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Amazing Things you must know about hard gold PCB

Engineers and designers try hard to improve the functionality of Printed circuit boards. These circuit boards are the heart of electronic devices. Every day there is a different technique to improve PCBs and their related issues. Hard Gold plating is helpful in solving many issues related to PCBs.

Gold is one of the best materials for surface treatment during PCB manufacturing. Gold has unique properties such as conductivity, less oxidation, no corrosion, and longer shelf life. That’s why it is ideal for PCB design and surface finish.

Nowadays, the electronic industry is growing day by day. That’s why it encounters various challenges like pollution, moisture, corrosion, and other external issues. The longer life span of devices and machines is another problem for PCB manufacturers. Ultimately all these factors affect the reliability of electronics. Gold PCBs help to resolve these issues and improve the functionality of the product. The below content will help you to know more about gold PCBs.

 What is a hard GOLD PCB?

Hard gold PCB has different names, such as Electrolytic Nickel, Electrolytic Gold, hard electrolytic gold, hard gold plating, etc.

This hard gold plating provides circuit boards with contact points through edge connectors. These PCB edge connectors are also called gold fingers. If you open a computer’s PCB, you will find a neat, narrow, and long row of PCB pads on the edge. Due to the rectangular shape, these gold edge connectors are famous as gold fingers. These hard electroplated gold fingers save the edges from destruction.

Usually, when PCBs are repeatedly installed and removed, then their functionality is affected. That’s why PCB gold fingers provide better connectivity and less wear and tear. You may notice that computer RAM has gold fingers. That’s why RAM can withstand repeated usage and has fewer scratches. Let’s dig deeper to know more about the hard gold plating PCB (gold fingers).

Process of hard gold-plating fingers

The gold fingers plating process has different steps. It starts right after the application of the solder mask. Sometimes this process starts just before the surface finishes. The next step is the application of the nickel layer. In the past, when there was no gold plating, then it was hard for the nickel layer to stay for a longer time.

After that, gold is plated on the nickel layer. Sometimes the copper layer provides additional strength. Gold protects both nickel and copper layers.

Now gold fingers are ready for edge beveling. This process creates smooth edges so that gold fingers can become edge connectors. These edge connectors help to join the circuit board to another circuit board. In this way, more than one PCB can join with one another. Sometimes complex products require more than one PCB interconnection. So at that time, these folded fingers serve the purpose.

Difference between hard gold plating (gold fingers) and immersion gold (soft gold plating)

Many people confuse both hard gold plating and soft gold plating. They are both the same. Actually, both are different in terms of manufacturing and uses. The electrolytic process is also different for both.

Hard gold-plated PCB

Hard gold electroplating is a technique that is helpful in giving strength to PCB. Gold and some other metals are mixed to achieve a harder deposit with a more refined grain structure. Nickel or cobalt is the most common alloying metal.

You can’t use gold alone for this purpose; that’s why you have to make it alloy by combining it with some other metals. Hard gold is extremely durable, so it is most commonly applied to high-wear areas such as gold fingers. The hard gold plating surface is smooth and shiny .Gold thickness varies for a diffusion barrier coat. The lowest gold thickness must be 0.5 microns. The high gold thickness provides the best PCB surface finish.

Full Body, Hard Gold plating is a rarely-chosen surface finish by a PCB manufacturing company. Mostly selective hard gold plating PCB is one of my favorite techniques. Selective gold plating is more cost-effective rather than full-body electroplated gold PCB design.

What is soft immersion gold?

Immersion gold, aka soft gold plating is also an electroplating technique. In this technique, gold is pure without any alloy. As gold has high purity, so it doesn’t have a strong grain structure. Soft gold plating produces a more coarse grain structure. That’s why immersion gold PCB has a soft surface finish with a darker appearance. Similarly, its good oxidation resistance is due to the presence of pure gold. Pure gold provides highest oxidation resistance

 Differences

  • Soft gold plating has good adhesion, so it is used on chip-on-board. It has better signal connectivity, so it is part of many medical machines and sensitive devices.
  • Hard gold is not generally applied to solderable areas because of its high cost and its relatively poor solderability. Poor solderability means it’s hard to make holes and joints in the metal. But On the other hand, hard gold plating is extremely durable.
  • Hard gold-plated PCBs are Durable and best for high-wear equipment. That’s why high-wear areas have PCB gold fingers. However, their manufacturing process is complex.
  • Hard gold plating provides surface hardness. Furthermore, it saves the surface from friction. It has the drawback of poor solderability. So it is useful for places where soldering is not necessary but subject to extreme friction. That’s why you see hard gold plating on specific areas of memory cards and printed circuit boards. The gold plating on PCB is in a rectangular form, such as gold fingers. You may be wondering why all PCBs are not gold-plated. Manufacture made full body hard gold PCBs according to need.
  • Hard gold provides a perfect PCB surface finish. It would cost you a lot if you want to cover the entire board with gold plating. Furthermore, it is not necessary to cover all PCB with hard gold plating. So selective Gold plating not only reduces the use of gold but also saves money. Further, it enhances product performance.
  •  So hard gold plating and soft gold plating are different in terms of thickness, properties, and uses.

Tips to Choose the Right Gold Plating technique for the PCB

If your PCB or product has to face friction, hard gold plating is best because hard gold plating has hardness and friction resistance.

Friction resistance

For example, memory cards and rams. These are mostly prepared with these techniques because they require repeated sliding. Similarly denser crystal structure makes it suitable for abrasion resistance. Further, it provides good wear resistance. Repeated sliding doesn’t affect their functionality because hard gold fingers protect their edges.

Soldering requirement

If your product or PCB needs soldering, then don’t go for hard gold plating. Soft gold plating is suitable for soldering, soft joints, and sensitive connections.

Adhesion

If you require adhesion, then again, go for soft gold plating. Similarly, if you want corrosion resistance, then go for soft gold plating. Gold has the highest purity in soft gold plating, so it reduces corrosion. It increases the life of the PCB and, ultimately, the life of the device.

Suppose there are chances that your PCB can face resistance that doesn’t go for hard gold plating. Hard gold plating PCB will increase the contact resistance. That’s why soft gold plating or immersion gold plating is best. But their corrosion resistance is unmatchable.

 Appearance

Soft gold plating has a darker appearance, making it easy to scratch. So hard gold plating is suitable for devices and PCBs that may encounter friction and scratches. So gold plating technique depends upon the requirement and type of product. You cannot put gold fingers in every other product, or you can’t use the immersion gold technique for every solder-able PCB

Uses of hard gold fingers in different appliances

Hard gold fingers have multiple uses due to their hard gold plating. Mostly the computer industry and high-end user products have gold fingers or hard gold PCBs. Hard gold plating is suitable for high-wear products. It is also suitable for visible interconnect applications. That’s why PCB gold fingers made perfect interconnect applications. Due to the advancement in technology, their use has increased. That’s why their manufacturing industry is growing fastly.

Wrapping up things

 I hope this content helped you a lot to know more about hard gold plating and how it is different from soft gold plating. Nowadays, it’s really hard to find reliable manufacturers for gold plating.

If you are looking for a reliable PCB manufacturer, then Swimbi PCB provides some of the most innovative PCB technologies. Their hard gold-plated PCBs are extremely durable and also provide extreme corrosion resistance. Their excellent quality control makes their PCB design unique. They are competent and experienced PCB manufacturers.

Swimbi Full PCB Manufacturing

They can manufacture PCB boards to meet your demands, from hard gold plating PCB to electroless nickel immersion gold PCB. Additionally, they can serve your needs for hard gold PCBs, even for the most complex PCB designs. That’s why they are the best in town.

FR408HR Vs FR408: What are the Differences?

When it comes to Printed Circuit Board (PCB0 design, the type of material used is very important to the circuit board design’s outcome. In terms of this, there is a debate on FR408HR vs FR408’s differences.

In this article, you will discover some of the differences between the two. But first, we will define each of them.

The Isola Perspective

Different PCB material manufacturers use different standards for the circuit board materials. However, there is one company that takes a different route. The name is Isola. It is a PCB material production company that specializes in manufacturing high-quality and reliable materials for use with circuit boards.

It is pertinent to point out that one of the company’s goals is to produce “high-performance laminate products that feature proprietary resin formulations that are engineered to meet your design specifications.” The manufacturer also expressed the commitment to “exceeding the customers’ expectations, through the delivery of quality configurable products.”

What is the FR408?

It is a high-performance FR-4 epoxy laminate and prepreg system designed for advanced circuitry applications.

Thus, you can be sure that it is one of the best materials from the FR-4 extension that can fit into the multi-tiered and advanced applications of circuit boards.

What is the FR408HR?

It is a different type of PCB material based on FR-4. In this case, it is a high-performance FR-4 resin system with a 230˚C (DMA) Tg for multilayer PCB applications. The FR408HR material is also used in designated PCB applications that require reliability and the maximum thermal performance possible.

The Differences between the FR408HR and the FR408

Here are some of the core differences that separate the FR408HR vs FR408. These differences range from the target applications, the attributes and the processing advantages.

1. Application Differences

The first difference exists between the FR408HR vs FR408 because of the target applications. While the FR408HR is ideal for use with the multilayer PCB applications, the FR408 is used with the advanced circuitry applications.

2. Overall Attributes

The attributes or properties of the FR408HR vs FR408 differentiate the two. On the one hand, we have the FR408 attribute based on the legacy of the material, while that of the FR408HR is based on the high-density interconnection, the high thermal reliability and the high-speed digitalization.

3. Design Considerations

How possible would it be to work with either the FR408HR vs FR408 without hassles? It all has to do with the specific design considerations.

As per the information from the manufacturer, the FR408HR vs FR408 differ by the following:

  • FR-4 Compatibility: the FR408 material combines a low dissipation factor (Df) and a low dielectric constant (Dk). The two are responsible for boosting the material’s excellent configuration, without overly relying on some of the complex fabrication processes.
  • Thermal and Electrical Operational Balance: the FR408HR material/system also offers a thermal and electrical operational balance. This is derived from the 25% increase in the electrical bandwidth, which results in lower loss, than other competitive circuit boards. It also offers this balance via the 30% improvement in the Z-axis expansion. Those are the major reasons why the FR408HR delivers an improved moisture resistance at reflow.

4. Target Market Differences

One other difference between FR408HR vs FR408 is the market or targeted applications they serve. While the FR408HR meets the demands of the aerospace, networking & communications, defense, medical, industrial & instrumentation, the FR408 serves the needs of the same.

However, the applications of the FR408 are based on the applications that deal mostly with improved signal integrity and broader broadband circuit design considerations.

Processing Advantages

This is another difference between the FR408HR vs FR408. The processing advantages have to do with the capabilities of both materials to fit into different applications.

On the one hand, we have the processing capabilities of the FR408 as UV blocking, compatibility with the FR-4 process and the AOI fluorescence.

On the other hand, we have the FR408HR’s processing capability as the:

  • FR-4 process compatibility
  • Multiple lamination cycles and;
  • Via filling capability

Product Compliances

This has to do with the compliance or aligning of either the FR408HR vs FR408 to the specific industry standards.

The product compliances or standards of the two differ. The FR408HR’s product compliance or industry standard/recognition only includes the RoHS compliance. On the other hand, that of the FR408 encompasses RoHS compliance, UL Filing and the qualification to the UL’s MCIL Program.

Advantages of the FR408

If you are to compare the FR408HR vs FR408, one of the major distinguishing factors is the advantages or benefits of the PCB material. In the case of the FR408, a couple of factors separate it from the other – the FR408HR material.

These are some of the unique advantages of the FR408 material:

5. UV Blocking

The UV blocking has to do with the potentiality of attaining a high throughput and accuracy during the fabrication and assembly process of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

6. Excellent Processing

The processing capability of the FR408 material is also superior in the sense that it is the closest to all of the conventional FR-4 processing of all the high-speed materials.

7. Glass Fabric Undertone

The FR408 material is also made up of glass fabric, which includes square weave glass fabric and standard E-glass.

8. Versatility is the Key

In an industry where there are hundreds of consumer electronics, it makes sense that the PCB material is versatile.

The FR408 material meets that demand, as its versatility spreads across the different industries, such as aerospace, medical and defense.

It is also worthwhile to mention that the material is that the prepreg is readily available for use in some applications where only a few laminates work.

9. Reliability and Durability

The reliability and durability of a PCB laminate is an important point towards the performance. A laminate may be durable, but not reliable.

However, the FR408 laminate/material meets both demands, as it can thrive under different (adverse) weather conditions, as well as work well when exposed to excess temperature. It also derives the reliability and durability from the lead-free material that makes soldering easier.

10. The Mid-Loss Design

One of the huge benefits to working with the FR408 is that it is a mid-loss PCB material. By this, we mean that it doesn’t encounter multiple losses or come across certain restrictions that could potentially hamper the success of the immediate circuit board design.

It is therefore on that basis that we are pleased with the mid-loss approach that allows for the material’s use in the advanced circuitry applications.

Besides, the FR408 doubles as a prepreg and epoxy laminated PCB material, which offers a combination of high-performance and usage in the innovative and complex circuit boards.

11. Can the Signal be Trusted?

If there is one factor that makes a PCB material relevant, it is the reliability of the signal. In FR408’s case, it has both the improved signal integrity and the processing at faster speeds.

These two properties are derived from the low loss factor and the low dielectric constant.

12. Temperature’s Performance

The performance of the temperature and the associated reliability is derived from the elevated Tg (180˚C).

13. Co-Pressing Capabilities

One of the major attributes of modern circuit board materials is the capability to work with other boards. In the case of the FR408, it derives the co-pressing capability from the E-glass fabric, which has the same usage as the traditional DURAVER E-Cu quality 104 (FR-4).

It is therefore, on that basis, that the FR408 material enables the pressing and processing similar to the aforementioned. It is also on that basis that it gains the interoperable usage with the existing production systems without any additional expense.

14. Storage Capabilities

It is one thing for a circuit board material to be excellently produced and put to good use. It is another thing entirely for the material to be stored or kept in good shape until use.

For the FR408, it derives the storage capabilities from the production of the laminates in a standard sheet size measuring 1225 by 1070mm. On the other hand, the prepregs are readily available in the standard roll width estimated at 1255mm.

In terms of the storage, the pin-lam technology is used and from that, the required holes are punched into the prepreg panels.

It is from here that the material’s prepregs are stored up to three (3) months. To ensure an excellent storage and supply, the prepregs are to be stored under the following conditions:

  • A 50% relative humidity and;
  • Less than 20˚C.

However, important steps are to be taken when removing the “chilled product from storage.” It is also imperative to point out here that the prepregs can be stored for a longer timeframe. If that is to happen, they must be kept in a “refrigerated storeroom.”

Choosing the FR408HR: What You Need to Know

Certain factors must be considered if you are to choose the FR408HR material. Below are some of the things you need to know before choosing it:

15. Mechanical Strength

This has to do with the capability of the FR408HR to resist the tear and war associated with circuit board materials.

There are two categories to how the strength is tested.

16. Flexural Strength

This type of mechanical strength has to do with the material’s capability to thrive despite the mechanical stresses associated with using it in circuit board designs.

The rated flexural strength is 58.0 ksi in the cross direction and a 72.5 ksi in the length direction.

Generally, the flexural strength helps to evaluate the protection of the FR408HR material from breaking even after the stress is applied to the material’s edges.

17. Tensile Module Strength

This type of mechanical strength has to do with the determination of the material’s ratioed strain over the stress in any direction of the material.

The rating here is 3315 ksi for the cross direction and 3695 ksi for the length direction. This summation combines with the flexural strength to bolster the strength of the FR408HR material.

Design Considerations for the FR408HR Material

Take note that certain considerations must be in place before you get the most out of the FR408HR material. Below are some of the design considerations:

18. Warpage Prevention

Warpage could negatively impact the usage of the material and that is why it is pertinent to prevent it.

The prevention can be done via the regulation of the material to be cooled down to help prevent the chances of warpage.

19. Lamination Considerations

Before the material is to be laminated, its prepreg has to dried. Also, the inner layer must be maintained before it is laminated.

One other important consideration for the lamination is to ensure that the right temperature is used for the lamination.

20. Melting Consistency

Note also that the melting consistency of the material is in place. In this case, the rate of the heat must be regulated within the press for the lamination.

Which is Better: FR408HR vs FR408?

Swimbi Full PCB Manufacturing

The choice of either the FR408 or the FR408HR circuit material depends on a variety of factors, such as the properties and the applications.

On the one hand, we have the core applications of the two targeted at the aerospace, computing, defense, medical, storage and industrial applications. The other applications include networking, peripherals, instrumentation and communication devices.

However, if you are to pick between FR408HR vs FR408, it has to be based on the electrical and thermal performances – of which the differences are only minimal. While the electrical performance of the FR408 material is Dk: 3.67 and Df: 0.0120; that of the FR408HR material is Dk: 3.68 and Df: 0.0092.

On the other hand, we have the thermal performance of the two as:

  • FR408HR: Tg: 190˚C and Td: 360˚C
  • FR408: Tg: 180˚C and Td: 360˚C

Final Words

Isola is the manufacturer of the FR408 and the FR408HR circuit board materials. The company thrives on the integration of relevant technologies into the products to help bolster the performance of the products.

The company also focuses on manufacturing products for the server systems, 5G communication markets, and data storage markets.

With the strict compliances to the international standards, such as those pertaining to the health and safety, quality, energy and environmental standards, you can be sure that the company makes sure that the electrical performances remain consistent across the different products and everyday devices we use.

10 Multilayer PCB Manufacturers in China

Multilayer PCB refers to the kind of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) that has more than one layers. Ideally, a PCB is meant to have one layer, but depending on the applications, the layers can be more than one. The multilayer PCB fits into that use case.

So, in this article, we will make a review of the top 10 companies that engage in the provision of fabrication, design and production services for the multilayer PCB.

1. JHYPCB

If you are looking for a reliable multilayer PCB manufacturer in China, your first choice should be JHYPCB. The company makes the list for many reasons, ranging from the excellent circuit board design process, the series of tests it subjects the boards to and the company’s many years of experience.

Multiple Layer Support

The goal of using multilayer PCBs is to integrate multiple layers of conductive material that are placed in the center of the material. With the voluminous layers that are added here, it creates the opening for a reduction of the interconnections, higher assembly density and increased flexibility.

JHYPCB satisfies the intents of the multilayer PCBs by supporting multiple layers. Unlike some of the other multilayer PCB manufacturers, the company does not limit the production to 10 layers or less. Instead, JHYPCB’s manufacturing capability extends to 30 layers of conductive material.

Multilayer PCB High-Performance and Reliability

You can be sure that the reliability of the multilayer PCBs from JHYPCB is optimum. The company ensures the compliance of these circuit boards with the following standards:

  • ISO
  • RoHS and;
  • UL

Mass Production Capability

No matter the volume of circuit board you want to order for, rest assured that JHYPCB can handle it all. This manufacturer “provides multilayer PCB prototypes with a quick turnaround and mass multilayer PCB manufacturing services.”

2. Winow New Energy CO., Ltd

Also called Winow PCBA, this is a multilayer PCB manufacturer that specializes in the production of circuit boards that have multiple layers of conductive material.

It is pertinent to mention here that the company combines the production of the multilayer PCB with that of the complex circuit boards, such as Rigid-Flex PCBs and High Density Interconnect (HDI) PCBs.

Winow PCBA uses the “state-of-the-art multilayer circuit board fabrication equipment to ensure that the finished boards” they distribute “meet the exacting standards and technical specifications.”

In terms of the capability, the manufacturer assures of the following:

  • Offering a wide range of solder mask colors, such as blue, green, red, yellow, black and white.
  • Winow PCBA also manufactures up to 38 layers of conductive material for the multilayer circuit boards.
  • To ensure the best performances possible, the company uses different surface finishes. Examples of the supported surface finishes are OSP, HASL/HASL Lead Free, Immersion Silver and ENIG.
  • This multilayer PCB manufacturer also offers different kinds of materials. Examples are Telfon, FR-4, Rogers and CEM-1. Others include FR4 Halogen Free, CEM-3 and High TG.

3. Philifast

The speed of producing circuit boards is one of the core factors to consider when choosing a manufacturing company. This fact makes Philifast to stand out of the crowd, because of the company’s specialization in providing multilayer PCB production in the shortest time possible.

Custom Circuit Board Designs

Worth mentioning is that Philifast specializes in making custom multilayer PCBs. As such, one can rely on it to make circuit boards that do not only integrate multiple layers of conductive materials, but also the circuit boards that can be further modified to the customers’ needs.

Delivery Timeframe

Philifast engages in the provision of quick-turn PCB and PCBA prototype. It is also pertinent to mention that the company has an Express PCB service that facilitates the design process. You can expect the multilayer PCB to be readied in 24 hours from the time of placing the order.

32-Layer PCB

Philifast also offers up to 32 layers of conductive materials for the multilayer circuit boards.

4. PCBCart

Here is a multilayer PCB manufacturer in China that specializes in producing high-quality circuit boards. PCBCart has been in the business of providing a variety of high-quality multilayer circuit boards.

These PCBs are also produced to meet the needs of customers who are particular about the lead time, design and cost of the circuit boards.

Below are some of the capabilities of this multilayer PCB manufacturing company:

Full Feature PCB Fabrication

One of the highlights of PCBCart’s services is the delivery of full feature PCB fabrication services. The company does this to help the consumers get value for their money. It is also imperative to point out that the company offers the service, bearing in mind some of the design iterations, such as the layer counts, board type and material.

Supported Boards

Multilayer circuit boards can be further broken down into different types. You can find the ones that fall into multilayer flexible PCB, rigid-flexible multilayer PCB and the multilayer rigid PCB.

You can count on PCBCart to design and produce these kinds of multilayer circuit boards.

Supported Materials

Different materials are used to maximize the potentials of the multilayer PCB. In terms of the service offered by PCBCart, the following are some of the supported materials:

  • FR4 Halogen-Free & High Tg
  • FR4 Tg 140C/150C
  • FR4 Halogen-Free and;
  • FR4 High Tg 170C/180C

Layer Counts

PCBCart also offers different layer counts for the multilayer circuit boards. The layer counts start from a minimum of 1 layer to a maximum of 32 layers.

Multilayer PCB Techniques

Different techniques or design processes can be maximized to make the most out of the multilayer circuit boards. In the case of the PCBCart services, the company offers the following techniques:

  • Electrical test
  • Blind and buried vias
  • Via in pad
  • Gold fingers
  • Press fit

Finishing

PCBCart also offers different kinds of surface finishes for the multilayer PCB. The surface finish processes include but are not limited to OSP, HASL (both the leaded and the lead-free), Immersion Silver/Tin and ENIG.

PCBCart Offers Several Manufacturing Options

The manufacturer offers different kinds of manufacturing options, including those for the full feature PCB and the advanced PCB manufacturing processes.

In this case, the company offers the following:

  • Peelable solder mask
  • Quick-turn circuit board production
  • Edge plating
  • Press fit hole, Half cut/Castellated hole, Countersink/counterbore hole.
  • Blind vias, buried vias & microvias (both the staggered and the stacked)
  • Carbon mask
  • Via in pad
  • Impedance Control: this is based on the trace width and impedance demand.

5. SAYFU Multilayer Circuits Co., Ltd

SAYFU is a leading multilayer PCB manufacturer in China. The company specializes in the production of different kinds of multilayer circuit boards.

If you are looking to get custom designs of the rigid-flexible multilayer circuits or the basic multilayer circuit board, you can be sure that this company will handle it.

It is also imperative to point out that SAYFU produces variations of the multilayer circuit board. The following are examples of these variants:

  • 4-layer multilayer PCB
  • 6-layer multilayer PCB
  • 8-layer multilayer PCB
  • Multilayer rigid-flexible circuit
  • 10-layer multilayer circuit board

6. UNITEPCB

UNITEPCB is a Shenzhen-based circuit board manufacturer that specializes in the production of multiple layers or circuit boards. It is imperative to mention that the company offers an extensive multilayer PCB service.

The following are some of the services it offers:

Multilayer FPCs

This refers to the production of the multilayer Flexible Printed Circuits (FPCs). UNITEPCB produces this kind of multilayer PCB to satisfy the market demands of circuit boards that have multiple layers and which are flexible – can be bent, twisted, and folded during use.

It is pertinent to mention that the qualification of a circuit board to be a multilayer FPC is that it must have up to three (3) flexible conductive layers.

On its part, UNITEPCB ensures that the circuit boards meet this specification and that it can provide different types of multilayer FPCs to meet the design objectives.

Multilayer Aluminum PCB

This is another variant of the multilayer PCBs that UNITEPCB makes. The multilayer aluminum circuit board refers to the type of circuit board that has several layers of conductive material, and which is separated by insulating layers.

Circuit Board Manufacturing Capabilities

The capabilities or abilities of the circuit board manufacturer to make the boards help to convince prospective customers that the company is worth entrusting the job.

This multilayer PCB manufacturer has the following capabilities:

  • Surface Finish: the company offers the following types of multilayer PCB surface finishes – Silver Plating, ENIG, Immersion Tin, Carbo and OSP. Others are Tin Plating, Lead Free HASL, Immersion Silver, Gold Plating (and gold).
  • Layer Counts: the number of layers integrated into the PCB depends on the manufacturing stage. For example, the standard PCB takes up to 40 layers while the advanced takes up to 60 layers.

7. Agile Circuit Co., Ltd

This multiplayer PCB manufacturer in China is based in Shenzhen. The company prioritizes the production of multilayer circuit boards that have up to 3 mil of ultra fine pitch, up to 26 layers and which can support both the single and the differential controlled impedance.

Agile Circuit also has the following capabilities:

  • The provision of high-frequency base materials
  • Low loss, halogen-free and ultra-thin packages.
  • Blind and buried vias
  • Laser drilling and small hole drilling

8. VictoryPCB

This is one of the multilayer PCB manufacturers in China that did not expressly mention the provision of the multilayer PCB service. However, VictoryPCB ensures that it offers multiple integrations of layers into the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs).

According to the information on the website, the company can potentially produce up to 40 layers of circuit boards. It can also make custom designs, as per the clients’ requirements.

Why Choose VictoryPCB?

We recommend that you choose VictoryPCB as your favorite multilayer PCB manufacturer in China for the following reasons:

Excellent Circuit Board Inspection Capabilities

The company ensures that it takes care of the testing and inspection of the multilayered PCBs to be certain that they are fully functioning.

The following are some of the testing capabilities:

  • The company deploys the aging test to ascertain the probability of the test failure, as well as the invalidity of the PCBA board.
  • X-Ray Testing: VictoryPCB offers both the AOI and X-Rau Testing to confirm the presence or absence of the fine and micro defects after lamination on the multilayer PCB.
  • The manufacturer also offers the following types of multilayer PCB tests – FCT test, ICT test and the In-process quality control.

9. 86PCB

86PCB is one of the oldest multilayer PCB manufacturers in China. The company has been in existence since 1998. As a professional PCB and PCBA manufacturer, the company helps consumers to get different layers integrated into Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs).

86PCB can potentially manufacture PCBs that have up to 24 layers with a minimum board thickness of 0.40mm for the 4-layer and up to 1.20mm for the 10-layer circuit boards.

Capabilities

86PCB has the following as some of its strongest capabilities or deliverables:

  • Optimization of the multilayer PCBs for prototyping and large volume productions.
  • The company meets the customers’ demands both in terms of design process technologies and materials.

10. ChinaPCBOne

This is a one-stop shop service provider for a variety of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) needs. ChinaPCBone also produces multilayered PCBs that have up to 40 layers. The company also have the following to its advantage:

  • The use of special materials and design processes.
  • High-quality insurance of the multilayer PCBs.
  • ChinaPCBOne optimizes the multilayer PCBs to fit into the following applications – high-frequency communication, electric power, industrial manufacturing, automobile, LED lighting and Bluetooth communication.

Here is another professional manufacturer of multilayer PCBs in China:

Swimbi Full PCB Manufacturing

Hitech Circuits

Hitech also provides one-stop solutions for PCB designs. In terms of multilayer PCB production, the company produces from 4 layers, 8 layers of rigid PCBs and 4 layers of semi-hole multilayer PCB boards. It also specializes in the production of high-speed PCB for electronic digital.

The following is a list of Hitech Circuits’ capabilities:

  • Production of up to 38 layers of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
  • Offering of different surface treatments, such as Carbon Ink, HASL, Peelable Mask and Immersion Silver. Others include HASL Lead Free, Golden Finger, ENIG, Immersion Tin, Flash Gold and OSP.

Final Words

The advantages of working with a multilayer PCB include but are not limited to the board’s usage of a single connection point, high circuit density and board thickness.

However, the multilayer PCB has some downsides, including the difficult maintenance process, higher processing costs because of the requirement of specialized equipment, as well as a complicated test method.

Nevertheless, you can rely on the professional service of RayPCB. We help you configure and optimize the multilayer PCB as per the target applications’ requirements. You can also count on us to give you professional guidance on how to maximize the PCB for the best results.

Top 5 Polyimide PCB Manufacturers in the World

Different kinds of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) exist, but the Polyimide PCB has been getting the attention lately. This article highlights the top five (5) manufacturers of this type of PCB.

What is the Polyimide PCB?

It is a type of circuit board made with Polyimide, which is a flexible material used for the production of circuit boards. According to Hillaman Curtis, the Polyimide used in the circuit board is also a set of “polymers that have imide monomers.”

The general submission is that the Polyimide PCB is a type of circuit board that is used in applications that require utmost flexibility.

Who Manufactures the Best Polyimide PCB?

When it comes to the production of the Polyimide PCB, one of the core focal points is the reliability of the manufacturer. With many PCB companies out there, narrowing down to a choice can sometimes be difficult.

However, it is possible to pick the best Polyimide PCB to work with when you consider some of the important points.

Below, we have made a list of some of the leading companies that engage in the services of offering the best Polyimide PCBs.

1. PCBMay

If you are looking for a Polyimide PCB manufacturer in China, one of the companies to reach out to is PCBMay. It is one of the leading manufacturers of this type of PCB and it has an extensive year of experience in that field.

There are a couple of reasons why PCBMay is a reliable Polyimide PCB manufacturer and the following are some of those reasons:

Polyimide PCB Customization

Due to the technicalities, it is imperative to customize the Polyimide PCB to fit into the target applications. It is on this basis that PCBMay created a viable solution for consumers looking to optimize the board as per the targeted applications.

The customization of the Polyimide PCB is based on the file provided by the consumers.

Dual Service Delivery

While some Polyimide PCB companies focus on the manufacturing of the boards, others focus on supplying the boards.

However, PCBMay offers both the manufacturing and supplying of the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs).

Innovative Solutions

You can rely on PCBMay to deliver the best Polyimide PCB services, in the sense that the company offers specialized manufacturing solutions for this type of PCB.

It is also imperative to point out here that the company also specializes in the optimization of the boards to fit into the type of target applications. This is in addition to the company’s commitment to offering round-the-clock solutions through the spirited efforts of the professional team of engineers.

PCBMay Manufactures Multiple Polyimide PCBs

You can also rely on PCBMay to manufacture and supply different kinds of Polyimide PCBs. On the list of the supported boards are:

  • 14 layers of rigid Polyimide PCB
  • 8 layers of rigid Polyimide PCB
  • Double-sided Polyimide high temperature PCB
  • 2 layers of rigid Polyimide PCB
  • Polyimide flexible PCB
  • Polyimide Stiffener Immersion Gold Circuit Board Rigid Flex PCB
  • Multilayer Polyimide PCB
  • 12 layers of rigid Polyimide PCB with heatsink
  • Polyimide flexible surface mount PCB
  • Custom Polyimide PCB
  • OEM Polyimide PCB
  • 3MIL Polyimide PCB 4Layer
  • Single-sided Polyimide PCB
  • 0.4MM Polyimide PCB

2. Rayming Technology

RayPCB is at the forefront of manufacturing the Polyimide PCB. The company is one of the leading manufacturers of Polyimide PCB and has over the years, perfected the art of making this type of circuit board.

Worthy of mentioning here is that the company also engages in the service of offering different kinds of Polyimide PCB production. Notable among these is the Arlon 84HP PCB, which offers the best performance, in terms of Polyimide PCB.

Specialized Polyimide PCB Production

RayPCB also manufactures different types of Polyimide PCBs. The types range from the Filled Polyimide PCB, Pure Polyimide PCB, Low-Flow Polyimides and the 3rd-generation Polyimide PCBs.

3. Imagineering Inc.

If you are looking for the best Polyimide PCB company to work with, consider working with Imagineering Inc. It is one of the manufacturers of this type of PCB that does not only offer real-time Polyimide PCB services, but also does so at affordable costs.

Here are some of the reasons why Imagineering should work on your next Polyimide PCB:

Commitment to the Project

Regardless of the type of Polyimide PCB you want manufactured or the additional specifics, you can count on Imagineering Inc. to make a great job of it.

The company’s commitment to the quality of the Polyimide PCB is derived from the dedication to ensuring that the circuit boards meet the AS9100D Certification.

Standardized Polyimide PCB Production

Imagineering Inc. also specializes in the production of Polyimide PCBs that align with the existing set of standards under the IPC-6011 standard, set by the IPC.

These standards cut across Class 1 and Class 3. While the Class 1 Polyimide PCB focuses on the general electronic products, that of Class 2 deals with the service electronics. The Class 3 Polyimide PCBs are for use with the harsh operating environment electronic products.

You can count on Imagineering to “provide the best Class 2 and Class 3 Printed Circuit Board fabrication.” It is also important to point out that the manufacturer prioritizes the delivery of the “best-in-class results on time, every time.”

4. Candor Circuit Boards

There are not many companies that specialize in Polyimide PCB but the few that offer the service excel at it. Candor Circuit Boards readily come to the mind because of the company’s versatile approach to Polyimide PCB production.

Here are some of the upsides to allowing this company handle your Polyimide PCB design needs:

Polyimide PCB Analysis

Candor helps analyze the needs of your Polyimide PCB, as they relate to the target applications. From this, the company hopes to manufacture the circuit boards that fit into the desired applications.

Additional Inputs

Candor also offers additional input and guidance where necessary to help you get the kind of Polyimide PCB that matches your desired needs and applications.

Multi-PCB Design

In addition to helping, you with “design work,” Candor also provides different kinds of Polyimide PCB designs. These designs range from:

  • Filled Polyimides
  • Pure Polyimides
  • Low-Flow Polyimides and;
  • 3rd Generation Polyimides

5. XPCB Limited

This is a “premium PCB & PCBA Manufacturer based in China.” XPCB specializes in the production of different Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), as well as offering an array of Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) services.

In terms of Polyimide PCB, the company specializes in the integration of flexible circuit board solutions into the Polyimide PCB. This leads to the production of what it calls the “Long Flex PCB.”

What is the Long Flex PCB?

It is a type of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) made out of polyimide material with ENIG. The circuit board measures 1100mm in length and is made of DuPoint Polyimide with ENIG finish.

Below are some of the additional properties of XPCB Limited’s Long Flex PCB:

  • Built for High-Performance: the Long Flex PCB is “built for high 220˚C working temperature.” Thus, it is ideal for delivering the superior heat-resistance performance that matches the Polyimide Flexible PCB.
  • Faster Production: The Long Flex PCB can be manufactured in 7 days or less, making it a quick-turn circuit board.
  • Additional Specifications: the circuit board also has other specifications, including 5/5mil Min tarce/space and 0.28mm thickness.

What You Need to Know about the Polyimide PCB

Certain factors differentiate the Polyimide PCB from the other types of PCBs. Here are some of the things you need to know about it.

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Polyimide PCB vs. FR4: Which is Better?

There is an ongoing debate on which is better between the Polyimide PCB and the FR4. Worthy of mentioning is that the Polyimide PCB breaks through the conventional use of the Flame Retardant Level 4 (FR4) type of PCB material because of the additional characteristics.

The FR4 is commonly known for the zero-water absorption, which makes it ideal for use with the standard applications. However, the FR4 material cannot be used with the applications that have been manufactured.

It is therefore, on that basis, that the Polyimide PCB proves a worthy replacement, owing to the “universality” that allows for the use with the flexible PCBs and the rigid-flex PCBs.

The flexibility of the Polyimide PCB that makes it ideal for use with the flexible PCBs can be attributed to the “stiffness” attributed to the FR4 Materials used for PCB design. For the PCBs relying on the FR4, they don’t always end up being flexible because the material gets stiff due to the combination of the copper lamination and the epoxy glass glue used on it.

However, the FR4 material proves to be a cost-saving variant to the Polyimide PCB, in the sense that it saves the consumers a considerable amount of money. The cost-saving design is derived from the Polyimide PCB’s extensive use, which makes it expensive.

Choosing a Polyimide PCB Manufacturer

The selection of the best Polyimide PCB manufacturer has to do with a lot of background checks on the prospective manufacturer’s integrity. Even at that, you don’t want to ignore the following factors:

Customized Solutions

One of the things to look out for is the Polyimide PCB manufacturer’s readiness to offer tailored solutions. The customized Polyimide PCB solutions should align with the customers’ needs and the industry’s requirements.

Can the Manufacturer Make Polyimide PCB Variations?

Is it possible for the manufacturer to move beyond offering customized Polyimide PCBs to making different variants of the circuit board?

While the Polyimide PCBs are a popular choice for use in making flexible PCBS, they can also be made into other forms.

The Polyimide PCB manufacturer you choose to work with should be able to make different kinds of Polyimide PCBs, such as:

  • Third generation polyimides
  • Pure polyimides
  • Filled polyimides and;
  • Low-Flow Polyimides


Why Choose Polyimide PCB?

If you are looking for reasons to choose the Polyimide PCB, there are several of them. In addition to making PCBs flexible (bendable and foldable), the Polyimide PCB can also be picked for the following reasons:

Polyimide PCB is Flexible

This is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of the Polyimide PCB. The flexibility allows for the consumer electronics and other targeted applications to conform to different uses and folding options.

The flexibility also makes the Polyimide PCB ideal for use in the applications that require more of portability and frequency.

Besides, you can rely on it to improve the longevity of consumer electronics, considering that the circuit board helps these electronics to “absorb impacts.”

Polyimide PCB is Thermally Stable

The stability of the Polyimide PCB interfaces with the flexibility and the capability to withstand heat. This is evident in the compressive strength and elasticity of the circuit board; a feature that makes it impossible for the board to cower under excessive temperature.

Besides, the Polyimide PCB can function in environments that have up to 300-degree Celsius of temperature. In addition, it can significantly help in reducing the damages associated with excessive temperature, as “polyimides don’t change temperature quickly.”

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Excellent Chemical-Resistance

It is one thing for the Polyimide PCB to be resistant to excessive temperature and another not to get damaged by chemicals.

On the contrary, it has an excellent chemical-resistance, which is derived from the chemical stability of the polyimides. It allows for the circuit board to have limited corrosion, as a result of overt exposure to “hostile chemicals.”

Tensile Strength is Tenable

Polyimide PCB’s elasticity allows for the board to withstand conditions, relating to extreme stress and excessive temperature.

However, one other aspect that boosts the operation is the tensile strength, which has to do with the Polyimide PCB’s capability to suit the different applications.

For example, the tensile strength allows for the Polyimide PCB to support higher maximum loads, as well as being reformed to “suit the available area.”

Wrapping Up

Some of the reasons to choose the Polyimide PCB include the improved durability, the tensile strength, the chemical-resistance and the flexibility. RayPCB helps you customize this circuit board to fit into the different applications, ranging from medical electronics, automotive electronics and a host of other consumer electronics, such as computer electronics.

What You Should Know about PCB Processing

The printed circuit board (PCB) is a vital part of electronic devices; without it, they’re just metals and scraps. At the same time, transitioning from simply prototyping circuits to designing an actual PCB is a long, tasking process. Hence, you must familiarize yourself with this concept and understand the complex process associated with PCB design. Then, you can venture into PCB processing with a good idea of what it is about.

Different types of PCBs are differentiated by their structure and manufacturing process. The higher the steps involved in manufacturing the PCB, the more complex it is. Nevertheless, each step in the PCB manufacturing process is important, and skipping any step could mean a faulty PCB. However, if meticulously and religiously designed, the PCB will do exactly what it is meant to do as a key electronic component.

What Are the Essential Parts of a PCB?

First, you need to understand the four main parts of a printed circuit board. To understand PCB processing, you must first understand the basics and anatomy. They include the substrate, copper layer, solder mask, and silkscreen; let’s look at them one after the other for a better understanding.

● Substrate

The substrate of a PCB is the first and most important part of the board; it is typically made of fiberglass. The fiberglass material used in making this part helps it provide core strength to the board – like a skeleton. The substrate also ensures the printed circuit board can resist breakage.

● Copper Layer

This part of the PCB comes in two forms, depending on the type of PCB you are designing: copper foil or full-on copper coating. However, the form of the copper layer, regardless, performs the same function, which is to transmit electrical signals to and from the PCB. Consider the copper layer as the nervous system and its all-too-important job of carrying signals between the brain and muscles.

● Solder Mask

Next is the solder mask, the polymer layer that protects the copper to prevent short-circuiting upon contact with the environment. The solder mask of the printed circuit board functions like a skin; you could call it the PCB skin.

● Silkscreen

The silkscreen is the last part of the board and is usually on the component side of the PCB. This part shows logos, component references, part numbers, symbols, switch settings, and test points. It is often referred to as nomenclature or legend.

Before the PCB Design Starts

Now that you have a good idea of the anatomy of the PCB, you have started on the right footing. Next, let’s talk about things you need to know before designing.

  • The size of the PCB: The PCB size depends on the product or enclosure size, which is defined during the design process of electronic engineering.
  • The layers: PCBs come in different layers, including two, four, and six to eight. The rule is that the more layers, the more complex and expensive the PCB manufacturing process.
  • Manufacturer requirements: Before designing your PCB, read the guidelines. In the guidelines, you will find information about file naming, trace size, pacing, and power isolation. Your PCB manufacturer will require information concerning the number of layers, material to use, thickness, color, copper weight, surface finish, and Gerber file.

Now, the PCB Design Process

The PCB manufacturing process starts with its design through the circuit boards’ fabrication. Then, before it is finally packaged and delivered, the completed board must undergo strict testing. Below are the steps involved in the PCB design process:

Step 1: Designing the Circuit

To design the circuit, you must create a schematic – a blueprint describing how components work together and relate to each other. It would help if you had a software tool; you can choose any, including Altium, Quadcept, KiCad, Cadence Allegro, DipTrace, and many more.

After installing the software, you must get component specifications for each component selected to aid in drawing the schematic. Note that each schematic symbol must have an associated PCB footprint defining the components’ physical dimensions and through-holes or copper pads’ placement on the PCB.

Step 2: Designing the PCB Layout

Using the same software tool you used to design your circuit, create a Gerber file in which you will design the PCB layout. In this stage, you allocate the actual components to the exact location on the board. You are also showing the trace to connect the components between the layers. When you’re done designing your layout, you will have a Gerber file, which your PCBA manufacturer will use for finishing the product.

Step 3: Fabrication

When your Gerber file is ready, you can send it to your desired PCB manufacturer, who will print it on the circuit board. The printing will be the basis for further buildup, adding components to the PCB, and manufacturing the Printed Circuit Board Assembly.

Step 4: Preparing the Material

Your components should have been selected; you can do this yourself or have your PCBA manufacturer help. You must know the lead time, packaging, minimum order quantity, and associated losses at this stage.

Step 5: Component Mounting

The next stage is to mount the components on the board, which can be manual (through-hole mounting) or automatic (Surface Mount Technology). Through-hole mounting is the manual fitting of components onto the PCB surface holes using wire leads. Contrarily, SMT is usually used in mass manufacturing; it is faster, cheaper, and more accurate.

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Step 6: Soldering

This process involves “sticking” the components to the PCB to permanently connect them to it. The PCBA is taken through an infrared lamp or reflow oven, which is heated until the solder melts. Note that each package has its thermal profile; therefore, be careful not to overheat or damage the components. There are different types of soldering: reflow, wave, and iron soldering, used in different cases.

Step 7: Testing and QA

This is the final stage; the PCBAs are tested for quality and to eliminate mistakes such as unconnected or misaligned components. The most common PCBA tests include in-circuit, Automatic Optical Inspection, and X-ray testing.

Conclusion

High-quality PCB manufacturing and processing are critical aspects of PCB operations in electronics. When you give yourself a diligent study of the process’s complexities, you understand it. You will be able to appreciate better the cost and effort that goes into each PCB processing.

Understanding What Castellated PCB Is, How It Works, And Its Uses

Generally, there are two forms of technology used when assembling PCBs. These forms are surface mount (SMT) and through-hole (THT). However, in recent years, a third and easier option is coming to the fore among board manufacturers, called board-to-board soldering. This technique is preferred when part of the assembly involves mounting a single module board on top of another.

To do this, the manufacturer would have to “castellate” the PCB; hence the name castellated PCB. This is becoming much more common in printed circuit board manufacturing as the demand for PCBs keeps soaring.

This article will help you learn castellated PCBs’ importance and usefulness in the industry. It also provides relevant details that will help you understand how it works. Keep on reading to have a good understanding of castellated PCBs in PCB manufacturing.

What Are Castellated Holes?

Castellations on a PCB, also called crenellations, plated half holes, or castellations, are through holes on a PCB that are cut and plated holes with specific dimensions. Their main use is to help create spaces on the edges of boards through which another board can be soldered onto the main board. Only when PCBs are castellated can they be joined with another board. However, all of these require preciseness and specificity.

Castellated PCBs make PCB board mounting and joining much easier. These holes act as a link-in between the module and the board when there is a need to solder on the module. The specified design of these holes – which make PCBs look more like cartoon cheese with incomplete, broken circles at the edges – offers the best alignment between boards during soldering and joining in the manufacturing process.

Creating castellations or plated holes is done for different PCB modules, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Each module is used as an independent part mounted on a separate board during PCB manufacturing and assembly. Surface Mount Technology and Through Hole Technology are the usual processes utilized during PCB assembly, but only when mounting boards are needed.

Why Castellated PCBs – Are They the Best Option?

Creating plated through holes on board edges helps manufacturers and designers replicate specific parts of a printed circuit board in a circuit. An example is when a circuit design includes inverters or feedback loops. These smaller sub-circuits can be produced en masse, tested, and soldered onto the mother PCB, which houses other parts of the circuit.

Below are other uses of castellated holes asides those discussed above:

  • They can function as breakout boards for a specific part of the bigger PCB.
  • Castellations allow for ease when changing the pin layout as required by the user.
  • Integrated modules can be manufactured on a PCB board with a castellation. This can also be used in another assembly during manufacture.
  • Castellated PCBs allow for easier mounting to a smaller PCB during the final manufacturing process.
  • Castellated PCBs aid the combination of boards by validating the quality of the solder joint.
  • Castellated holes help designers create wireless PCB links.

The Available Designs for Castellated PCBs

Different designs are available for castellated PCBs, and you must know what all these designs represent before settling for one. Some of the notable designs you may discover are listed below:

  • Half Holes
  • Mounting holes have smaller half-holes.
  • Holes tangent to the edge of the board.

Where Are Castellated PCBs Used?

Below are some of the numerous industries that use Castellated PCBs:

  • Power
  • Computer applications (hardware)
  • Automobiles
  • Consumer electronics
  • Industrial Control
  • Telecommunication

Recommended Specifications for Castellated PCBs

Certain design factors need to be met in castellated PCB design, depending on the final function and what it is to be used for:

● Size

In castellated PCB design, it is advised to use the largest possible size. This will help designers mount the PCB correctly.

● Pad design

It is recommended to use the biggest possible pad above and below. This also allows for easier mounting.

● Number of holes

This depends on the design, but it is common knowledge that a smaller number of available holes will result in a more difficult PCB assembly process.

● Hole diameter and distance

Half holes are recommended for use in standard and advanced circuit boards. The minimum diameter for the holes in a standard circuit board is 0.6mm. However, the castellated holes are advised to be smaller than this figure for advanced circuit boards. Finally, the minimum distance between plated through holes on a PCB is 0.55mm.

● Surface finish

This is very important when it comes to PCB mounting. While the application or use of the PCB determines the type of surface finish, ENIG is generally the most acceptable surface finish for PCBs.

Things to Note When Designing Castellated PCBs

A castellated board must be of high quality and yield after production. The process of castellated PCB design entails designing pads with castellations. However, this process is an intricate one. Any mistake is termed costly as it could influence the performance of your PCB.

When designing a half-hole PCB, the designer should be aware of some key factors, and they are listed below:

● Use the top and bottom edges when locating the hole

The first thing to note is that it is important to ignore the vertical edges while making the holes. This is because the edges typically function as bridges and are as important as every other part of the board. This ensures that the PCB board is always bridging.

While there are numerous designs for half holes, they vary in number due to software.

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● Holes with smaller lead-in holes

The castellations are ideal for any connector application and use. They also require a cutting tool or equipment to help create smaller holes where needed.

Conclusion

Castellated holes on PCBs are a very useful invention and offer various benefits. Knowing their benefits will help you channel your manufacturing prowess in the best direction for maximum profit and reduced process times when mounting and soldering. Also, producing durable castellated PCBs entails ensuring that the board is capable of withstanding mechanical stress, which will assist in preventing delamination and related faults during production and assembly.

Everything You Need to Know about EMS PCB & the Best Suppliers to Contact

The processes of designing and getting consumer electronics readied for the market tend to vary by the electronics’ specifications and the manufacturing process.

One of the most outstanding processes is the Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS). It is usually a full-suite designing process for manufacturing consumer electronics. Today, it is commonly called the EMS PCB, as the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is one of the common techniques used for designing and optimizing consumer electronics.

In this article, you will find out what the EMS PCB is all about.

What is EMS PCB?

It is a type of manufacturing process peculiar to consumer electronics. According to Wikipedia, it is a “term used for companies that design, manufacture, test, distribute, and provide return/repair services for electronic components and assemblies for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).”

It is therefore, on this basis, that we call the EMS PCB one of the core manufacturing processes used for providing a full-scale consumer electronics’ solution to the OEMs. By providing the EMS PCB service, the EMS PCB supplier is able to interface with the OEMs to offer the best consumer electronics’ optimizations for the end-users.

Understanding the Different Levels of EMS PCB Services

The type of EMS PCB service differs by the specifics. Although the EMS PCB supplier specializes in providing an all-around service, it is also possible that the company majors in one area. For example, you can find an EMS PCB company that only focuses on testing, designing and assembly the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). It is also possible for the company to offer component sourcing, PCB design, PCB assembly and testing.

It is therefore imperative to choose an EMS PCB supplier that either provides all these services or offers specific services that match your needs.

Can EMS PCB Services be Outsourced?

It may be possible for the EMS PCB services to be outsourced or made in the form of a collaboration between the EMS PCB company and another company. This typically happens when the EMS PCB company offers a few of the services or if it is not versed in specific services, such as PCB etching. In that case, the company can collaborate with another PCB manufacturer to get the job done.

Another aspect of the collaboration is between the EMS PCB service provider and the customers. In this case, the provider wants to customers to provide some of the items while it handles the rest.

It is common for the EMS PCB company to ask the customers to provide the components and the designs before carrying on with the design. The EMS PCB provider may also want to handle the component sourcing, PCB assembly and testing – but would require the customers to provide the design file.

In all of the above, you want to make sure that the EMS PCB company is clear about the type of service it offers and the extent it would go. You can then decide if you would be able to go along with the other requirements on your part or not.

The Types of EMS PCB Services

The type of service you are to get from the EMS PCB manufacturer depends on the company’s manufacturing process.

Generally, there are different types of Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) and each of those has unique benefits.

Below is a breakdown of the different types of EMS PCB services:

1. Component Sourcing

One of the major reasons why consumer electronics’ manufacturers work with EMS PCB companies is because of the hassles associated with sourcing for components.

For some customers, picking the right components could prove a herculean task, especially since they aren’t versed in that area.

Therefore, handing over the component or part sourcing to the EMS PCB company is a smart way to get the right components and in good time.

On its part, the EMS PCB company helps the customers to pick the best components and at affordable costs.

2. EMS PCB Design Services

Providing EMS PCB designs is the second-next service that the company provides. This involves the provision of a wide range of services designed to help the consumers make the most out of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Usually, the EMS PCB design is processed after the company had confirmed its capability to handle the consumers’ expectations of the PCB.

At this point, the EMS PCB manufacturer performs certain actions, depending in its capabilities. Below are some of the common design processes used by the EMS PCB companies:

3. Product Outlining

This is usually the first process, and it involves the provision of a concept for the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

The processes used here range from making a preliminary specification of the PCB, followed by the detailing of the major objectives of the PCB.

The EMS PCB company also specializes in the researching of the underling processes of the PCB, including the exploration of the existing related products or PCBs that may aid in the design of the PCB in view.

4. EMS PCB Manufacturing

The EMS PCB company also provides a wide range of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing services. It is pertinent to mention here that the manufacturing process involves the production of different kinds of electronic products.

Generally, the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design process is based on the overall performance of the PCB in terms of the target applications.

PCB Design Technology

The technologies or design processes used when manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) also differ. The preferred design process or technology is based on the type of consumer electronics to be manufactured.

For emphasis, there are two (2) major design processes used when manufacturing PCBs. These are the:

  • Surface Mount Technology: also called the SMT, the Surface Mount Technology involves the soldering of the electronic components to the PCB’s surface. It is important to point out here that the SMT design process also facilitate the EMS PCB process because of the quickened pace of picking and positioning the components on the circuit board’s surface.
  • Through-Hole Technology: also called the THT, the Through-Hole Technology process involves the insertion of leads through the holes made in the circuit board. From there, the leads would be soldered into place before the electronic components are mounted on the board.

Varieties of EMS PCB Design

The differences in the outcome of the EMS PCB design also depend on the type of board to be manufactured. For context, most PCBs are classified into the Rigid PCB, but there are also other variants like:

  • Flexible PCBs
  • Rigid-Flex PCBs

Wireless Consumer Electronics

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are “flat boards that hold electronic components.” However, they are one of the different electronic products made using the Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) as the basis.

The other type is the Radio Frequency (RF) and Wireless consumer electronics. This type of electronic product provides wireless communication and commonly comes in handy when working with data transfer and telecommunication applications.

If your preferred EMS PCB company provides this service, it is possible that the company can offer different variants. The variations cut across wireless devices and Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs).

Microelectronics Production

Aside from specializing in EMS PCB design, the company can also manufacture microelectronics, which are smaller semiconductor components.

Microelectronics’ production might not take all the time because of the lower volume and the less-strenuous design process.

The common types of microelectronics are:

  • Chip-on-Board: also called the COB, the Chip-on-Board involves the bonding or attachment of bare dies to the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
  • Flip Chips: these are specific kinds of microelectronics designed as Integrated Circuits (ICs) that use solder bumps on the IC to connect to the external circuitry.

EMS PCB Testing

If the EMS PCB supplier handles the testing, you can be sure of getting a fully-functional circuit board. There are different kinds of EMS PCB testing procedures and the one you choose depends on the expected outcome.

Note that the EMS PCB testing can be done either before deploying the finished product/PCB or as soon as the EMS PCB prototype is completed.

Below are examples of some of the popular testing procedures for EMS PCB:

  • X-Ray Testing: this is one of the most popular testing procedures for the EMS PCB. It makes an in-depth testing and analysis of the whole PCB.
  • Agency Compliance: this type of testing is done to ensure that the EMS PCB complies with the quality and safety guidelines of the specific standards of the governing agency.
  • Functional Testing: this type of testing is done to ascertain the overall performance of the EMS PCB’s internal components.
  • Automated Optical Inspection: this is a type of EMS PCB testing used for identifying defects in the circuit board design. The inspection also covers the identification of improper holing (assuming the EMS PCB uses the Surface Mount Technology), excess soldering and fixing the broken traces.

EMS PCB Production

The design and production of the EMS PCB is different. While the former has to do with the conceptualization of the circuit board, the latter has to do with the overall delivery of the desired circuit board.

There are different aspects to the EMS PCB production and a few of those have been covered below:

Specialized Production

As the name suggests, this is a special kind of EMS PCB production. Some EMS PCB suppliers don’t engage in this and often collaborate with other companies to offer this kind of service.

Examples of the specialized EMS PCB services include:

  • PCB etching
  • Cabling services
  • Quick-turn production

They are called specialized services because of the extra efforts and the time it would take to get the job done. Make sure that your preferred EMS PCB company can handle this – or can at least, partner with another company that can.

EMS PCB Prototyping

This is more like a “demo version” of the final design of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). It typically follows the design phase and is geared towards helping the consumers get “early samples” of the PCB to decide on whether changes need to be made or not.

The Volume of the EMS PCB

How many EMS PCBs are you looking to order? There are two (2) major volumes – the low and the high. While the former has to do with a limited number of EMS PCBs, the latter deals with larger volumes or higher quantities of the circuit boards.

Note, however, that the categorization can also extend to High Mix Low Volume (HMLV), High Volume Low Mix (HVLM) and Medium Volume.

Note that the volumes are relative, in the sense that the production capabilities of the EMS PCB manufacturer are always considered. Generally, low volume EMS PCBs should be below 100; the medium volume should not exceed 10,000 EMS PCBs, while the high-volume EMS PCBs can be above 10,000 units.

Who is the Best EMS PCB Manufacturer?

The choice of a reliable EMS PCB supplier or manufacturer should be based on different factors. If you are looking for a reliable manufacturer to produce your EMS PCBs, reach out to RayPCB. We specialize in full-suite EMS PCB production, meaning that we take the hassle off you so we can handle every aspect of the job from start to finish.

Swimbi Full PCB Manufacturing

With that being said, here are some of the factors you want to consider before choosing an EMS PCB manufacturer:

What is the EMS PCB Supplier’s Design Process?

You have to find out the processes involved in designing the EMS PCB? The EMS PCB manufacturer should also have the relevant technologies and modern equipment that would aid the design process.

Years of Experience

How long has the EMS PCB manufacturer being in the business? The extensive history and expertise in the industry helps the consumers to have the confidence to work with a company that has over the last couple of years, proved to be an expert in the industry.

Final Words: Choosing between EMS PCB and OEM

The choice of choosing between an EMS PCB provider/manufacturer and an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) differs by some factors. While the EMS PCB supplier helps to create the PCB products and offer related value-added services for the OEM, the OEM, on the other hand, markets the products.

You should also consider choosing the EMS PCB supplier over the OEM because the former provides extensive services ranging from design, repair and supply chain management, while the OEM does more of designing the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Who is the Best SMT Stencil Supplier

The selection of a PCB supplier is usually based on the quantities of PCBs the company can supply, the design iterations and the location. Beyond those factors, one other thing you want to consider is the supplier’s expertise. If the company has been in the business for years and handled SMT stencils for many engineers, it could be an idea of how experienced the company is.

So, in today’s article, you will find out everything you need to know about working with an SMT stencil supplier.

First, Let’s Define SMT Stencil

Different terminologies are associated with Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design. One of such terminologies is SMT Stencil.

According to RayPCB, SMT Stencil refers to the process of “transferring solder paste to a Printed Circuit Board.”

Benefits of SMT Stencil Process

If you are looking for excellent processes to manufacturing PCBs, your choice is always narrowed down to the process technologies. The Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and the Through-Hole Technology (THT) are commonly used.

Most SMT Stencil PCBs are manufactured with the SMT process technology. For that reason, the electrical components of these circuit boards have to be mounted or placed atop the PCBs.

The SMT Stencil process is needed here to ensure that the components are held in place. The solder paste is first placed over the openings made on the surface of the Surface Mount Device (SMD) to be used with the circuit board.

A stainless-steel foil is laser cut and used to make the openings on these SMDs. Once the openings have been made, the stainless-steel foil would then be removed or detached from the SMD.

It is then after this detachment that the solder paste would be used to mount or position the SMDs needed for the circuit board.

The core benefit of this process is that it reduces the time spent placing or mounting the electrical components on the PCB.

The use of the solder paste also offers excellent bonding of these components to the surface of the circuit board.

The Best SMT Stencil Suppliers

We have made a list of some of the leading SMT Stencil printers or suppliers. We did not only make in-depth research to uncover these companies’ capabilities, but also considered the flexibility of their services.

With that said, here is a detailed breakdown of some of the best SMT stencil suppliers you can find out there:

1. JHYPCB

If you are looking for an SMT stencil supplier that offers a variety of services, it has to be JHYPCB. This company offers the major stencil circuit services, ranging from Frameless SMT Stencils, Framed Electroformed SMT Stencils and BGA Reworks Stencils. The company also offers Nano SMT Stencils, Leaded Device Rework Stencils, CPF Stencils and Microporous SMT Stencils.

Below are some of the additional reasons why you want to choose JHYPCB as your favorite SMT stencil supplier:

Finest Finish

Besides the reduced costs of manufacturing SMT Stencils, one other thing to look for is the surface finish. JHYPCB promises to offer the finest surface finish, via the use of the 100% laser-cut type of stainless-steel.

Various Sizes of SMT Stencils

The company also offers a wide range of SMT Stencils. From the framed to the frameless stencils, you can be confident that the company offers them all.

JHYPCB Assures of the Best Paste Release

The stainless-steel foil is used to make a laser-cut opening on the surface where the SMDs are to be mounted on the circuit board.

However, when this foil is removed, depending on the extent of the opening, the surface might not look so neat.

Nonetheless, JHYPCB assures of the best paste release because of the non-support for the .003-inch laser that leaves rough edges on the aperture’s edge.

In contrast, this SMT stencil supplier uses the .001-inch laser beam with 98% overlap. This combination helps in creating a smoothened opening that allows for flexible solder paste release on the circuit board’s surface.

2. Stencils Unlimited

Indeed, there is no limit to how much you can get from using the service of an experienced SMT stencil supplier. Some manufacturers have focused on this field of PCB design. Stencils Unlimited is one of the leading suppliers in this field.

Since the company mostly handles SMT Stencil designs, consumers can be sure of getting nothing short of the best service.

Below are some of the SMT Stencil services the supplier offers:

Laser Cut SMT Stencils

This type of stencils is made with the traditional use of stainless-steel foil to create the opening or make holes on the PCB’s surface.

The major stencils it supplies here are:

  • Frameless SMT Stencils
  • Prototype SMT Stencils
  • Quick-turn Rework Stencils
  • Stainless-steel SMT Stencil
  • Framed SMT Stencils

Electroformed Stencils

Stencils Unlimited offers both the framed electroformed stencils and the frameless electroformed stencils.

Rework Stencils

This is the type of SMT Stencil that allows the consumer to “rework” or reconfigure the stencils. The list of rework stencils this company supplies here are:

  • Stencilmate Leadless Device Rework Stencils
  • StencilQuik BGA Rework Stencils
  • Quick-turn Rework Stencils
  • CPF Stencils
  • Flip-up Stencils

Stencils Unlimited also offers a wide range of stencils, such as the multi-level stencils (comprising the framed and the frameless multi-level stencils), framed ultraslic stencils, StikNPeel rework stencils and the Mylar and Kapton SMT Stencils.

3. StenTech

Some companies have been in the business of supplying SMT Stencils for years. StenTech makes that list, as the company has been here for well over 20 years.

But the number of years it has been in the business is just a tip of the iceberg. According to the supplier, it has one of the best SMT Stencil supply chain, with over 20 CAD designers working hard to deliver a mix of stencil circuit board thickness and quality materials.

Below are some of the additional reasons why getting your SMT Stencil manufactured by StenTech is a real deal.

The Supplier Offers Different Kinds of SMT Stencils

From the basic to the advanced forms of SMT Stencils, StenTech offers them to meet the customer’s requirements.

Here are some of the popular stencils you can get from the supplier:

  • Anti-Adhesion Advanced Nano Coated Stencils: this type of SMT Stencil is offered as one of the measures to reduce the adhesiveness of stencils. In this case, StenTech uses this adhesion to provide the stencil with the anti-adhesion properties.
  • Solder Paste Step Stencils: this type of stencils is used to control the solder paste. The process involves using several foil thicknesses on the same stencil. That way, the solder paste would be controlled in the fine pitch areas. At the same time, the solder paste would be printed or applied to the coarse pitch areas.
  • Laser Cut SMT Stencils: the supplier offers the basic stencil, which is the laser-cut. By using the latest laser technology, StenTech comfortably delivers stencils with the highest printing accuracies.
  • Electroform SMT Stencils: this type of stencils is optimized for longevity and durability. The consideration is mostly for the high-volume stencil applications.

The SMT Emulsion Screen Printing

StenTech also offers this service and it earns it the status of one of the leading SMT stencil suppliers. The SMT Emulsion Screen Printing is the company’s way of contributing to excellent printing of the stencils.

The process typically involves stretching a mesh over the frame before applying the emulsion. Through this screen-printing process, the supplier makes the stencils readily available for use in the following markets/industries:

  • Circuit boards
  • Display and advertising
  • Microelectronics
  • Automotive
  • Textile printing
  • Ceramic printing
  • Aerospace

4. Rayming Technology

Also called RayPCB, Rayming Technology is a pacesetter in the SMT Stencil industry. The company specializes in the production of “high quality laser cut PCB stencil for SMT use.” You can count on the company to provide the basic stencil that you need to start the SMT Stencil assembly.

Here are some of the additional reasons why you should choose RayPCB as your SMT stencil supplier:

RayPCB Nano-Coats the Stencils

RayPCB specializes in using nano coating for the stencils. The reason for doing this is not far-fetched from the fact that the company wants to make the solder paste compatible with the components.

By using nano coating, RayPCB achieves a better release or deposit of solder stencil even for the tiniest of components.

The Supplier Offers Varieties of Stencils

Rayming Technology also offers different kinds of stencils. This ranges from the basic PCB Stencil to the Prototype Kit-Lead Free Stencil Oversized. Others are:

  • Kit-Leaded Prototype SMT Stencil
  • Kit-Leaded Prototype PCB Stencils

One outstanding feature of these stencils is that RayPCB offers add-ons, such as:

  • Alcohol wipes
  • Board holders
  • Temperature markers
  • Grab and place tools
  • Pairs of gloves

5. BlueRing Stencils

This has got to be one of the stencil-focused suppliers. Apart from Stencils Unlimited, BlueRing Stencils is one of the SMT stencil suppliers you should contact for your stencil needs.

The company’s deep understanding of the stencil design process, having quality staff and offering a combination of design and assembly is a plus.

Below are some of the benefits of having your stencils designed by the company:

The Step Stencil Technology

The process technology used for the SMT Stencil design helps in determining what the outcome would be. BlueRing Stencils places a premium on this and that is why the supplier opted for a different kind of process technology called the Step Stencil Technology.

Before we talk about how the technology works, let us understand the existing market opportunity. Before the introduction of the Step Stencil Technology, many SMT stencil suppliers focused on using the traditional method of adjusting the apertures on the single-level stencils. The adjustments are made to facilitate the proper printing of the solder paste on the assembly components, such as large connectors, Micro-BGAs, and QFNs.

Swimbi Full PCB Manufacturing

However, the printing of the solder paste on these components is not always possible, which makes the print process of the SMT stencils relying on that process inefficient.

On the other hand, BlueRing Stencils’ Step Stencil Technology is a step in the right direction, in the sense that it improves the solder paste printing process. Here are some of the processes involved:

  • A patented laser weld process is used to create the step-up areas. Through this process, a smooth printing or application of the solder paste can be done on the stencil’s surface, without any squeegee damage.
  • The Step Stencil Technology also helps in etching or milling the relief areas into the board side of the foil. This does not only pave the way for use on rework boards, but also reduces the bridging between the board pads and the stencil. The bridging restriction is enabled by the placement of a gasket seal between the stencil and the board pads.

Production of Stencil Variations

BlueRing Stencils manufacture different kinds of stencils, as per the clients’ requirements. Below are some of the common variations it makes:

  • Large Format Stencils: the company specializes in the production of large format stencils, which are ideal for the oversized Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). The company also promises to offer different (custom) large format stencil standards, ranging from the 46-inch x 60-inch maximum large format and the 29-inch x 59-inch standard large format.
  • Laser Cut Solder Stencil: for this variation, the company assures of the laser beams to cut the circular pads with a roundness of almost 100% and a diameter of 30 to 800 µm. The company’s laser cut solder stencil service also includes “superior dimensional tolerances for finer pitch apertures” and improved aperture definition.
  • Electroformed Nickel Stencils: also called the Electroform Stencil, it is a type of stencil that offers the most superior paste release. BlueRing Stencils also made these stencils to have a “photo resist template of apertures” that match the circuit board designs, less surface area for solder paste to cling to and smoothened aperture walls.

Conclusion

The processes involved in SMT Stencils are many, but your goal should be picking an SMT stencil supplier that offers a mix of advanced technology and innovative design processes. You can count on RayPCB to handle your next stencil design from start to finish.

Where Can I Get Cheap PCB Fab

Have you been looking for a way to get cheap PCB fab? You see, it is not always easy to find a PCB manufacturing company that offers this service for “cheap.” However, in this article, you will find out everything you need to know about PCB fabrication or “PCB Fab” for short.

What is PCB Fabrication?

It is the process of building the “raw circuit board” that doubles as the foundation of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Most often, it is one of the first processes involved in designing PCBs. If you are working with a reliable PCB fabrication company, you can be sure of getting the raw board designed in a way that it fits the target applications.

The Processes of PCB Fabrication

The techniques involved in designing the PCB board at the earliest stage are many, but we have broken some of them down.

The Important Considerations Come First

Before getting on the job, the cheap PCB fab company would first consider some of the important criteria. These are the considerations that determine the extent of the circuit board’s usage.

The following are some of the considerations made at this point:

  • Target Applications: what are the typical applications that the circuit board will be used once it is designed? The dexterity of the design is determined by the type of applications and the hitches that may come with the design process.
  • Functional Attributes: the attributes or technical properties of the PCB are also considered. The consideration helps the designer to modify the circuit boards, as per the different functions of these attributes in the target applications.

The PCB Fabrication Materials

Several materials, including layers and vias are used when making PCB fabricates. The following is a breakdown of some of the commonly-used PCB fabrication materials:

Vias

The function of the vias is to make an electrical connection of the PCB layers. Depending on the circuit board design technology or process, the types of vias may vary.

Below are some of the common vias types and how they work:

  • Buried Vias: this is the most-used type of vias. It is typically used when connecting the circuit board’s internal layers – especially during the fabrication process.
  • Through-Hole Vias: as the name signifies, the through-hole vias is passed through a hole into the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). The through-hole vias works best with circuit board fabrications made with the Through-Hole Technology (THT).
  • Blind Vias: this type of vias is “blind” in the sense that it doesn’t necessarily make the way through the circuit board.

The Base Materials

The common base material used with a PCB is the Glass-Reinforced Epoxy. Also known as the FR-4 material, it is used to enable low conductivity, and flame-resistance in the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Layers

The PCB layers are the materials used for improving the efficiency and high-performance of the PCBs.

Depending on the type of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design, the layers can either be one (single-sided) or several (multi-layered PCBs).

4layer pcb

One thing you want to have in mind is that the layers are configurable or fabricated to fit into the respective uses.

Parameter Specifications

Since the PCB fabrication process involves the combination of the layers and the necessary patterns needed for the board design; it is imperative to be careful when working on it.

For that purpose, the consumer and the PCB fabrication vendor should put heads together to come up with the specifics, as per the consumer’s requirements.

The important specifications here include:

  • Copper balancing
  • The configuration and stackup for the Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
  • The types of vias to use in the board.
  • The minimum spacing and tracing width requirements.

Submission of the Final Schematics

The schematics include the considerations of the circuit board properties, as well as the final agreements on the circuit board’s design.

These are compiled into different data files and submitted to the PCB fabrication company. Examples of the data files submitted are:

  • Netlist
  • Bill of Materials (BOMs)
  • Gerber files (these contain the respective board layer image files)
  • Test point locations
  • The Pick-and-Place (XY locations) in the circuit board.

List of the Best Cheap PCB Fabrication Companies

Now that you know some of the important processes that go into making a PCB fabrication, let us now look at some of the vendors.

1. Rayming PCB & Assembly

Also called RayPCB, it is a China-based PCB fabrication company. The company has been using latest technologies to manufacture different kinds of PCBs in the last 15 years.

One of the outstanding advantages of working with RayPCB is the extensive list of cheap PCB fabrication services it offers.

The following are some of the PCB fabrication services the company offers at the time of writing:

Lead time is one of the important considerations when choosing a PCB manufacturer. As a consumer, you want to work with a company that gets the job done in a few days or weeks – depending on the volume of work.

Swimbi Full PCB Manufacturing

RayPCB has a combination of experts in PCB fabrication and the updated technological processes. This is the reason why the company has been able to cater to the needs of over 6,000 electronic contract customers and up to 10,000 electronic engineers.

You can be confident of getting maximum priority for your PCB fabrication project. Contact RayPCB today!

2. JHYPCB

The process of fabricating PCBs vary, depending on the board specifications, and of course, the type of circuit board. JHYPCB is your reliable cheap PCB fab if you are looking to get the job done in the shortest time possible.

The company describes itself as a reliable PCB manufacturer that “offers rapid PCB prototype service for quick-turn fabrication at high-quality and low cost.”

The most important point to note here is that the company is that JHYPCB specializes in the production of PCB fabrications that are used for prototyping.

From the list of services that it offers in that regard, we can see that it offers just the:

  • Quick-Turn Prototype PCB Fabrication and;
  • Low-Cost PCB Prototype Fabrication

Turnaround Time

Since it specializes in the quick-turn and low-cost PCB prototypes, one can expect that JHYPCB lives up to that promise.

Indeed, the company lives up to expectations, as it offers a fast turnaround time. You can expect your double-sided PCB prototype fabrication to be ready in 8 hours. However, if you are ordering for more prototypes, you can expect a higher lead time.

For example, the small batches can take up to 24 hours, expect a lead time of 36 hours for the multilayer PCB prototype and up to 3 working days for both the small and medium quantities.

3. Avanti Circuits

Avanti Circuits is an American PCB company that offers a wide range of fabrication services. It specializes in PCB fabrication and assembly – a combination of two important PCB designing services.

Target Applications

The range of PCB services offered by this company extend to different sectors. The following are some of the popular industries that the company manufactures PCB fabrications for:

  • Military
  • Medical
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace

Quick-Turn Services

Avanti Circuits also provides a wide range of fast-paced PCB services, one of which is the quick-turn PCBs. The company understands that the customers need the circuit boards to be ready in good time.

It offers the quick-turn PCB service to both PCB hobbyists and engineers from around the world. That way, these consumers get high-quality PCBs needed to start their projects in real-time.

4. PCBWay

One of the common uses of PCB fabrications is to get an idea of what the final design will be and how it would impact the real-world use cases. For that reason, PCBWay has opted to specialize in the fabrication of circuit boards used for research work purposes.

The company fabricates these circuit boards in smaller volumes and the lead time can be anywhere between a few hours and a few days. For example, the vendor promises to get up to 1m2 of standard PCBs fabricated in 24 hours. The lead time for the 5m2 and 10m2 standard PCBs are 4 days and 5 days, maximum.

However, if you are working with the advanced PCBs, the lead time may be a bit higher. The build/lead time of 5m2 two-layered PCBs is 7 days, while that of the 5m2 6 and 8-layered PCBs is 9 days.

Reduced Costs

One of the major advantages of working on PCB fabrications is the affordability. You can expect much more cost reductions when working with PCBWay. The company is able to offer the best PCB fabrication services at the lowest costs because of the following factors:

  • The company replaces the conductive adhesive technology with the chemical process for pads.
  • PCBWay also offers a reduced cost in the shipping costs. Customers can expect to pay less for the fabricated circuit boards, weighing less than a Kilogram (KG).

5. Electronic Integration Inc.

This is one of the leading fabricators of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). With over 25 years of experience in the PCB market, Electronic Integration Inc. passes as one of the best companies to contract for your PCB needs.

In terms of PCB fabrication, the company expects, among many other things, that the customers should provide the Gerber files for the silkscreen layer, copper layer and soldermask layer.

Customers are also required to provide the total quantities of PCBs required, the Excellon Format NC Drill File and the Gerber file containing the detailed drawings of the hole locations, slots and cutouts.

6. Best Technology

Best Technology, also known as Best PCB, specializes in the provision of full turnkey manufacturing solutions for the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). The company also offers PCB fabrication, assembly and prototyping solutions.

The company takes the process seriously, which is why it partners with the consumers throughout the design iterations, offering updates and requesting relevant information to ensure that the design comes out nice.

The company promises to offer the best PCB design, based on the schematic or design files you generated. But if you have an existing PCB design needing further optimization or updating, rest assured that Best Technology will handle that perfectly for you.

The Difference between PCB Fabrication and PCB Assembly

Most times, people are confused about the processes involved in making Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). These processes range from the designs to the final production of the standard PCBs.

The commonly-compared processes are the PCB Fabrication and the PCB Assembly. What do they mean and what are the core differences?

PCB Fabrication has to do with the initial design of a circuit board. In this case, the concentration is on getting the first design that would later be subjected to a series of procedures before the final board production. The process also includes the manufacturing of the circuit board, without placing any components on it.

On the other hand, PCB Assembly has to do with the last stages of designing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Here, the PCB designer places or mounts the electrical components on the board.

Therefore, the differences between the PCB Fabrication and the PCB Assembly processes are viz:

  • PCB Fabrication involves the initial designs and manufacturing of the circuit board, while the PCB Assembly takes place after the designs are complete.
  • PCB Fab involves the design of the board for prototypes to be made, while the PCB Assembly is usually the final design of the board.

Important Considerations for Cheap PCB Fabrication

The fact that making fabricates of PCBs is feasible today doesn’t mean that you should ignore some vital elements.

Below are some of the additional considerations, which when put into the respective perspectives, help to improve the circuit board fabrication process:

Average Volume

The cheap PCB fab company should offer a feasible lead time. Depending on the number of circuit boards to be fabricated, the lead time can be between 24 hours and 8 days.

Design Process

Will the cheap PCB fabrication company offer the designs alone or would it outsource the same? RayPCB handles all the PCB fabrication solutions in-house, and that is one of the reasons why are services are affordable.

Concluding Thoughts

The choice of a company that specializes in cheap PCB fabrication always borders on the volume of circuit boards it can handle, the design iterations and the years of experience.

If you are looking for the best PCB fabrication company with an emphasis on quality and low-cost designs, look no further than RayPCB. Contact us today for a quotation.

The Criteria to Choosing the Best MCPCB Suppliers

Different kinds of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) have been manufactured for use in different industries. The Metal Core Printed Circuit Board, otherwise called the MCPCB is one of such PCBs. In this article, we talk about what this type of PCB does, and how to choose the best manufacturers for it.

What is Metal Core PCB?

It is a type of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) with a metal as the base material. According to RayPCB, the MCPCB is also a “PCB having its base material as metal for the board’s portion that spreads heat.”

In light of the continued demands for circuit boards with higher heat dissipation capabilities, it is impressive to see that the MCPCB can offer more of that service. The heat dissipation capabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Redirecting excessive thermal energy (heat) from the crucial parts of the circuit board.
  • Helping in moving heat out of the areas that might be negatively impacted, due to excessive heat on the circuit board.

Using MCPCB in the LED Industry

There has been an astronomical increase in the numbers of Light Emitting Diode (LED) products. LEDs are greatly needed in a variety of lighting solutions, including electronics and street lights.

However, one downside to these LEDs is the higher heat dissipation capabilities. Since these LEDs can emit or dissipate more heat than necessary, it became imperative to find a way to remove a great deal of that heat.

Metal Core Printed Circuit Boards (MCPCBs) came to the rescue, as they serve as “conductive cooling elements” to facilitate the removal of excessive heat.

Simplified Cooling Process

Using the MCPCB in LED products helps to streamline the cooling process as a way of reducing the excessive heat dissipation coming from these products. Below are some of the creative ways to make that happen:

  • The integration of MCPCBs in the LED products helps to reduce the number of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) required to provide light or illumination.
  • The MCPCB can also streamline the heat dissipation process by using the aluminum PCB base as a “connecting point” to combine with the dielectric layer. The combination allows the MCPCB to connect both the Integrated Circuit (IC) and the heatsink for excellent heat passage in the LED products.

1. RayPCB

RayPCB is one of the MCPCB suppliers you should talk to if you want to get value for your money. Aside from being in the industry for many years and having several clients from different parts of the world, RayPCB is also reputed for the quality of the MCPCB designs.

The company’s Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) capabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Making a variety of holes, ranging from 4mil to 16mil.
  • RayPCB uses different kinds of materials for the MCPCB designs. These materials range from iron base, aluminum base and copper-based materials.
  • As a way of ensuring evened-out surface finish, the company offers an extensive list of surface treatment options. These options range from the Immersion Silver, HASL, Lead-Free HASL and ENG Gold
  • RayPCB also offers a wide range of solder mask color options. These colors include blue, white, green, purple, red, black and yellow.
  • On the flipside, the company only offers 4 layers for the Metal Core PCB.

2. Best Technology

Are you looking for a MCPCB supplier that understands the technicalities involved in making this kind of circuit board? Look no further than Best Technology. This supplier is committed to offering you a great deal of MCPCB service.

From the website, you can reach out to the customer representative and within 12 hours, you should get answers to your queries.

In terms of the MCPCB capabilities, the company has the following outstanding advantages over the competitors:

Multiple Layers

Best Technology can process your MCPCB orders up to 10 layers.

Different Surface Finishes

From the basic surface finish of HASL to the advanced variant of Selected Gold Plating, this supplier offers them all. The list of supported MCPCB surface finishes/treatment options also include:

  • ENIG
  • OSP
  • Hard Gold Finger
  • Flash Gold
  • Gold Finger
  • Silver Immersion
  • Gold Plating (up to 50mil)
  • ENIPIG
  • Tin Immersion
  • HASL (LF)
  • ENEPIG

Lead Time

Best Technology offers lead time, based on the quantity or requirements for the MCPCB. For example, the company makes an MCPCB prototype of 1 layer between a week and a week and a half. However, you can request an expedited service, which could take 48 hours.

The 6-layer MCPCB can take up to 5 weeks.

Nonetheless, you can always request an expedited service for the number of MCPCB layers you wish to design. It may cost you a little extra.

MCPCB for Different Markets

While Metal Core PCBs have found the way into the LED market, it can also be used in other markets. Best Technology offers the MCPCB design service for the following markets:

  • LED Lighting
  • Sinkpad PCB for light-curing equipment
  • Household lighting

3. Buljin Elmec Pvt. Limited

Buljin is an Indian MCPCB supplier. The company offers an extensive service ranging from the designing, manufacturing, tool punching and V-grooving to supply in panels. The company also specializes in reflow oven for soldering SMD LEDs.

The MCPCB Solutions

Buljin offers different kinds of Metal Core PCB services. The core service offered here is the production of MCPCBs for use with the LED light applications. The company also supplies the LED light accessories to buyers.

The LED Focus

Considering the overall adoption of MCPCBs in the Light Emitting Diode (LED) market, it is not surprising to see that Buljin focused on that. The company’s commitment extends to manufacturing high-quality Metal Core PCBs (MCPCBs) for use with the high-power LED lights applications.

In addition to that, the company also optimizes the MCPCBs to fit into a variety of LED lighting solutions, including:

  • Cove lights
  • Down lights
  • Solar lights
  • Home lights
  • Street lights

Excellent Lead Time

Lead time has to do with the time or duration it would take for an MCPCB to be prototyped and the final design readied. Buljin offers one of the shortest lead times, starting from a week for a 100 Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) of the circuit boards.

MCPCBs in Different Materials

Buljin also manufactures the Metal Core PCBs using different materials. The major material used is the aluminum base copper clad.

4. MADPCB

Here is another MCPCB supplier specializing in offering different kinds of Metal Core PCB services, ranging from the single to the double-sided boards.

Below are some of the reasons why you want to work with this reliable MCPCB manufacturer:

Custom Board Design

You want an MCPCB supplier that takes the specifications you have for the board and makes something unique out it. MADPCB is the manufacturer you should contact. As experts in this field, the company helps you finetune the type of Metal Core board you want.

All you are expected to do is to provide in-depth information regarding the type of board, the technology to use and the schematics.

MCPCB Prototyping and Production

Sometimes, it is better to make a prototype or “earlier version” of a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) before making the final design. That should help you find out potential errors and address the same.

You can be sure that MADPCB will be ready to take your design specifications into consideration when making this prototype.

Once the prototype is read, you can go through it and even send it for use in a mini market or application use to ascertain the working conditions. Thereafter, MADPCB will be willing to make the final design of the circuit board, based on the final conclusions on the design.

5. JHYPCB

If you are looking for the best MCPCB suppliers to work with, why don’t you go for the companies that have distinguished their services from the rest? If that be the case, JHYPCB has to be one of the manufacturers to have on the list.

The following points express the reason why we arrived at that conclusion:

In-House MCPCB Design

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) make the process of reoptimizing consumer electronics for the best performance easier. However, the process of designing these circuit boards can take a lot of time and if you are using multiple suppliers, it takes even more time.

That is why it is better to work with MCPCB suppliers that have an in-house designing process, thus, reducing the time spent going back and forth with communicating the different manufacturers.

JHYPCB’s in-house team places a premium on excellent MCPCB design, while offering the customers value for money. At the core of the services is the company’s commitment to take responsibility of the process, including the design challenges that might come up in the process.

JHYPCB Offers Varied MCPCB Services

From prototyping to circuit board assembly, the company offers these variations to meet the customers’ expectations.

The outstanding service is the MCPCB turnkey service, where everything relating to the circuit board’s optimization is handled under one roof.

Designs of Low and High-Volume MCPCBs

Whether you are looking to make prototypes of 10 MCPCBs or placing larger volume orders, you can be sure of getting them done in good time. JHYPCB is capable of fulfilling your small and large Metal Core PCB orders “without the restriction of the minimum pieces.”

Compliance with Industry Standards

If there is any important consideration in PCB design, it has to be the manufacturer’s compliance with the existing industry standards.

JHYPCB meets this requirement, as it follows the industry standards of manufacturing MCPCBs, while continually optimizing and using the latest technology to make the design process seamless.

The list of industry standards and quality management systems the supplier has in place includes:

  • UL
  • RoHS
  • IOS

Advantages of MCPCB to Standard PCB

If you are to choose between the traditional circuit board and the MCPCB for LED products, the choice would most likely be the latter. Metal Core Printed Circuit Boards (MCPCBs) have become the perfect choice for LED product manufacturers, who are looking to improve the performance of the products.

The following underscore some of the reasons why you need to get the Metal Core PCB for your next LED product release:

Excellent Heat Dissipation

One of the advantages of this type of PCB is that it offers a higher heat dissipation capability. This is because of the 9 times heat dissipation capability, when compared to the FR4 PCB.

Improved Performance

One of the major improved features that the MCPCB offers is the ability to offer a lowered thermal resistance, via the integration of a dielectric polymer layer with a high thermal conductivity.

It also improves the circuit board’s performance via the cooling of the “heat-generating components.” That way, these components wouldn’t be overly exposed to heat, which in turn, improves their lifespan.

Choosing MCPCB Suppliers: Key Points to Observe

Just setting out to pick a MCPCB supplier is not the best way to go about it. You have to consider some important factors, ranging from the supplier or manufacturer’s experience, the customer experience and the extensive list of MCPCB services it offers.

Below are some of the key points you want to look for when choosing MCPCB suppliers:

Check the Supported MCPCB Materials

What type of materials do the manufacturer use? The core MCPCB materials are Chip on Board (COB), Aluminum PCB and Iron-based PCB.

Each of those work perfectly, but depending on the type of application, you want the manufacturer to offer them all so you get to choose from the options.

Swimbi Full PCB Manufacturing

Design Guidelines

There are three (3) major guidelines to designing Metal Core PCBs. These are:

  • Single-sided MCPCBs
  • Double-sided or 2-layered MCPCBs and;
  • NPTH Drills

Find out the Level of Experience

Experience includes the number of Metal Core PCBs the supplier has manufactured and the customers’ satisfaction. You should be able to confirm that from the supplier’s “Testimonial” page on the website.

You can also use independent platforms like Trustpilot to verify the MCPCB supplier’s reliability.

Conclusion

To wrap it up, you can rely on RayPCB to deliver the best Metal Core PCB optimization for your brand. Reach out to us today or request an instant quotation for our MCPCB service.