Printed Circuit Boards Manufacturing Process

1 - PCB Design and Output

The process of designing a PCB usually involves converting your idea into reality by using world-class electronic design software (Altium Designer). Design intent is being captured using the Schematic Capture Tool, which defines the electrical connectivity of the PCB. Netlist will then be generated and imported to the PCB tool, which can then be used for the layout and design of the board. Once the PCB design is completed, designers can then convert it into Gerber files which can be imported into simulation tool (CST Studio Suite) to identify potential signal integrity, power integrity and electromagnetic compatibility issues. Once the PCB design is approved for production, fabrication of the board requires files like Gerber, NC Drill, Bill of Materials (BOM), Test Point Report and Pick and Place Assembly that can be obtained from the PCB layout for manufacturing. Manufacturing machine software (Ucamco UcamX) will run Design Rule Check on Gerber files for manufacturability and necessary CAM editing for various manufacturing process requirements.

Printed Circuit Boards Manufacturing

2 - From Design File to Film

Manufacturers use a laser plotter (Ucamco Calibr8tor), which makes photo films of the PCBs to print circuit boards, then use the films to image the PCBs. Ucamco Calibr8tor is one of the plotter which use incredibly precise printing technology to provide a highly detailed film of the PCB design. Finishing the film by using PCB Film Processor (Colenta NG) to wash the unwanted and exhausted processing chemicals and develop the image on film. The processor incorporates a non opposed roller transport system has been produced to ensure minimal contact with the film emulsion and has a series of intermediate wash water crossovers which safely transfer the film between each stage of processing to produce high quality PCB images requiring the minimum of operator involvement.

Printed Circuit Boards Manufacturing

3 - PCB Drilling & Plating Holes

Holes are drilled into the stack board for an x-ray locator to identify the proper drill target spots using PCB drilling machine (Plutitec), It also capable of outer layers and inner layers X-Ray optimisation, micro-drilling, precise-routing and coordinates measuring. Plutitec drills registration holes to secure the stack for the series of more specific holes. After drilling, the panel moves onto plating. The through-hole plating galvanic process fuses the different layers together using chemical deposition. After a thorough cleaning via electroplating plant (Walter Lemmen), the panel pre-treated by a wet chemical process, by metallizing the substrate inside the hole and thereby establishing connection between the individual layers.

Printed Circuit Boards Manufacturing

4 - Solder Mask and Legend Printing

UV curing has been widely adopted in many industries including electronics manufacturing. New generation UV curing type inkjet printer (MicroCraft CraftPix) which complete the task of both printing and curing of the ink in one machine. It is capable of printing images directly onto the target material with precise accuracy for etch-resist, solder mask, and legend ink. Hence, equipment such as squeegees, screens, exposure machine, and even some chemical solutions such as solvent that were required in conventional process is no longer be needed. With fully digitalized printing process assigning serial number and 2D barcode is also an option to ensure reliable product traceability.

Printed Circuit Boards Manufacturing

5 - Electrical Testing

Flying probe testers (MicroCraft EMMA) are now widely used throughout the electronics manufacturing industry. It provide an advanced version of electrical testing and flexible form of in-circuit testing, which depends on high speed and high accuracy to test electrical performance of each net on a bare circuit board. MicroCraft EMMA is capable of high accuracy testing by low resistance using 4 wire-4 points measurement method by kelvin Probe, which include measuring buried resistance saving the measured values. In conjunction with MicroCraft standard measuring electronics, external specialized meters can be accommodated by GPIB interface and USB connection. Examples are such as measuring extreme isolation and high voltage, and LCR and diode support as well.

Printed Circuit Boards Manufacturing

6 - EMC/EMI testing

EMC testing is an essential part of circuit board design process, an EMC failure can easily cost several thousand dollars in tangible expenses such as re-manufacturing designs and chamber verification. By using electromagnetic compatibility measurement tool (EMScanner) for EMC testing, it can avoid unexpected EMC compliance test results and therefore increase your productivity. EMscanner rapidly diagnose and solve EMC/EMI and electromagnetic problems in printed circuit board based on the convenience of your own laboratory environment before you proceed for final report from the chamber.

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