PCB Manufacturing

Cheap PCB Manufacturing: Common Mistakes to Avoid

In today’s fast-paced world, advanced manufacturing techniques have enabled printed circuit board manufacturing companies to lower the cost of PCBs in the past few years. The designing of a printed circuit board is believed to be a complex process mainly when you want to do it at a low cost. Most of the time the cost of production increases when there are any sort of errors in the design and it needs to be recreated. So, the need of the hour is to avoid common mistakes during cheap PCB manufacturing and it is only possible when efforts are being put in the right direction by the right team of engineers and experts. If you are thinking about the creation of printed circuit boards, then you need to avoid some common mistakes that occur in cheap PCB manufacturing.

Common Mistakes in Cheap PCB Manufacturing

The significance of avoiding mistakes in the creation of printed circuit boards can never be put on second priority because it directly affects the performance, speed, cost, and reliability of the electronic device. Some of the most repeated mistakes are the errors in the layout, issues in the signal integrity, and some of the thermal management issues. It is necessary to identify and sort out any such issues in the stage of prototyping so that time and money can be saved effectively.

1. Selection of Wrong Materials

One of the common errors in cheap PCB manufacturing is the selection of wrong PCB materials. When it comes to pricing, then everyone wants to go with the budget-friendly offer, but it can cause a lot of problems for your printed circuit board. Sometimes, low-quality copper is employed which results in poor signals. The only solution to this problem is to use affordable materials but the quality is not compromised. Moreover, instead of using expensive materials like Teflon, cheap PCB manufacturing can be done by making use of FR-4.

2. Failure to Follow Designs

The basic method behind the creation of PCB is to make it easy and economical. But make sure that you don’t choose a complicated design because it can cause a schematic imbalance. This is more likely to affect the credibility and productivity of the PCB manufacturer. So, it is necessary that during cheap PCB manufacturing the design should be kept as simple as possible.

3. Reducing Slithers

You may be familiar with what a slither is if you are a PCB manufacturer. Slithers are undissolved copper particles that adhere to the circuit board during the protocol of chemical etching. These slithers can cause short circuits and some sort of failure in cheap PCB manufacturing.

4. Wrong Prototyping and Testing

One of the most important steps in PCB manufacturing is prototyping and pre-testing the printed circuit boards to erase the chances of any sort of errors. A PCB designer must test the PCB prototypes with the aid of advanced software. PCB designers should always check the present condition of the PCB prototype like the temperature and voltage to ensure that the testing is done properly.

PCB testing

5. Insufficient Documentation

It is often seen that while going for cheap PCB manufacturing, the documentation is often left incomplete which causes a lot of issues when any sort of maintenance is required. Sometimes, some serious issues are created when the electromagnetic interference is ignored.

6. Neglecting the Design of Manufacturability

Design of manufacturability (DFM) is a way where a printed circuit board is designed in a way that it can be budget-friendly and easier to create in a timely manner. If you ignore the rules of DFM, then it will result in the creation of a design that is not possible to fabricate, and time and money will be wasted equally. So in order to avoid this mistake while going for cheap PCB manufacturing, make sure that you follow the DFM principles. These rules include the easy analysis of bulk production and the usage of standard component footprints. This is how the cost can be reduced without compromising on the quality of products.

7. Power Distribution Errors

The performance of the electronic devices can be halted when the power is not being distributed equally and there is sufficient power supply to all components. This is mainly because of decoupling capacitors, unequal voltage distribution, and wrong grounding. To avoid these errors it is mandatory to do proper analysis during the creation of a printed circuit board. Designers should use such tools that are optimal for power distribution in the phase of designing.

8. Blind Trust on Automatic Routing

It has been observed that designers often rely on automatic routing which is offered by most of the printed circuit boards. However, automatic routing has its shortcomings compared with manual routing. It occupies more space and drills larger holes than other PCB boards during manufacturing. Subsequently, the number of PCB trace routing and holes directly affect PCB cost.

9. Wrong Antenna Design

If sometimes the printed circuit boards add antennas for the purpose of wireless communication, then the manufacturers need to be very careful so that all the possible mistakes can be avoided. It is mandatory to adapt the impedance between the antenna and transceiver so that the chances of power transfer can be maximized. The ideal level of impedance is considered to be 50 ohms.

PCB design

Conclusion

PCB manufacturing is a time-consuming and thorough process and it requires time and effort. Every step in the creation of your low-cost PCB should be monitored properly so that any fault doesn’t go into the next step. To conclude, cheap PCB manufacturing requires precision and a team of engineers and experienced workers. If there are some errors in the PCB design, it can result in big losses. So, it is wise to monitor the design of the printed circuit board so that all the possible mistakes during cheap PCB manufacturing can be avoided. If the printed circuit boards are designed properly, then it can help the electronic devices to run smoothly. By avoiding all these errors, you can fabricate your dream PCB at an affordable price.

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