High Production Volume, High Quantities of PCBs

After the verification of the prototype, do you intend to produce PCBs in big quantities and at high volume? Over the years, MADPCB has established a solid reputation with both local and international clients, earning them the trust of those looking for a dependable PCB fabrication service and an expedited PCB prototype. We can create stiff boards with 1–30 layers, flexible printed circuits (FPCs) with 1–8 layers, rigid–flex boards with 2–20 layers, and metal core PCBs (MCPCBs) with 1–4 layers, either with or without laser drilling micro vias technology. For clients with specific or varied service needs, MADPCB, a China-based all-in-one PCB solution supplier, additionally offers PCB design, assembly, functional testing, and reverse engineering services.

In selecting special materials PCB manufacturing, the following manufacturing issues might occur:

Materials: Certain materials work well for certain circuits when it comes to the materials required to create a PCB, for example. Ultimately, they won’t offer the optimum signal integrity performance if alternative special materials PCB are specified in the board layer stack ups. Additionally, there are instances where the materials needed for the design aren’t economical to manufacture or appropriate for the board’s working settings.

Special materials PCB manufacturing services in UK and Europe

The greatest method to guarantee error-free production is to work with a quality CM to optimize your design. You’ll find that they are an excellent source of DFM information.

To accomplish this, your CM must to have a group of engineers who can check your design for DFM problems and offer suggestions for improving production. A group of component engineers should also be able to examine your parts, so you won’t be caught off guard by any that are unavailable or not advised for production.

Naturally, there may be instances in which you have a board that needs to be manufactured quickly for a proof of concept, product demo, or prototype, and you won’t have the time to work through all of the DFM concerns. Thankfully, the majority of CMs can assist you by utilizing what you already have. Sometimes the CM can adjust quickly. At times, during production, they will make impromptu corrections to manufacturing issues. The true secret is to collaborate with them in advance and address as many DFM concerns as you can in the original design to minimize the amount of cleanup that needs to be done afterwards.

To avoid typical PCB manufacturing issues, collaborate with a CM who possesses an exceptional ability to fulfil your requirements. Selecting a partner with the appropriate experience and knowledge will guarantee that even the most challenging PCB designs are constructed and finished to your satisfaction.

PCB Runner is a leading provider of special materials PCB manufacturing services.

PCB Runner has been the top PCB manufacturing and PCB assembly service supplier in the UK and Europe for over a decade. As quick turn manufacturers, we specialize in both small and large production numbers. We meet the requirements for IPC Classes 2, 3, and 3A and have an ISO9001 certification. PCB Runner provides printed circuit boards of the highest calibre, dependability, and prompt delivery to a variety of industries. Whether they are in the military, aerospace, defence, medical, or any other area with vital applications, our customers depend on us to provide PCBs. One of the few UK-based PCB manufacturers and PCB assembly service providers is PCB Runner.

  • Trusted PCB Provider in Europe and the UK
  • 24 Hour Tech Support Using PCB Runner
  • High-Grade PCB Manufacturing in the UK and Europe
  • Get A Free PCB And Assembly Quote Right Now

Our Abilities

  • Stiff PCBs
  • Flexible PCBs
  • PCBs that are rigid-flexible
  • PCBs using High Density Interconnect (HDI)
  • PCBs with many layers
  • PCB prototypes

Process followed for Special Materials PCB Design and Production

Analyzing requirements and choosing components

Analyzing the requirements and choosing the right components, such as the CPU and power supply, is the initial stage in PCB design. Design a blueprint that satisfies every need.

Front-end design within the system

PCB design software is first used to create PCB layouts. Commercial software for PCB design includes Altium Designer, Autodesk EAGLE, KiCad EDA, and OrCAD. A PCB schematic Gerber file is often the result of this design. Copper tracking layers, drill drawings, component nomenclature, and other parameters are among the data encoded in Gerber files.

Photo tool Launch

Before beginning the production of circuit boards, the Design for Manufacture (DFM) check must be performed. This is to prevent design inconsistencies. Subsequently, a laser printer/plotter is used to image the PCB onto a photo film. Accurate registration holes are punched into each film sheet to align the various layers of the PCB picture film. The purpose of the film is to assist in the creation of a copper path figure.

Inner layer printing

The substrate is taken, chopped, cleaned, and dried. It is often a composite epoxy substrate. The substrate has copper pre-bonded to both sides of it. The most crucial element in preventing short circuit or open circuit problems is panel cleanliness.

Removing the undesired copper with etching

After that, unhardened copper material is removed from the panel by washing it in an alkaline solution. Beneath the photoresist layer that has solidified, the desirable copper layer is completely shielded. After that, the photoresist covering the copper layer is likewise taken off. Thus, the only copper layer that remains intact is the necessary one.

Punching registers to align layers

Registration holes are created by aligning and visually punching the various layers. The inner and outer layers will line up as a result.

Punching registers to align layers

Registration holes are created by aligning and visually punching the various layers. The inner and outer layers will line up as a result.

Optical inspection carried out automatically

Errors in inner layers cannot be corrected after lamination. Therefore, prior to bonding and lamination, the panel is put through an automated optical inspection process. Using a laser sensor, the device examines the layers and, if any inconsistencies are found, lists them by comparing them to the original Gerber file.

Build up and Connect

An aluminum press plate holds the PCB panel’s layers together. Copper foils are pressed over the original layers of a double or multiple later PCB, with insulating layers positioned in between, and the etching process is repeated. Ultimately, the PCB panel receives its final shape from the lamination of all the layers together.

Drilling

Next, holes are drilled into the PCB stack. The electronic components of the PCB, including the via holes, are supposed to be positioned and connected in these holes. A hole that is drilled has a diameter of between 100 and 150 microns. Drilling is an exact technique that requires precision. To attain accuracy, one can utilize X-Y coordinate systems or laser locators.

Platting and Copper Deposition

After drilling, this procedure involves applying a new layer of copper to the entire panel. It covers the nonconductive special materials PCB that were exposed following drilling and also ties the panels together. For plating, a chemical electrolysis setup is employed. To guarantee correct connection, approximately 25 microns of copper are inserted into the drill holes.

Copper etching and outer layer imaging

A photoresist material is put over the outer copper layer, just like in step 3, and they are then photographed. The excess copper is removed, and a protective tin guard coating is placed over the necessary copper region. This is followed by the establishment of PCB connectors.

Application of Solder Mask

After cleaning the board, the solder mask is put on. The purpose of the solder mask is to shield the board from corrosion and copper oxidation. Applying an epoxy and a solder mask together gives the board its typical green hue. UV light exposure removes unwanted solder masks. The board is then cooked in the oven.

Silver or gold surface polish

After that, the PCB is plated with a hot air solder levelling finish or lead-free HASL in gold, silver, or bronze. This protects the copper and makes it possible for the components to be soldered to the pads that are made.

The silkscreen

The process of printing all of the important information on the PCB, including component numbers, manufacturer identification, company name, and debugging locations, is called silk screening or profiling. This is helpful for maintenance and repairs.

Conduct an electrical test

Probe testers are used for electrical testing. Tests for both open and short circuits are run. Functional reliability is ensured via electrical tests. Functional tests are followed by durability testing.

V-Measuring

The fabricated panel is cut to reveal the real PCB. PCBs are cut to precise dimensions and forms in accordance with the customer’s design and the original date on the Gerber file.
The board may be readily removed from the panel thanks to the V-cuts created along its sides.

Packing and final examination

PCBs go through a quality and final visual check. Test results are given to customers for validation. To avoid any physical damage to the boards, the packaging is either vacuum sealed or airbag/air pocket packaged.

Quality of PCB Manufacturing

During the process of fabrication and assembly, quality requirements are maintained by:

  • Statistical process control monitoring rates of scrap and defects
  • Thorough inspection verifying the output of the operation
  • Frequent machine calibration and maintenance
  • Adherence to strict industry standards such as ISO and IPC
  • Tight supplier quality control procedures
  • Supervision of the manufacturing floor environment for quality assurance
  • Thorough examination of the completed boards, in-process materials, and raw materials
  • Initiatives for continuous improvement to reduce flaws
  • Quality control guarantees dependable, consistent PCB production.

Applications of Special Materials PCBs

Medical area

The following are a few typical medical PCB devices: Medical imaging systems: CT, CAT, ultrasound scanners; monitors: blood pressure, glucose, and heart rate monitors; and the computers that gather and interpret these images.
insulin and patient-controlled analgesia pumps are examples of infusion pumps, inside gadgets, such as pacemakers. PCB contributes significantly to raising the standard of medical care by providing tools and equipment that help physicians discover problems and increase their accuracy and efficiency. 

End-user devices

Flexible printed circuit boards, or FPCs for short, are a type of PCB made primarily of polyester or polyimide film. FPC gains popularity with its high density, lightweight, thin thickness, bending resistance, flexible construction, and resilience to high temperatures under the trend of intelligent and thin mobile electronic products. The following consumer electronics include PCBs. Communication devices, such as radios, tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches. Entertainment systems include stereos, video game consoles, and televisions. home appliances, such as coffee makers, microwaves, and refrigerators.

Aerospace sector

The aerospace sector has more stringent specifications, requiring PCBs to be durable and resistant to oxidation. The primary USB of any operating system used by the aerospace sector is the PCB assembly with heat management. The PCB heat dissipation design can be implemented using a compact architecture for heat dissipation. Heavy-duty, highly tailored PCBs are essential to electronic equipment used in aircraft. In the aerospace sector, PCBs are used in the following ways: power: satellites, control towers, and airplanes;  accelerometers, pressure sensors, and communication equipment as surveillance tools.

Applications for the military and defence

PCBs are used in many different applications, such as computers, guns, cars, and communications equipment. Military equipment frequently uses materials like copper, aluminium, and high-temperature laminates. The applications are listed below. Radio communication systems are examples of communication equipment. Control systems, including missile detection and radar jamming systems.

apparatus: monitor

Quality and Compliance

In the electronics manufacturing sector, PCB Runner, a seasoned provider of expert PCB creation services, has over ten years of experience. The majority of the businesses we manufacture PCBs for are global in scope and have been with us since the beginning. We work hard to keep our clients’ satisfaction levels at or above 99%, and we take pride in offering the best service available. We are able to adapt to our client’s changing needs because of our flexibility. Because we are adaptable, we can work with the most precise, efficient, and economical design and manufacturing methods.

Engineers, designers, R&D innovators, product managers, supply chain/manufacturing specialists, sales/customer service representatives, and quality assurance workers make up our multinational team of professional experts.

Our production facilities are of the highest calibre, and we have synchronized our quality processes and technology roadmaps to meet the requirements of IPC Class 2, 3, and 3A. We are also accredited for ISO9001.

Why Choose PCB Runner for Special Materials PCB Manufacturing?

The Netherlands-based PCB maker is aware that every client and their needs are unique and distinct. Customers need to be able to trust their source to fulfil their needs, in our opinion. Our speciality is assisting clients in launching their goods into the market as quickly as feasible.

One of the rare businesses that actually manufactures boards in-house is PCB Runner. We manufacture every kind of board, including:

  • Aluminum-based metal PCBs
  • PCBs using Rigid-Flex (FR-4 and Polyimide)
  • Board flex (polyimide)
  • Through-Holes, SMT, BGA, and other HDI boards
  • Lead-Free Boards that Comply with WEEE and RoHS
  • Intel PCB Mil spec (IPC Class 1, 2, 3).
  • 40+ layer multi-layered circuit boards
  • Materials for Boards: FR-4, Polyimide, Rogers, Nelco, Megtron
  • Spacing and Trace to 2/2 mils
  • Blind and Buried vias
  • Filled vias Boards with Heavy Copper Via-in-Pad
  • Skilled Assembly and Fabrication Services

In addition to the aforementioned, we provide professional manufacturing and assembly services for:

  • Prototype circuits
  • Board Runs
  • Small and Medium
  • Quick Turn PCBs
  • Burn-In for Boards

Read More: Mastering PCB Design: From Schematic to BOM and Production – A Comprehensive Guide by PCB Runner

Conclusion

Based on actual production procedures, this in-depth manual took readers step-by-step through the whole PCB manufacturing process, from initial schematic design to factory fabrication, assembly, testing, and inspection. Electrical engineers creating boards for mass production will find it useful to have a clear understanding of the process.

Important lessons learned include designing PCBs with manufacturing in mind, producing high-quality design data, interacting with fabrication and assembly partners in an efficient manner, and maintaining strict quality control to guarantee sturdy boards that are prepared for product installation. Electrical engineers may reliably and efficiently turn concepts into actual products by adhering to this special materials PCB production strategy.

PCB Runner offers High-quality special materials PCB manufacturing services for all industries and critical design requirements. Please do submit your schematics & BOM files to our email at sales@pcbrunner.com or engineering@pcbrunner.com