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What is PCB Panelization?

PCB panelization is a manufacturing technique in which smaller boards are integrally fabricated together as a single array, making it easier to pass through the assembly line. Individual panels can be easily separated or removed from the array for packaging or installation into the product. Alternatively, the PCB processing edge surrounds a single panel to increase its width to fit the assembly line. In short, paneling means putting together boards to help increase processing speed. When optimization is especially important, grouping is especially common in the case of high volume and fast turn to orders. When you connect smaller boards together, the easier it is to pass the assembly line. The board can be easily removed later.

In order to get the benefits of mass production brought about by panelization, it is important to consider the following design considerations:

PCB array strength.

There is a trade-off between ease of separation and array integrity during the production process. Increasing the number of boards per array increases strength and reduces vibration.

Component layout.

The placement of components and connectors, especially components and connectors that hang from the edge of the board, may limit your panel options. Note the location of sensitive SMT (Surface Mount Technology) components towards the edge of the board.

PCB shape.

The shape of your board can complicate panelization. Rectangle is ideal, but if your board shape is complex, alternating images from 90° to 180° can help you maximize the space on the panel. The profiled panels are assembled into an array using a CAD program.

Tool Holes - Arrays typically provide automated test space for tool holes.

Advantages of PCB panelization

PCB panelization not only helps small boards adapt to standard production processes, but also increases productivity.

Mass production. If you need to build a large number of boards, panelization will save you time and money.

Product Safety. Assembly protects the PCB from shock and vibration during assembly.

Speed ​​and efficiency. From solder paste printing to component assembly, soldering, and even testing - as part of a larger array, processing multiple boards at once is faster and more efficient. Processing multiple boards at a time, the speed is given. Whether it means welding or testing, it gets faster.

Standard panel size. Manufacturing circuit boards using the manufacturer's standard processing panels is often more cost effective. Processing multiple boards at a time, the speed is given. Whether it means welding or testing, it gets faster.


PCB panelization

However, some limitations on panelization include its use for small batch PCB manufacturing. Grouping is also limited by the following factors:

Plate thickness
Component weight
Space between boards
Ensure panel efficiency:

Board should have similar dimensions
In general, the board parameters must be similar
There should be a similar copper distribution

Can be panelized in different ways:

V-groove panel - this involves making V-shaped lines between the boards and is very useful when there are no hanging parts
Separator - This is the method of perforation between the individual plates.
Choosing whether to use V-score or tab routing methods depends largely on the design.

Shape: Typically, V-scores apply to regular shapes, while label routing works for unusual shapes.
Edge components: For components placed close to the edge, tab routing may be better than v-scoring.
Edge quality: again in terms of edge quality, label routing is preferable
The time V score is better from the perspective of the required time.
Waste - V scribe is preferred in terms of material waste because it reduces waste and reduces the total cost per board