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PCB panelization

Munyua44

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I have been coming across the term PCB panelization when bidding for the PCB projects from my client. I have been building PCBs manually but currently my clients are talking of automation and in more so this panelization term is not missing in their talk. Ihave done some research on the internet and come across some relevant information on what panelization is. for example this article https://www.theengineeringprojects.com/2021/07/pcb-panelization.html is addressing this issue. My problem is now how do i implement this process. Is it done during the process of designing and on the EDA software or it is the role of the manufacturer to do the process? how is it actually done?
 

KlausST

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Hi,

Note: I consider "theengineeringprojects" rather as a commercial site that an good place for information.

To your topic:
Panelisation is good for small PCBs. You don´t have to handle each small PCB by PCB, but you have many PCBs on one panel. This is a benefit in time and reduced errors for
* PCB production
* stock
* when applying solder paste
* (SMD) assembling
* soldering
* testing

Thus
* solder paste stencil needs to be manufactured for panelisation
* data for the assembling machine needs to be generated for the panelisation

So you can do the panelisation on your own (copy & paste on the EDA). Then you have all parameters in your hand.

Or you may have the PCB house make the panelisation. Then they should also produce the according solder paste stencils and they need to provide you the exact X and Y offsets to generate the assembling data.

Some PCB manufacturers provide an online tool to design the panelisation. This is what I prefer.
Thus you have the parameters in your hand but still you have a "single board" in your EDA, which makes redesigns more easy.

I guess every designer has his own preferences and also the application has it´s requirements.
Somehow you have to find your own way.

Klaus
 

FvM

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In series production, PCB are usually ordered by the contract manufacturer with panelization for best machine utilisation. Because the final panelization isn't yet known at PCB design time, it's mostly accomplished in a Gerber tool, either by the CM or PCB manufacturer.
 

Munyua44

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Hi,

Note: I consider "theengineeringprojects" rather as a commercial site that an good place for information.

To your topic:
Panelisation is good for small PCBs. You don´t have to handle each small PCB by PCB, but you have many PCBs on one panel. This is a benefit in time and reduced errors for
* PCB production
* stock
* when applying solder paste
* (SMD) assembling
* soldering
* testing

Thus
* solder paste stencil needs to be manufactured for panelisation
* data for the assembling machine needs to be generated for the panelisation

So you can do the panelisation on your own (copy & paste on the EDA). Then you have all parameters in your hand.

Or you may have the PCB house make the panelisation. Then they should also produce the according solder paste stencils and they need to provide you the exact X and Y offsets to generate the assembling data.

Some PCB manufacturers provide an online tool to design the panelisation. This is what I prefer.
Thus you have the parameters in your hand but still you have a "single board" in your EDA, which makes redesigns more easy.

I guess every designer has his own preferences and also the application has it´s requirements.
Somehow you have to find your own way.

Klaus
thanks for the information. Would you kindly help me know a manufacturer who can provide an online tool that can help me do the panelisation? I would really like to know one asap so that I can have a try on their process.
 

Munyua44

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In series production, PCB are usually ordered by the contract manufacturer with panelization for best machine utilisation. Because the final panelization isn't yet known at PCB design time, it's mostly accomplished in a Gerber tool, either by the CM or PCB manufacturer.
do you mean after i accomplish the design i should not get bothered about the panelization since the manufacturer will do that for me? if that is the case then it is an easy way to go
 

FvM

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do you mean after i accomplish the design i should not get bothered about the panelization since the manufacturer will do that for me? if that is the case then it is an easy way to go
That's the usual way in series production, but there are other options. Talk to the manufacturer.
 

marce

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Firstly how is the PCB going to be removed from the panel...
V-score, mechanical routing and breakout pips are the two usual methods. V-score can cause stress to components such as MLCC near the score line, not my preferred method.
How many PCB's on a panel.
Border size for machine rails, 5mm is minimum 10mm is prefferable.
Having done it and having had the tools to do it ( a front end system is best, CAM350 or similar) I can tell you it's a pain, a big pain. Get the manufacturer to do it if possible.
 

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