Many gadgets that you use every single day contain circuit boards. Electronic devices are made with different kinds of these boards but one remains quite popular. The printed circuit board allows for many customization options and offers fast production times. However, the popularity of the printed circuit board did take some time to develop. It took 50 years after the invention of the printed circuit board for these devices to become a $7.1 billion industry. In 2012, printed circuit boards had surpassed $60 million in sales. In this post, you will learn more about how these amazing circuit boards are created.
The PCB fabrication process starts with data. This data can come from many different file types as long as it is formatted correctly. Next, the data will be put into a computer system. Before the widespread use of PCB software, these circuit boards had to be designed using sheets of Mylar. Designers would use Mylar sheets to create a photomask for the design project.
The type of specific computer system used will depend on the business. It is the computer that will ensure the data needed for the PCB fabrication process is properly handled. Circuit board assembly services can work with you to ensure this process goes smoothly. Many of these service providers can provide fast turnaround time. In some cases, the total turnaround time for a PCB could be fewer than five days.
Panelization is another part of the PCB fabrication process which connects multiple circuit boards together. Once this process has been completed, you will typically have a much larger circuit board. Sometimes, larger circuit boards might need to be cut into smaller boards. Depanelization occurs when these boards are to be reduced in size. Typically, lasers will be used to cut these boards because of how precise they are.
The final processes of PCB production will ensure that data is properly placed onto these devices. It is during this process that final specifications are made. One important concern for a circuit board, especially in small electronics, is the thickness. The thickness of PCB is measured in copper ounces. Some designers will use a range from 1-2 ounces of copper. However, there are designers who can provide up to 6 copper ounces of thickness in a circuit board.
In summary, there are many processes that go into creating a printed circuit board. Inputting data onto a computer system is the first step of the PCB fabrication process. Next, panelization could occur if circuit board sizes need to be bigger. Data will be placed onto the circuit board where it will be packaged and shipped.