When it comes to the tech products that you use every day, they are all likely to have a printed circuit board inside of them. These circuit boards go through many different stages that allow them to be designed, manufactured and tested.
Here, we are going to look at the seven different stages involved in the manufacturing process of printed circuit boards. Keep reading if you’d like to know what goes on in the lead up to your favourite tech product being released.
The initial design stage is one of the most important in the process of creating a printed circuit board. The exact arrangement of the board needs to be designed and this is often done using special CAD software. PCB designers spend a long time on this as an error in the design can cause real problems further down the line.
Once the project design is complete, the design will be sent to a printer where a laser printer will get to work. The printed circuit board will come with dark regions where conductive materials are placed and other zones that show non-conductive zones.
The next stage in the manufacture of a PCB is the preparing stage that involves a film being placed over the board. The board will then be put under a UV light and any material that isn’t conductive will solidify. In this stage, the dark film will come in handy as it will prevent the UV light affecting the conductive parts.
The etching stage of PCB design will remove any copper that shouldn’t be there. Once this is complete, the board will go through a process of expelling the dark zones that will leave the PCB sparkling.
In the drilling stage, holes will be drilled into the board. You might find that a robotised drilling machine will be used in larger productions as this can save time. There could be as many as 100 points that need to be drilled in the PCB.
The penultimate stage in PCB manufacturing is when the external layer of the circuit plated with gold, tin or nickel. You will also find that there is a concealing material added to the surface to ensure that everything stays in place and reduce short-circuiting.
The final stage is one of the most important as it involves testing the circuit to ensure that everything is working properly. There are many different tests that can be done including checking the voltage. Testing can help to reduce the risk of products going to market that aren’t working properly and this is why this stage is so important.
When it comes to manufacturing a printed circuit board, there are many different stages and people involved. Next time that you are investing in a new piece of tech, consider the work that has gone into the inner workings and the PCB design process.