Each circuit board that you see being produced by a PCB contract manufacturer first started its life as a schematic. Someone placed the symbols on the schematic and connected nets to the symbol pins in order to create the design data that would drive the layout of the PCB. Let’s take a closer look at what PCB schematic capture is, and some of the do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of as you design your printed circuit boards.
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The advantage of using the PCB contract manufacturer for the box build is that they are already equipped to handle this level of project management and documentation support. Not only are they used to working with multiple outside resources for parts and materials acquisition, but they also have the engineering and manufacturing staff to handle the mechanical design and build as well. This gives them another advantage over using multiple vendors, which is that all aspects of the box build will be controlled in one location.
There are countless examples throughout human history of how using the wrong tool for the job can create a lot of problems. Since most of us have tried to use a slotted screwdriver in a Phillips head at one time or another, we are all probably pretty well familiar with how this works. This universal law extends way beyond using hand tools, however; it can also be applied to building printed circuit boards. By using a PCB contract manufacturer to build your electronics, you will be working with the right tools that will give you these seven benefits.
Wave soldering is the oldest form of soldering used in the mass-production of circuit boards, and it is still used to a great extent. Let’s take a look here at this process, and find out a little more about how component orientation for wave soldering can make a big difference in the manufacturability of your circuit board.
Circuit boards can get out of whack too, and when that happens they can bend and twist in ways that are not good for the board. This effect happens when some areas of the board have more copper than others. To prevent this, it is a good idea to even out the amount of copper fill used between the different open areas of the board. Here is some more information on why this problem occurs, and what you should do to ensure that your circuit board has good PCB copper balance.
EMI can be generated in a number of different ways on a PCB, with one of the biggest problems coming from the onboard power supply circuitry. Let’s take a closer look at this problem and some design ideas for reducing EMI in switching power supplies.
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