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How to overcome the most common PCB Fabrication errors?

By Date posted: Last updated: April 20, 2021
PCB Fabrication USA

When it comes to PCB fabrication, we could be looking at a fair amount of complexity, as multi-layered boards with as many as 36 layers are being used extensively. What it brings in its fold, however, is the possibility of errors, which could turn out to be costly. There is, therefore, a pressing need to keep an eye on the common PCB fabrication errors so that they can be avoided. Here is a comprehensive list of errors to watch out for:

#1. Flex Cracking

What does it entail?

Simply put, this error occurs when the PCB bends excessively on account of the ceramic chip capacitor.

How can it be side stepped?

The simple solution to this problem is varying the size of the capacitor. The usage of a small capacitor can successfully solve this issue.

#2. Clearance constraint

What does it entail?

This is a fairly common PCB fabrication error. It occurs when in designing the board, the clearance constraint is not taken into account.

How can it be side stepped?

To ensure that this issue does not occur the manufacturing capabilities need to be understood prior to production, so that the board can be designed accordingly.

#3. Power shortage

What does it entail?

If there is a shortage of power during the building stage, it can impact the functionality of the board.

How can it be side stepped?

Visual inspections and cold tests can ensure that the board’s electricity is checked and that there is no inadvertent power shortage.

#4. Mechanical Issues

What does it entail?

A wide range of mechanical issues can take place if the components do not fit well on the board or if they are placed too close together.

How can it be side stepped?

It is imperative that all component dimensions are double-checked and that there is enough room for each component so that any issues can be avoided.

#5. Impedance Control

What does it entail?

Some PCB designs have components that require impedance controlled tracks. This requires that the specifications of the manufacturer are followed.

How can it be side stepped?

To ensure that no issues are faced, it is important that the manufacturer specifications are taken well in advance and strictly adhered to.

#6. Drill constraints

What does it entail?

The drill capacities of manufacturers are an important aspect to know before hand. Typically drill sizes range from 6 to 14 millimeters.

How can it be side stepped?

#7. Vias

What does it entail?

As part of the PCB fabrication service, it is important to drill holes for the vias. The holes are in turn plated. In case during the plating process the copper layer does not adhere to the surface, a discontinuity comes about. In turn, this could lead to a number of issues in the PCB.

How can it be side stepped?

To avoid this issue, it is important to ensure that the hole that is drilled is smooth. Rough or fast drilling can lead to the hole being defective as also cause uneven copper deposition. To ensure that this does not happen, it is necessary to use the recommended tools and to apply the right amount of force for the drilling. Any lapse in either of these two aspects is likely to lead to a PCB fab issue.

#8. Missing Solder Mask

What does it entail?

This issue erupts when the space between the pads is constrained. With closely packed pads, in turn, solder mask deposition is impacted. This could lead to short circuits besides impacting the life span of the PCB making it vulnerable to rusting.

How can it be side stepped?

This issue needs to be side stepped at the design stage itself. What is needed is strict adherence to issues such as:

  • Size of copper pads
  • Clearances
  • Copper trace

If these are taken care of, the copper masks in between the pads will not be an issue.

With Mermar Electronics, a credible PCB Fabrication service, USA, you can rest assured that the above issues are well taken care of. By virtue of our four decades of experience in the domain of fabricating complex PCB boards across industries, we can anticipate these issues well in advance and ensure that corrective action is taken. By partnering with us, not only are you assured of high quality PCB, but also complete peace of mind. For more information, Explore our PCB Fabrication Services.

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