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How does the PCB board array/panelize?

How does the PCB board array/panelize?

1. What is PCB arrayor panelize? Why PCB need panelize?

When the unit PCB board size is small or irregular shape, in order to reduce the difficulty of the SMT and improve the SMT efficiency, we oftern panelize unit boards in accordance with the specified number.

From the design of PCB to the final mass production of PCB, PCB panelize is also a very important matter. It is not only involves the quality standard of PCB , but also affects the cost of PCB production.How to make a reasonable and effective panel on the premise of ensuring the quality of PCB , so as to save raw materials and reduce the price, this is a issue that we pay great attention to . 

2. PCB panelized methods.

There are three common methods of PCB panelize: V-cut, stamp holes and hollow connection bar. 

2.1 V-cut

V-cut is to draw a slot at the junction of two unit boards. The connection is thin and easy to break.It is just merge the edges of the unit boards together. In addition, V- cuts are generally straight lines, and there will be no complex lines such as curved arcs. So when design the array, try to keep them on a straight line.

Since V-cut can only go straight, it is only suitable for regular PCB board splice connection. For irregular PCB board, such as round, we need to use the stamp holes to panelize the unit board connection.

2.2 Stamp holes

The stamp holes is another way to connect the unit PCB, which is generally used more in the special-shaped PCB.


It is called the stamp holes because the edge of the board looks like the edge of a stamp when broken off, as shown in the picture below:



The stamp hole stitching is connected by a small piece at the edge of two boards, and there are many holes in the connection between this small piece and two boards, so it is easy to seperate the PCB after assembly.

Usually the drawing of the stamp hole jigsaw is as follows:


2.3 Hollow connection bar


The hollow connection is similar to the stamp hole, the difference is that the connecting part of the connecting strip is narrower, and there is no hole on both sides. The disadvantage of this method is very obvious bump when the board is broken apart. But the bump of the stamp hole is not very obvious. Because stamp hole is separated by the cross hole. Why still use the hollow connection? In fact, there is a situation where the stamp hole and V cut can not be used, that is, when the module is surrounded by a half hole, it can only be connected by a hollow connecting strip at the four corners of the module. It is as shown in the figure below:


1. PCB panel edge

PCB panel edge is use for our assembly machine. It's cheaper for both customer and us to make PCB without any edge, but we have to add it . When we assemble PCB with machines we have to meet certain standards. 
What is the PCB panel edge? It is to add 5mm to 7mm on both sides of the PCB panel board. There cannot be any patch components on these two sides.

This design is very easy, just need to add the 5mm to 7mm blank area to the array edges.

4.  About the Mark Point on the panel edge

Then, we need to add the MARK point and the positioning hole to the designed edge. The MARK point and the positioning hole are the position identification points used by PCB in the design of the auto-mount machine, also known as the reference point.

The Mark point directly affects the printing efficiency of the stencil and ensures that SMT equipment can accurately locate PCB components. Therefore, the MARK point is critical to SMT production.

At least one pair of MARK points on each side of PCB is located in the diagonal direction of PCB . The relative distance is as far as possible, there should be at least three MARK points on the technological edge in the L-shape distribution, and the diagonal MARK points are asymmetric about the center. If assembly components are available on both sides, Mark points should be placed on each side.

The shape of Mark point is a solid circle with a diameter of 1MM. The material is copper , the surface is tin. The flatness should be paid attention to, the edge is smooth and neat, and the color is obviously different from the surrounding background color.

The distance between the Mark point edge and the PCB board edge should be at least 3.5mm (the center of the circle should be at least 4MM from the board edge). The distance between MARK point and other metal round points of the same type (such as test point, etc.) should not be less than 5MM.

In order to ensure the printing and patch identification effect, there should be no pads, through holes, test points, circuits and screen printing marks in the range of Mark points. which should not be CUT by V-cut slot to make the machine unrecognizable. If the MARK point is made on copper clad foil, it should be isolated from the copper foil.


5.  Other Points to Note

5.1  PCB panel board widthshould be ≤260mm (SIEMENS line) or ≤300mm (FUJI line); If need automatic dispensing, PCB assembly width × length should be ≤125 mm×180 mm.

5.2 The shape of PCB board is as close to a square as possible, and 2×2, 3×3,... array. Each single board on the panel side should be on the same side and same direction as possible. Unless the PCB shape is special, the TOP side and BOTTOM side must be panel in one side, or sense of rotation to save costs, and this way will bring great difficulty to SMT.


5.3 The center distance between the small unit boards need control between 75 mm and 145 mm.

5.4 There should be no big or protruding components near the connection point between the shape of the panel board and the internal unit boards. And between the unit boards there should be a space of more than 0.5mm between the edge of the components and the PCB, to ensure the normal operation of cutting tools.

5.5 In the four corners of the frame of the jigsaw board to do four positioning holes, aperture 4mm±0.01mm. The strength of the hole should be moderate to ensure that it will not break when carrying or operating.


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