Propositional Evaluation & Outcomes Assurance by Andrew Hawkins is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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Propositional Evalua Group

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Where To Buy Pcb Boards

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Their local team has decades of experience manufacturing printed circuit boards and assembling electronic systems. They have particular strength in component selection, and over 30 years managing Asia-based manufacturing services.

We produce high quality bare printed circuit boards, focused on the needs of prototyping, hobby design, and light production. All our services offer purple soldermask over bare copper (SMOBC) and an Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG) finish. These are suitable for a lead-free reflow process, and are RoHS compliant.

Different Design in Panel: It is possible to have different boards combined together on the same panel. If your product requires multiple different boards then you can have them all on the same panel to save costs. Although there is an additional fee for having a panel with different board designs.

FR-4 comes in different Tg versions where Tg is known as the glass transition temperature. It is the temperature at which the material begins to lose its rigidness and becomes more rubbery. For most designs TG150-160 is a good choice with no additional cost. Stepping up to TG170-180 adds considerable cost.

Blind vias and buried vias are only used when small size is critical because they significantly increase the board cost. Normal vias are through-hole meaning then go through all layers, even the layers where they are not needed. These vias can take up unnecessary space on the layers where they are not connected. A blind via connects from an outer layer to an inner layer so you can only see one end visibly on the final board. A buried via instead connects between two inner layers and is totally invisible on the final board.

Min track / Spacing: This is minimum allowable width for any routing traces/tracks and the minimum space allowed between traces. This is measured in mils (a mil is a thousandth of an inch). 6 mils is probably the most common, but many designs where space is critical may need to go down to 3 to 5 mils. Once you go below 6 mils the price begins to increase significantly.

A more expensive process is to actually fill or plug the vias. This is commonly used on tight spaced BGA packages where you need to place vias very close to the chip pins. These vias can wick away solder from the chip pin leaving a poor quality solder connection. Plugging the vias in this case can solve this issue.

Board type: This sets whether the boards are assembled as single pieces, or if they are assembled as a panel. For board counts higher than 20 pieces or board sizes smaller than 50mm per side then panelized will be preferred so as to make the manufacturing process more efficient.

Number of Through-Hole Parts: This is the number of components that require a through-hole assembly process. Through-hole parts are rarely used on modern electronic designs except in cases where a higher strength attachment is necessary such as for a connector that will experience regular forces.

When it comes to ordering professionally produced boards, whether that be low quantities for prototyping, or higher volumes for production some of my favorite manufacturers include Seeed Studio, PCB Way, and Bittele in China, and in the U.S. I recommend Sunstone Circuits.

Also one big downside with hand soldering is if you find problems with your design it can be challenging to differentiate between bad soldering and more fundamental design issues. By ordering boards and assembly from a professional manufacturer it will greatly simplify the testing and debug of your design.

CPF Stencils (or Component Print Frame) are used to apply solder paste directly onto BGA and Leadless components. A CPF stencil makes for simple alignment when pasting, and serves as an excellent tool for applying paste when boards are highly populated.All CPF stencils are made from stainless steel and are reusable after a quick wash in an alcohol based cleaner.All CPF stencils are custom made to order per your specification.

Electroformed stencils off


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