PCB Production Process
Many of our valued customers have visited us over the years and have had a guided tour of our factory and we have found that they are all amazed at the number of different stages that their printed circuit boards go through before they receive them. They didn’t appreciated the complexity of the processes or the equipment involved so we thought it would be informative for our other clients to have an insight into the production process.
- Raw material cut to size on power guillotine or bought in panels cut to size.
- Material stacked normally 3 up with aluminium entry and fibre board exit
- Tooling holes drilled, then panels are:
- Drilled on fully automated CNC drilling machine at up to 150,000 RPM
- Scrubbed to remove any slight burrs and surface impurities.
- Fed into conveyorised ‘Shadow’ line to deposit carbon down the holes.
- Laminated both sides with blue UV photo-sensitive film.
- Photoplots aligned exactly with drilled holes using tooling system for accuracy.
- Vacuum down and exposed to UV light giving image of circuit on blue film.
- Spray developed in conveyorised developer removing non –exposed blue film.
- Clamped in plating jigs and processed down plating line, applying a set amount of Amps to each side, which electrolyticaly plate’s copper on the surface and down the holes on the carbon, giving an electrical connection between both sides.
- Tin plating to protect tracks and pads etc.
- Etched to remove all unwanted copper.
- Tin stripped to expose remaining copper tracks.
- Flood printed with photo-image solder resist. Exposed, developed and oven cured.
- Hot air solder levelled or immersion gold finish.
- Ident photo exposed, developed. Silk screen created, component ident printed.
- Bare board tested on 4 head flying probe tester, direct from original gerber data.
- Circuits CNC routed or scored. Left in panel or supplied as singles.
- Final inspection.
The panels are inspected at several different stages of the process, to ensure a perfect product.
We hope this gives you a brief but better understanding of the manufacturing life cycle of you PCB’s and we look forward to hearing from you with your next requirement.