Technical guide

Designing printed circuit boards (PCBs) that are optimized for efficient PCB assembly is crucial for achieving cost-effective production and high-quality end products. By considering specific design principles and guidelines, clients can greatly enhance the manufacturability of their PCBs. This comprehensive technical guide aims to provide engineers and designers with detailed insights, data-driven recommendations, and practical tips to ensure smooth and successful PCB manufacturing.

Component Placement

Strategically place components on the PCB to minimize signal interference, optimize routing, and ensure proper heat dissipation.
Group related components together to simplify assembly and reduce assembly time by up to 30% .
Maintain a minimum clearance of 0.2 mm between components to facilitate soldering and potential rework.

PCB Layer Stackup

Choose an appropriate layer stackup based on the circuit complexity and performance requirements.
Utilize a balanced layer stackup with optimized copper distribution to achieve better signal integrity and impedance control.
Incorporate power and ground planes with a recommended thickness of at least 0.5 oz (17 µm) to enhance noise reduction and minimize voltage drops.

Trace Routing

Maintain appropriate trace widths and spacing to prevent signal degradation and ensure manufacturability.
Follow industry-standard trace width guidelines, such as IPC-2221, which recommends a minimum trace width of 0.15 mm for signal traces.
Use differential pair routing with a spacing of 0.15 mm to 0.25 mm for improved signal integrity in high-speed designs.

Design for Assembly (DFA)

Utilize standard surface mount technology (SMT) footprints and component packages to leverage automation and reduce costs.
Implement fiducial markers with a diameter of 1 mm to 3 mm to assist with automated assembly processes and improve placement accuracy .
Incorporate self-centering components and avoid overhanging components to eliminate potential assembly issues.

Design for Manufacturing (DFM)

Collaborate closely with PCB assembly service providers early in the design phase to leverage our expertise and manufacturing capabilities.
Address design aspects that could lead to manufacturing challenges, such as inadequate clearances (recommended minimum clearance of 0.2 mm), unsupported materials, or complex assembly requirements.

Documentation and Communication

Provide comprehensive and accurate documentation, including assembly drawings, bill of materials (BOM), and assembly instructions.
Maintain open and effective communication channels with PCB assembly service providers to address any concerns or questions during the manufacturing process promptly.

PCB Size and Component Selection

Consider the dimensions of your PCB to ensure compatibility with standard manufacturing processes and equipment.
Favor surface mount device (SMD) components over through-hole (TH) parts whenever possible to minimize assembly complexity and costs.

PCB Surface Finishing and Assembly Drawing

Select an appropriate surface finish, such as HASL, ENIG, or OSP, to enhance solderability and protect the PCB during assembly and operation.
Provide a clear and detailed assembly drawing, including easy-to-identify polarity marks and component references, to aid in accurate component placement.

Sample Finished Built Boards and Instructions

Consider sharing sample images or photos of previously assembled PCBs to demonstrate the quality and capabilities of our assembly services.
Consolidate all assembly instructions in a single readme file to ensure clarity and ease of reference for assembly technicians.

IPC-A-610 Class and Consigned Projects

Evaluate the application requirements and determine whether IPC-A-610 Class 3 (high-reliability) or Class 2 (standard) standards should be followed for assembly.
If providing your own parts for consigned projects, avoid using discontinued or hard-to-source components and include extra parts to accommodate potential losses or defects during assembly.

Conformal Coating and Production Capabilities

Provide a drawing with clearly defined masked areas for conformal coating, specifying the regions to be coated and those to be left uncoated.
Refer to our capability page to understand our production abilities, including assembly volume, lead times, and additional services offered.