A printed circuit board is the fundamental component of every electronic module. It is very important that the PCB is well designed, as this helps to avoid many problems at later stages.
Below you can find a short description of the PCB production stages to help you better understand the process and, thus allow you to avoid some basic mistakes often made during the project phase, and thus minimise the costs.
PCB production – stages:
1. Collecting all necessary information and converting it to production files
At this stage, additional questions for producer may arise regarding Gerber files and the depaneling of PCBs.
A laminate panel and the copper layers covering it are thoroughly cleaned and they’re then coated with a photosensitive film and photographic mask. Next, the panel is exposed to light – during this process, the areas hit by light harden, and the rest is washed off.
3. Etching the circuit
In this process, unnecessary copper is removed. PCB designers must be aware of the fact that copper tracks cannot lie too close to one another because the etching process requires an area of a certain size.
4. PCB laminating
When there is a large number of layers, the previously produced cores are placed on top of one another, layered with unhardened laminate, and then pressed together in a hydraulic press.
5. Drilling holes and cleaning
Drilling is done by in dedicated machines and is controlled by drill files. At this stage it is necessary to clean the PCB of all the remaining resin and glass fibre and to remove sharp edges.
6. Through-hole plating
PCB laminate is a non-conductive material, which is why it is necessary to use electroless plating.
7. Creating layers of external circuits
In this phase, actions from points 2 and 3 are repeated for the external layers of the printed circuit boards.
8. Finishing the PCB surface
Mechanical cleaning of the surface, layering of the solder mask, colouring the PCB, marking the soldering contacts, and covering it with a layer of flux.
9. Cutting PCB panels
Cutting the PCB to the size required by the customer. In this stage the board is scored (v-cut) and/or milled. The minimum distance between a track and the edge in a PCB should be 0.25mm.
10. Electric test of the PCB (e-test)
We encourage our customers to conduct an e-test for every project. Though initially this increases the production cost, it eliminates defective PCBs in the long run.
Parameters of circuit boards printed by us
|Number of layers||1-32
2-10 (rigid-flex; flexible)
|Minimum laminate thickness||0,2 mm|
|Maximum laminate thickness||4,8 mm|
|Copper thickness||18 μm, 35 μm, 70 μm 105 μm, 140 μm|
|Surface finish||electroless nickel immersion gold (ENiG)
Hot Air Solder Leveling (HASL Pb and Pbf)
organic solderability preservatives
|Available solder mask colours||green, white, black, red, blue
(also available in matt)
|Finish types||removable mask, graphite mask|
|Minimum hole size||0,2 mm|
|Minimum track width||18 μm - 0,1 mm
35 μm - 0,15 mm
70 μm- 0,2 mm
105 μm - 0,25 mm
|Maximum panel size||500 x 675mm (in some cases we are able to provide a longer panel)|
|Mechanical tooling||scoring, milling, incision, through-hole plating, connectivity testing|
|Impedance control||± 7% ÷ 10 %|
|Other options||no drawing, no fixing the solder mask|