A PCB panel, which is often referred to as a PCB array, is a single board made up of several separate boards. During the breakout process, the constructed panel is disassembled, or depanelized, into the constituent PCBs. Defects are reduced as a result of printed circuit board penalization since automated assembly machines typically have fewer issues during assembly.

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Furthermore, penalization lowers costs by increasing throughout boards. Several design parameters, particularly those pertaining to penalization techniques, are necessary for PCB penalization to be successful. In this collection of penalization rules, we’ll go into further detail about different PCB panel technologies and their particular requirements.

Optimizing for Fabrication: Considerations for Penalization Success

There are several penalization techniques, each with advantages and disadvantages of its own. Which penalization technique is most appropriate for a given application can frequently depend a lot on the layout of the board design and the PCB panel itself. Among these, the following stand out:

Design: The board’s design has the biggest influence on whether penalization technique is best. Certain methods may be far less appropriate than others depending on the clearance between components and the board edge and whether or not there are any edge-hanging or right-angle components.

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Components: The kinds of components utilized on the board are equally crucial as where they are positioned. The best breakout and penalization technique may depend on some particularly delicate parts and connections.

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 Materials: The best penalization technique may be limited by the materials used in a PCB since certain materials are more likely to split during the breakout process. The thickness of the board also matters because thin boards are more prone to break during assembly, while larger boards can cause more issues during the breakout process.
These elements restrict the options that each application can choose from.

Currently, only few penalization techniques are widely used out of the three available. They are as follows:

1. V-Score Panelization: Individual PCBs are separated using V-shaped grooves in this popular penalization technique. Using an angled blade, these grooves take out about a third of the board’s thickness from the top and bottom. Since hand-breaking can strain the PCB and nearby components and the remaining third of the board is surprisingly strong between the grooves, a machine is typically utilized to complete the breakout operation.