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PCB panellization -- request information

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Jul 22, 2013.

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  1. Guest

    Could some electronics guru please
    shed some light on the following ?
    Recently, a colleague of mine was
    discussing the PCB panellization
    technique, where a large PCB board
    can consist of a number of smaller
    boards, and after fabrication, this
    large board is cut up into a number
    of smaller boards, each for a slightly
    different use.
    What puzzled us was how in this case
    would the Berber files be organized.
    I have some familiarity with Gerber
    files, and it was not clear how the
    fabrication details for two(for
    example) separate PCBs be included
    in the same Gerber file, given that
    they are PCBs for different purposes.
    Is it the case that the initial layout
    is done in way that at the time of
    Gerber file generation, they come
    out as layout details for two
    separate PCBs, but included in the
    same Gerber file ? Any hints, ideas
    or relevant pointers to information
    would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    in advance.
  2. Usually you can do it yourself - the pcb software has a "panelization"
    tool or "step and repeat". The gerbers then show the full panelized
    artwork (an array of individual circuits). You put the scoring lines on
    the fab layer (or on another one).

    Alternatively the PCB supplier can do it for you. But remember any
    solder paste stencil has to match so this can complicate things if this
    is done by someone else, since you won't have the matching gerbers then.

    In the special case of multiple designs on the same panel, you can just
    present this as a single gerber with an array of circuits again with
    scoring lines shown as before. In principle this should make no
    difference but most do charge extra in my experience. I guess it is
    harder for them to QC / test.
  3. Board manufactures typically use 12"x12" or even 24"x24" formats to
    build the PCB layer by layer. The gerbers or artwork is repeated
    across the Panel to inprove yield and also for manufacturing/stuffing

    THe scoring you refer to is called V-scoring and ther is a special
    "pizza' cutter to cut the boards down to the final shape.

    But usually the panel, once it is fabricated, is then stuffed. Either
    with thru-hole or Pick and place SMT parts. Then wave soldered or run
    thru an IR oven for SMT. For SMT there are Fiducal marks out side the
    V-score area that help the pick and place machines line up the smt
    parts. After stuffing the Edges and with the fiducial marks are cut
    off at the v-score.
    Half way down this page is a V-score example

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