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Designing the panel is as important as the layout of the PCB itself. When designing a PCB, often the panelization is left up to the manufacturer. Why? They are trying to optimize material usage and get as many boards on a panel and still conform to high yields and quality. In cases where larger corporations design the panel design in house, their focus is to have better control over the entire assembly process. This approach has many benefits such as:
- Tighter control over the outline of the PCB to ensure maximum real estate within the enclosure.
- Ensuring that the board is testable by adding various test coupons for spacing and impedance and adding other proprietary nomenclature and decals.
With any manufacturing process, things can go wrong:
- PCB ECOs such as board outline changes, tooling or mounting hole adjustments or simple silkscreen tweaks can force a panel design? How is it flagged and who updates the panel?
- How do you know if the panel is outdated?
- Changing manufactures? Are their rules the same for pick and place assembly? Do they offer the same size panels?
Zuken’s live webinar which will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 2 pm ET will explore the benefits of a modern PCB panelization process that can lower manufacturing costs and give your control of the DFM process as soon as the actual board outline is determined. Learn how you can start with a PCB design that is still in the layout phase and instantiate it into a panel. We will explain what items are part of the PCB design and what items should be designed into the panel such as routing and v-cut details.
Whether you are doing a “one up” panel, stepping and repeating an array, or even a mixed board panel, you can get a jump start on your fabrication process during the place and route process.