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Insight Technology – Finished PCB Thickness Tolerances

Definition of Tolerance for Manufacturing

Manufacturing tolerances are the amount of variation that is allowed in a measurement or other characteristic of an object.

Ref: Collins English Dictionary

We continue with our series on Understanding Tolerances on a PCB with our 5th guide:

Finished PCB Thickness Tolerances

As with all manufacturing processes the Finished PCB Thickness is influenced by various factors and thus there is a tolerance applied to the final thickness.

The process of manufacturing a PCB starts with the Base Materials (e.g. FR4) and these are available in various thicknesses.

Base material thicknesses have a tolerance as defined by the manufacture, for example for FR4 this is ±10%.

Added to this are the various other tolerances accumulated throughout the manufacturing process and this is where the Final PCB Thickness Tolerance is derived from.

We always comply with the IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards (Industrial products) standards for PCB thickness measurement and tolerance.

The thickness of a PCB must be measured on an area of laminate that is free of Soldermask, copper and legend.

To read more on how and why these factors influence the Finished PCB Thickness, simply click on the button below.

 

 

PCB Art – Scarab by Boldport

This may sound like a strange title but for many years Eurocircuits has been manufacturing PCB Art. What is PCB Art? Simply put it is a PCB’s that stand out from the ordinary and combines art with industrial electronics. We have been working with Saar Drimer (founder of Boldport) an electronic artist for many years. […]

Insight Technology – Finished Slot Size Tolerances

Definition of Tolerance for Manufacturing

Manufacturing tolerances are the amount of variation that is allowed in a measurement or other characteristic of an object.

Ref: Collins English Dictionary

We continue with our series on Understanding Tolerances on a PCB with our 4th guide:

Slot Size Tolerances

The definition of a slot is “a narrow-elongated slit or aperture”.

We define a slot or cut-out as an aperture inside of the PCB profile but differentiate between them from a production point of view.

A slot is simply an elongated hole whereas a cut-out, is another hole of any shape, see image below.

Slots are very common on PCB’s and like holes they can be plated (PTH) or non-plated (NPTH).

The purpose of slots varies, the most common use is for component mounting.

Other uses are for cable pass throughs, ventilation, electrical isolation etc.

The Finished Slot Size like holes are influenced by various factors during the manufacturing process as below:

  • Type of Slot – Plated or Non-Plated.
  • Nominal Slot Size vs available tool sizes.
  • Tool Size Tolerance.
  • Tool Wear during use.
  • Slot Cleaning (Desmear).
  • The Plating Process and Copper Balance.
  • The Final Surface Finish of the PCB.

We use our knowledge of the PCB manufacturing process to ensure that the finish slot size is within the accepted tolerance.

We produce all our boards according to the IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards (Industrial products).

To read more and view our video on how and why these factors influence the finished hole size on a PCB simply click on the button below.

 

 

 

 

Internet of Things

The Internet of things (IoT) is the Internet connectivity to devices and everyday objects.

An IoT device is something with embedded electronics, Internet connectivity and other types of hardware (such as detectors or controllers).

And these devices can communicate and interact with each other via the Internet.

This makes them easy to monitor and remotely control.

IoT technology has made massive changes to the way we control our everyday household devices such as heating, lighting, security and even home appliances (fridge, freezers etc).

These can now be controlled by smartphones, tablets and PC’s no matter where you are in the world.

The first ever IoT device was a Coke vending machine in 1982.

It was connected to the internet and relayed information on the inventory and whether the drinks were cold or not.

This technology brings great benefits such as, constant monitoring of elderly people living alone. For example, a device could warn carers if the room temperature falls below a safe level.

In medical care for example, it can provide live feedback for those with life threatening illness even when they are at home.

Another example is the door bells with cameras, you’re not home when someone rings your bell but your smartphone rings and you can instantly see and communicate with whoever is there.

There are so many applications for IoT technology that we have only just scratched the surface.

As new IoT devices are being created every day it has initiated a whole new dynamic in the world of electronics development.

The focus now does not lie with creating large systems but in adapting existing systems to connect to the net and communicate with other devices.

This goes from consumer to industrial applications and into Industry 4.0.

This evolution has multiplied the number of new electronic product developments with smaller rather than bigger applications.

They have to be market ready by yesterday and this puts more pressure on the development engineers and their suppliers.

How Does Eurocircuits Help?

We have invested heavily in this trend to support our customers by offering them faster and more dynamic services as below:

  • PCB proto – 3 Working Days Delivery as Standard down from 7 WD in January 2019.
  • STANDARD pool, RF pool and IMS pool – 5 Working Days Delivery as Standard down from 7 WD only 3 weeks ago.
  • DEFINED IMPEDANCE pool – a new service with 5WD Delivery as Standard offering a specific build-up for 50Ω/90Ω specific requirements.

For all of our services we offer our free to use online eC-Smart tools the PCB Visualizer and PCBA Visualizer.

These allow our customers to ensure their layouts are “RIGHT FIRST TIME for MANUFACTURE”.

This has the advantage that your PCB’s are delivered (bare board or populated) “ON TIME” and ‘WITHIN BUDGET”.

Making sure that your project meet your “TIME to MARKET” expectations.

 

 

 

 

Insight Technology – Layer to Layer Registration Tolerances

Definition of Tolerance for Manufacturing

Manufacturing tolerances are the amount of variation that is allowed in a measurement or other characteristic of an object.

Ref: Collins English Dictionary

We continue with our series on Understanding Tolerances on a PCB with our latest guide:

Layer to Layer Registration Tolerances

The accuracy of layer to layer registration is one of the most important parts of the PCB production process.

Get it wrong and the holes may breakout of the copper pads.

Our goal is always to deliver your PCB’s with the layer to layer registration accuracy as close to perfect as possible.

However, there are many factors that influence this accuracy and we use our experience and expertise to compensate for them during production.

One of the latest and most important additions to our factories has been Direct Imaging (DI).

Using DI for the imaging of the copper layers and Soldermask has enabled us to improve our registration capabilities as it eliminates the need for Photo-tools.

Photo-tools are extremely sensitive to temperature and humidity and will distort with the smallest of change in either of these.

DI is digital printing and uses state-if-the-art CCD cameras to detect predefined targets (holes or fiducials).

These are then used to align the image to the panel.

For inner layers it even prints the targets directly on L3 using a UV Marker system whilst it prints L2,

This greatly improves the layer to layer registration accuracy for inner layer cores.

We produce all our boards according to the IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards  (Industrial products).

To read more and see our video on how and why these factors influence the final track width & isolation gap on a PCB simply click on the button below.

 

 

 

 

New! – DEFINED IMPEDANCE pool

New! – DEFINED IMPEDANCE pool

 

We are very pleased to announce the introduction of our new fast & competitively priced solution for DEFINED IMPEDANCE PCB’s.

Our DEFINED IMPEDANCE pool service is designed for PCB’s that require a specific impedance for specific tracks. There is an online calculator to help you to define the correct values for these tracks and gaps.

The service is designed around 50Ω characteristic and 90Ω differential impedance requirements and uses material with a guaranteed dielectric constant (εr).

For more information please see our DEFINED IMPEDANCE page on the Eurocircuits website.

 

 

 

5 Days Delivery as Standard

New and exciting update to our standard delivery terms for our STANDARD, IMS & RF pool services.

5 Days Delivery as Standard

 

Our pooling efficiency now allows us to offer you a standard 5 working days delivery for the same price as 7 working days for your Prototypes and Small Series PCB’s.

 

 

Insight Technology – Track Width & Isolation Gap Tolerances

Definition of Tolerance for Manufacturing

Manufacturing tolerances are the amount of variation that is allowed in a measurement or other characteristic of an object.

Ref: Collins English Dictionary

We continue with our series on Understanding Tolerances on a PCB with our latest guide:

Track Width & Isolation Gap Tolerances.

Track widths and isolation gaps are important as they define the maximum current load, impedance values and generally electronic signal integrity for a PCB.

The values defined in the CAD system based on a “Right First Time Design for Manufacturing” and the required functionality of the PCB.

One thing that must be remembered is that the track widths and isolation gaps are linked, you cannot have one without the other.

If the track is over etched (smaller track width) then the isolation gap is increased, if the track is under etched (larger track width) then the isolation gap will decrease.

In the worst-case scenario, under etching may result in the copper between the tracks is not be fully etched away resulting in short circuits.

But the etching process is only part of the story and as a manufacturer we must manage all the factors that influence the final track width & isolation gap, as listed below.

  • Base Copper Thickness.
  • Type of Imaging Process (Di vs Conventional).
  • Copper Balance.
  • The Etching Process.

We produce all our boards according to the IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards  (Industrial products).

To read more and see our video on how and why these factors influence the final track width & isolation gap on a PCB simply click on the button below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insight Technology – Finished Hole Size Tolerances

Definition of Tolerance for Manufacturing

Manufacturing tolerances are the amount of variation that is allowed in a measurement

or other characteristic of an object.

Ref: Collins English Dictionary

Tolerances are everywhere, they are applied to everything that is manufactured whether it is a simple screw, a mobile phone or a spacecraft, they are all affected by tolerances and PCB’s are no different.

Even our domestic electricity has a tolerance, for example in Europe it is approx. +/- 6%.

When you design a new product, you do so with a specific set of dimensions in mind, these are known as the nominal dimensions.

However, these must have a tolerance, no matter how small (or large) they must exist to allow for cost effective manufacture.

We should all know that the smaller (tighter) the tolerance the higher the cost of manufacture will be.

For industrial PCB production there are international standards for these tolerances. We produce all our boards according to the “IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards” version F (http://www.ipc.org/TOC/IPC-A-600F.pdf) Class II (Industrial products).

Using the Eurocircuits Insight Technology platform together with Eurocircuits TV we have created a series of informative guides that help explain these manufacturing tolerances.

Our first guide in this series is:

Finished Hole Size Tolerances

The finished hole size on a PCB is affected by the following factors:

  • Type of Hole – Plated, Non-Plated or Via.
  • Nominal Hole Size vs available Drill Bit Sizes.
  • Drill Bit Size Tolerance.
  • Drill Bit Wear during use.
  • Hole Cleaning (Desmear).
  • The Plating Process and Copper Balance.
  • The Final Surface Finish of the PCB.

To read more on how and why these factors influence the finished hole size on a PCB simply click on the button below.