How to use PCB Checker. PCB Design for Manufacturing issues.

Once you have got a price and uploaded your data you can proceed immediately to place your order. If there are any data issues, our engineers will resolve them and where necessary ask for your approval using our Pre-Production Approval (PPA) procedure.

However, we recommend that you allow a few minutes for PCB Visualizer to analyse your data-set and identify any issues which may delay production. Check the PCB Visualizer column on the Shopping basket page. If there is a green tick, there are no data issues. Place your order confident there should be no delays. If there is a red flag, there are potential issues which may delay delivery. Use PCB Checker to check them out.

Figure 2

DFM issues

Figure 15

The Design for Manufacturing (DFM) tab has 4 sections.

  • Plating index value. This measures the uniformity of the copper across the PCB and hence the evenness of the finished plating. See a full description here. A blue colour shows areas of under-plating and red of over-plating. For the most part this is a guide to best practice, but if the plating index falls below 0.4 then you need to take steps to improve the balance. If you combine several different circuits on the same delivery panel it is particularly important to check the copper balance to make sure that all the circuits will be properly plated.
    • Top/Bottom copper density – Reports the relative copper surface compared to the board surface. Similar copper densities on both sides of the PCB reduce the risk for warp and twist.
    • Top/Bottom plating index – For each plated side of the board plating index is calculated, which gives an impression about the expected copper layer build during the galvanic plating. Values above 0,4 (the maximum is 1) show a reasonable copper distribution for plating purpose. Selecting Top plating index or Bottom plating index will show you an image of the expected plating behavior, with areas of underplating (less copper) marked in blue, and areas with overplating (more copper) marked in red. When your plating index is lower than 0,4 on one of the layers, or you see clear blue or red area”s in the image, it makes sense to review your design for copper distribution or contact us for advice.
    • Plating index could not be calculated – Due to an import failure the copper density and the plating index could not be calculated.
  • Area of surface-mount pads on the top and bottom of the PCB so that you can calculate how much solder-paste will be required.
  • Potential fiducials. This is information requested by our assembler customers. From time to time they need to mount tight-toleranced components where they need fiducials for accurate alignment but there are either no fiducials included in the design or they are damaged or otherwise unsuitable. This means that they need to find pads which are free of soldermask and not connected or drilled.
  • Copper free of soldermask. This is needed for accurate calculation of the cost of Chemical Nickel/Gold (Che Ni/Au) surface finish.

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