The two most common ways of panelization are V-groove panelization and tab-route panelization.
l This method involves cutting 1/3 the thickness of the board from both the top and bottom with a 30- to 45-degree circular cutting blade. The remaining board is quite sturdy and is depaneled by machine to avoid stress on the PCB.
l This method permits placing PCBs of the same or different designs together. Space is left between the perforated tabs and the traces and surface mounted parts.
Depanelization is simply removing individual PCBs from the array. Several different ways are used to depanel PCB arrays:
– Only appropriate for strain-resistant circuits.
– Used on V-grooves. It is best for cutting very large panels into smaller ones, this method is inexpensive and low-maintenance.
– A two-part fixture punches out single PCBs. Higher capacity, but higher maintenance and cost.
– Single boards are connected using tabs; the router bit mills out the tabs. Can cut arcs and turn at sharp angles, but capacity is lower.
– Can perform at high feed rates, cutting both V-grooved and non-V-grooved PCBs.
– Low mechanical stress and precise tolerances, but has higher initial capital outlay.
Panelization presents a number of challenges in several areas:
1. – disadvantages of some depanelization methods:
· Saws can only cut in straight lines, so are appropriate only for certain arrays.
· Lasers should be used only with an optimal board thickness of 1 mm or less.
2. – require pre-routing to avoid interference with depanelization:
· Components overhanging an edge can fall into adjacent parts.
· Overhanging components can be damaged by a saw blade or router during depaneling.
3. – sometimes incomplete files are provided to the manufacturer, which can increase costs in several ways:
· – These tiny holes permit small PCBs to be used in an array. Drilling these holes leaves rough edges. If the mouse bites are not shown in the data file, the unexpected extra work to remove the edges increases labor costs.
· – If tight tolerances are not specified in the data file, the cumulative effect of tiny variances could cause failure. With more boards in the array, registration can go off-center.
· – Without complete data, issues such as a short during power ground short testing can be extremely difficult to trace back to their source.
Taking the above methods and challenges into consideration, an experienced PCB manufacturer can avoid problems before they occur. Working with a preeminent printed circuit board like these PCB solution will ensure that your panelized PCB works as it should, is cost effective, and meets the highest industry standards. MOKO technology LTD can do it better!