Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the need for rapid medical device product development has been dramatically highlighted. We all marveled at how quickly heavy equipment manufacturers switched production over to building urgently needed medical supplies such as respirators and personal protective equipment. The droves of people who stepped up with home-made protective face masks—often funding a good cause—have been positively inspiring. But for the development of new medical products, this ingenuity needs to be taken to the next level. Medical device innovators need to partner with electronics manufacturers that are equipped to handle these six challenges in the development of their products.
During the fabrication of a circuit board, there’s a tremendous amount of heat and pressure used that can cause failures if the board is not designed correctly for it. In the same way, the temperatures used during assembly for soldering components to the board can create problems if the board isn’t designed specifically to evenly distribute the heat. Fortunately, there are design techniques that can mitigate these problems.
To avoid designing a circuit board that isn’t manufacturable, minimum standards for component spacing must be adhered to in the design layout. Of course, there are many other factors to consider as well, including the electrical and thermal performance of the board, but designing for manufacturability (DFM) is just as important. There are industry standards that offer some assistance with this, however, and here we’ll look at how IPC component spacing guidelines can help as you design.
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.
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