If PCB edge clearances aren’t respected by their designers, there could be a lot of problems ahead when it comes time to manufacture the board. Let’s take a look at some of the potential problems if PCB component to edge clearances are not observed, and what you as a PCB designer can do to ensure error-free manufacturing.
While we may think in terms of an individual printed circuit board when designing them, the reality is that circuit boards are often laid out in a panel to help lower production costs. Let’s take a look at what a PCB panel is, and then the eight PCB panelization guidelines that you should know for circuit board design.
In the first three parts of this series we have looked at the schematic capture process, placing components in the physical layout of the board, and finally routing the net connections of the layout. Now it is time to get the board ready to be manufactured, but before we do that there is one critical step that has to be done; running the design rule checks.
In the manufacturing of circuit boards, there are also many opportunities for defects to sneak in and as with everything else, it is important to prevent them from happening. One area that can be prone to defects is when components are soldered onto the board. We’re going to take a look at some of the more common types of soldering defects here in this article and explore some design recommendations that can prevent them from happening in the first place.
The goal of PCB design is to create a fully functional circuit board. However, the first goal-post during PCB layout is to get the board 100% routed. A layout begins first by setting up the design parameters and then placing the components to satisfy their electrical, mechanical, and manufacturing requirements. The only thing left after that is to connect all of the nets with traces. That sounds like it should be pretty easy, doesn’t it? Well sometimes it is, but most of the time it’s much more complex than people realize.
Although it may look like the components on a circuit board are arranged haphazardly, there really is order and intent in their layout. They have to be located to not only provide the best performance of the circuits but also so that the board can be manufactured as easily as possible without any errors. Here in this second of four parts on circuit board design, we will look at some of the PCB layout best practices to help engineers create a superior design.
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