of resistance to indentation, impact, heat, and moisture. The increase in flexibility also permits the use of a variety of different materials in the PCBs. These include solid substrate, semi-conductor in circuit boards, and thermoplastics.<br>

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