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software for pcb panel step and repeat

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Raveninghorde, Oct 20, 2009.

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  1. I'm looking for software to layout the step and repeat for panels,
    probably using the gerbers.

    So far all I've found is Viewmaster EZ from Pentalogix.

    Any opinions on this or suggestions?
     
  2. We get too many problems leaving the panel layout to vendors. Panels
    that sag during flow soldering, tabs that damage tracks near the edge
    of the board and so on.

    Our pcb package does not allow us to layout the panel.
     
  3. We get too many problems leaving the panel layout to vendors. Panels
    that sag during flow soldering, tabs that damage tracks near the edge
    of the board and so on.

    Our pcb package does not allow us to layout the panel.
     
  4. Thanks. Doesn't look promising.

    "Other CAD programs will NOT WORK with a very high probability, as the
    input parser is quite primitive. "
     
  5. Of course it will, you just have to do it manually, cut'n'paste style. Needs
    some care, but not hard. Every package allows that.
    Screws up your DRC, but you normally do this on a sperate panel file anyway.
    What package are you using?

    Dave.
     
  6. CAM350 appears to allow panelization for manufacturing.

    But, the PCB mfg usually does all that stuff to minimize waste.

    Cheers
     
  7. I'll look at CAM350.

    I don't like leaving the pcb manufacturer to specify stuff, it usually
    causes problems.

    For example I used to instruct "UL mark pcbs including date code". So
    some boards came in marked 0708 and some 0807, no clue as to whether
    it was mmyy or yymm. On checking I found they did it differently on
    different production lines. It wasn't something we spotted and was
    picked up when our customer had a UL inspection. Not to mention UL
    logos on pcbs - a nightmare. I now check the UL registration of all
    pcb suppliers.

    More to the point I specify a max panel size that works for us based
    on pick and place bed size, flow soldering nozzle width etc. We have
    had panels from a UK company arrive in with a random width edge on the
    panels, anywhere between 10mm and 30mm. This is way outside the
    ability of the pick and place to find the fiducials.
     
  8. You should check ALL UL registrations, at least for new suppliers..
    it's easy to do it online. Recently had an issue where the stuff was
    approved but they had fallend behind in protection money to UL so we
    held up the order until they forked over the money.
    Ewww. random. Might be worth asking for a GIF of the panelized
    Gerbers?


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  9. On Wed, 21 Oct 2009 07:57:53 -0400, Spehro Pefhany

    SNIP
    Random because they were using a guillotene to cut the panels down
    after manufacture. If I remember correctly our panel was 3 x 2 boards
    and they were making a panel 6 x 8 boards. This is the sort of thing
    you don't expect until it happens.

    Another issue is that we use manual solder stencil machines and even
    small adjustments between panels wastes time.
     
  10. We buy 80% of our boards direct from a Chinese factory now even for
    fairly low quantities. The quality is significantly better than from
    the low cost end of the UK market.

    The reason for starting this thread was to find a program that let us
    set up the X and Y and tabs etc ourselves. Then I have the information
    as part of the manufacturing file for that product. That lets me swap
    suppliers without having to respecify this information and getting
    tabs moved by 5mm etc
     
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