BESTProto is an ITAR Certified company, is the best place for prototype PCB assembly services in Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, & Iowa. Follow this blog for most recent and up-to-date information about P.C.B. Assembly
As technology changes and evolves, the printed circuit boards that enable devices to work have to evolve as well. With this trend, investing in PCB layout service is more important than ever before as it can save you both time and money. Durable rigid flex PCBs are able to withstand today’s challenge of flawless performance, regardless of the application.
Rigid flex circuit boards are a hybrid of all the best qualities of the rigid and flex circuits boards. These hybrid circuits provide better quality control and more design options. Organizations that produce aerospace, medical, automotive, military, and consumer electronics, are increasingly utilizing the versatility of rigid-flex PCBs.
When designing and building a rigid-flex circuit board, there are a few basic layout guidelines that can help to ensure consistent quality, while still adhering to production timelines. Here is an overview of the guidelines to follow when building a rigid-flex PCB.
Insulate with Bondply: Take the time to insulate the rolled-up copper cladding that is used within the flex layers of a rigid-flex PCB. The bondply prevents the copper from becoming brittle over time.
Adjust Via Spacing: The best way for pliable flex materials to remain stable is to place vias 50 millimeters from the edge of the rigid area, adjacent to the flex ribbon. This distance is greater than that found in rigid-only stackups, but it is essential to retain stackup stability.
Alternate Flex Traces from Layer to Layer: For the PCB wiring to continue functioning as intended, ribbons need to remain flexible. In order for this to happen, traces cannot be positioned on top of each other, layer upon layer. Instead, stagger the traces vertically to allow for optimal ribbon flexibility.
Adapt Adhesive Application: Be aware of where adhesive is being placed. Do not apply adhesive to the bendable parts of circuits that have more than four flex layers.
At BESTProto we know the best practices when providing PCB layout services and assembling PCBs. If you are looking for PCB assembly services or want to know more, visit bestproto.net today.
Printed Board Circuits are the backbone to electrical devices, and the connections made between components lead to electrical signals. Poor functioning design can lead to problems along the production line, which is why there are some key fundamentals to be aware of when designing a PBC layout.
PBC Design Flow
There are four specific steps used by a PCB layout service to create a functional design flow:
Step 1 is Part Research and Selection, which evaluates the physical components and examines how each part will function within the design cartography.
Step 2 is Schematic Capture and Simulation, and this process involves capturing the circuit components and linking them together to form the substantive design as well as simulating the circuit to analyze the signals and behavior of the components.
Step 3 is the Board Layout, and this is comprised of placing all the physical components and integrated circuits onto the circuit board and checking the form factor of the PBC.
Step 4 is Verification and Validation, which implicates a two-step process of a prototype test and manufacturing test to verify the design meets the original blueprint and proper testing standards for the customer.
PCB Design Optimization
Optimize the design by organizing the circuits into segments in congruence with function. Group each section to maintain short conductive traces. Arrange the path of electrical current on your board to be linear. Lastly, sustain a star configuration so that the components get equal voltage in equal length.
The most optimal thermal design for a PCB will produce equal temperature across the whole board. Achieving proportionate thermal conduction is by using copper planes and thermal vias as follows to distribute the heat evenly thus lowering the temperature of the PCB.
Test a PBC for functionality
Decisively test the PCB to check all available outlets making secure that all components are functioning as designed. Do white-box and black-box testing to analyze the inputs, outputs, and any pathways to ensure no failing components.
BESTProto uses advanced software to create PCB layouts. If you’re interested in a PCB layout service, our staff will work with you through every stage of the process.
Organizations rely on circuit boards to conduct their business daily. When a circuit board gets damaged or stops working, consider circuit board repair service before tossing it out. Here are a few reasons to consider a repair before a replacement.
Save Time, Save Money, Improve Bottom Line
When you invest in repairs from a reputable company, such as BESTProto, you will save time and money, thereby improving your overall bottom line.
Knowledge and Experience
When it comes to knowledge and experience, you can’t find anyone my knowledgeable and with more experience than BESTProto. With our years of experience, we are able to offer affordable repair services for a variety of printed circuit boards. You’ll be hard pressed to find another company that offers repair services that are equal to our level of experience and knowledge.
Because printed circuit boards are highly complex and sophisticated, they require individuals who are highly trained to repair them. Through years of experience, all of BESTProto’s technicians have gained the necessary skills and experience to handle any circuit board repairs that you may need. Additionally, we only use the highest quality tools and materials needed to ensure quality repairs.
As you can see, when you are looking for quality circuit board repair service, you can’t go wrong with Best Proto. We offer quality service that can’t be beaten anywhere else. Our services are affordable, reliable, and supersede industry standards. If you need any circuit board repairs, contact us today.
The most common devices associated with engineered prototype PCB assembly designs and implementation include computers, cell phones, TVs, radios, digital cameras, and host of other plug-in and battery operated devices. Although, printed circuit board assemblies are not limited to consumer electronics, there are various industries that rely on this technology as well. Read on to learn more about the different industries that use PCB assemblies to help power their electronics.
The medical field is heavily dependent upon electronic devices to not only administer medication but also provide valuable information and monitoring. Because many electronic devices are now denser and require less power to operate, it has become possible to test new and exciting technologies. Because medical devices need to be small and as dense as possible, they utilize high-density PCBs. High-density PCB assemblies allow medical equipment to accommodate the unique requirements that many devices face, that allow them to be small and lightweight. PCB assemblies can be found in pacemakers and larger medical devices such as X-ray machines and CAT scan equipment.
PCB assemblies are commonly found in high-powered industrial machinery where they utilize thick copper PC Boards in lieu of one-ounce copper PCBs. Most often, these are found in motor controllers, high-current battery chargers and industrial load testers.
LED lighting has rapidly gained in popularity, due to their low power consumption and high energy levels. Ironically, the PCB assemblies that are used to make these lights also require low amounts of energy. The specific type of PCB assembly allows heat to transfer at a higher level than standard PCBs.
Automotive and Aerospace
Both the automotive and aerospace industry utilize flexible PC Boards, as they are designed to withstand the various high-vibration environments which are commonly found in both. Depending on the specifics of the device, these types of PCB assemblies can also be lightweight. Other restrictions that are common in both the automotive and aerospace industries is that PCB assemblies need to fit in tight spaces, like an instrument panel or behind the instrument gauge on a dashboard.
As you can see, PCB assemblies are everywhere! Whether you are in need of a lightweight, compact, or any other prototype PCB assembly, BestProto can provide design, engineering, and assembly services for a variety of industries.
When electronics first made their debut, components were soldered to each other or to terminal strips and tube sockets. Thanks to advances in technology, this method has evolved into printed circuit boards via quick turn PCB assembly, making connecting components easier and cheaper.
What are PCBs?
PCBs, also known as printed circuit boards, PWBs (printed wiring boards) and Circuit Cards are thin boards made out of an insulating material, (usually fiberglass) with a metal-coated surface. In some instances, the metal-coated surface can be coated on both sides of the board. Within the metal, there are tiny etches made by using acid to remove the unwanted metal, that allows electricity to travel across the surface to various components that are mounted to the board with solder.
Advantages of PCBs
The growing demand for smaller electronics is possible thanks to PCBs. Not only do PCBs allow devices to be smaller, but they also allow them to be more compact with everything contained on a convenient, rugged circuit board. On a printed circuit board, you will find drilled holes, allowing resistors and capacitors to be inserted and soldered through automation.
Where Can You Find PCBs?
The good news is that PCBs are everywhere! Just about every electronic appliance you use on a regular basis contains a printed circuit board. Some of the most common devices that have PCBs include smartphones, computers, printers, televisions, stereos, digital clocks, microwave ovens, cell phones, and so much more!
In computers, the largest PCB is known as the “motherboard” and serves as the heart. Other circuit boards inside computers perform necessary functions, such as RAM (random access memory), power supplies, modems, and video cards. It is easy to see just how important printed circuit boards are for helping devices function the way we have come to know and expect them to. Printed circuit boards and quick turn PCB assembly have made dramatic changes to the world of electronics.
When a printed circuit board (or PCB) fails or malfunctions, do you repair or replace it? Unfortunately, most organizations don’t have the time or the resources to try and repair PCBs and opt to purchase a new one. This is generally done because it used to be time-consuming and expensive to try and figure out what was wrong with it. This has changed with a growing number of organizations deciding to offer PCB repair services, making fixing your circuit board more affordable.
Find an Honest Contract Manufacturer
There is an abundance of manufacturers who are eager to repair your PCB. But be careful who you entrust with your repair work, not all are going fulfill their promise with honest and effective repairs. Find a manufacturer who has IPC trained and certified technicians with the knowledge and expertise necessary to address any faults or issues with it. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t always know if a company made the PCB to spec to begin with or if high-quality components were used, or if it was even properly tested. To avoid these costly mistakes, it is crucial that you take the time to do your research and find a reputable manufacturer who will stand behind their work.
Quality Work and Repair Services Saves You Money
When you take the time to find a manufacturer that offers IPC quality repair services, you’ll save money. Additionally, quality PCB repair services will take great care to use the highest quality parts available, ensuring that your electronic device lasts longer. Having quality, dependable equipment and devices allow you to focus your energy on growing your client base, offering quality service, and improving your business overall.
One of the biggest advantages that PCB repairs offer is their environmental-friendliness. They promote recycling of old parts, allowing your business to leave a smaller carbon footprint. While not every circuit board can be repaired, consider it before purchasing a new one.
At BestProto, we specialize in creating new PCB boards and providing quality repair service that you can count on!
From smartphones to kitchen appliances, the heart and soul of each electronic is composed of a Printed Circuit Board Assembly that was, once upon a time, a prototype PCB. Each one comes in an array of configurations that allows it to serve a specific function.
As electronics continue to evolve and change, so will PCB Assemblies. Currently, they are found in just about every industry, continually evolving to create new applications. Because PCB Assemblies can be printed on a variety of materials and are pliable and sturdy, they can be used for nearly anything. We will explore the most common applications.
Electronics play key roles in the healthcare industry. You can find PCB Assemblies in diagnostic, monitoring, and treatment devices. As electronics continue to develop and evolve, there are infinite possibilities as time goes on.
PCB Assemblies can be used within medical devices are extremely specialized so they can fulfill unique tasks.PCB Assemblies used for medical applications tend to be highly dense interconnections.
Because these devices are used for medical applications, medical PCB Assemblies are held to a higher standard than most other PCB Assembly types. Medical devices that depend on PCB Assemblies to operate include:
We use these types of electronics on a daily basis. Types of consumer devices include smartphones, computers, kitchen appliances, and entertainment devices. Located in each of these devices, you will find a PCB.
Because consumers purchase electronics in mass quantities, it is necessary for the production of PCBs to keep up with the demand. These types of PCBs come with a low per-unit cost, facilitating a low-cost final product.
The biggest challenge that PCB manufacturers encounter with PCBs for consumer electronics is that they must achieve uniformity and maintain quality. As a result, PCB manufacturers are required to comply with strict industry standards and quality-control measures that ensure every consumer electronic will function as it is designed and expected to.
The most common consumer electronics include:
Mobile Devices (smartphones, tablets, GPS)
High-powered industrial applications depend on PCBs to control the mechanisms used in factories and manufacturing facilities. As a result, these devices need to be able to survive harsh conditions that are often found in industrial installations.
Because the industrial industry is a fast-paced environment, industry standards are equally rigorous. Examples of PCBs being used in industrial applications include:
Industrial Equipment (electrical drills, presses)
Measuring Equipment (measure and control pressure or temperature)
Power Equipment (DC to AC power inverters, solar power cogeneration equipment)
As you can see, PCBs are everywhere. They are responsible for the functionality we experience every day, from mixing a batch of cookies to reading our blood pressure. All of these electronic devices were once merely a prototype, with a proto PCB that was tested, tried, and, eventually, perfected.
Several new technologies are shaping the PCB assembly services sector, and most of these have been developed in response to market pressures. Whether they’re responding to forces from the environmental sector or from legislative changes, engineers have been hard at work developing new techniques that are transforming the industry.
Wearable Computing and the Healthcare Sector
A recent push from the healthcare industry to produce smaller devices that could be used in surgery has spurred on the development of new nanotechnology solutions that focus on building components smaller than 100 square nanometers. Minimally invasive surgical procedures necessitate the use of tools that can fit into extremely small openings.
Consumers have been contributing to this type of transformation as well since the demand for wearable computer parts has also created a strong need for ever smaller components. Engineers are beginning to manipulate surfaces on an atomic scale, and this is helping them to design materials small enough to meet exacting specifications.
Green Manufacturing Processes
The demand for greener products has influenced the PCB market on more than one end of the market. On the production side of the equation, PCB manufacturing and prototyping companies have retooled their factories to comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. While this directive was primarily designed to influence the sale of products in the European Union, many North American companies like BESTProto have sought to eliminate the following six substances from their circuit boards:
RoHS rules forbade the use of any lead-based solder that’s greater than 0.1 percent of the weight of an assembled printed circuit board. Consumers, too, are demanding greener products. With a societal push for environmental conservation, more people are looking to make ecologically-friendly choices. In response, some companies have had to eliminate many chemicals even if they didn’t necessarily have to abide by the rules from a legal standpoint.
New chemical technologies are quickly replacing the use of these toxic substances when it comes to consumer-grade equipment. Lead-free solders using tin, silver, indium, zinc, antimony, and other metals are quickly making it possible to assemble circuit boards that don’t have poisonous chemicals in them. Advances in recycling have also made it possible to recycle existing electronic waste and prevent the release of these chemicals back into the environment.
With consumers continuing to push for smaller and more environmentally-friendly devices, PCB assembly services should keep moving forward with the development of new techniques and materials for the foreseeable future.
While large companies might be able to handle production delays, you’ll want to look for a PCB assembly partner that can work quickly, while providing regular updates about the process and provide design for manufacturability (DFM) feedback. Keeping a few simple tips about the best industry practices in mind can save a good deal of grief when it comes time to send in your design.
If you’re looking to hire a company to provide prototype services, keep an eye out for any of the following red flags:
Minimum production order requirements
Prototype partner wants you to source all the parts by yourself
Quotes take too long to get to you
Quotes seem outrageous
Long periods of time pass before the company gets back to you
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re dealing with a domestic prototype PCB assembly services company. While overseas companies might offer lower quotes, dealing with language, time zones, logistics and customs can add unforeseen delays and costs on top of whatever amount they claim it will cost. Shipping times between countries can also be extremely slow, which is a huge problem if you represent a smaller firm that needs to get a product to market as quickly as possible. Recent advances in PCB technology are making it possible for American manufacturers to now offer landed prices that are competitive against offshore options anyway.
Signs You’ve Picked a Good Partner
Companies that adhere to the best practices in the industry tend to make excellent partners. While it used to be rare to find service providers that accepted small production runs, many of the best domestic companies now have much smaller minimum orders. Established companies like BESTProto also offer PCB testing services, which gives you the option of going with a single service provider to assemble and test your circuit boards, thus cutting out the middleman. This also helps to decrease the amount of time it takes to get to full-scale production.
If you’re able to quickly get in touch with a representative from the assembly service provider, you’ve more than likely picked a good partner. Pay attention to how knowledgeable they seem. Prototype PCB assembly service providers that share the industry’s best practices with all of their employees are likely to make good partners.
Once you’ve made your decision and you’re sure that you’re working with the right partner, the prototyping process should be a breeze.
You have a spectacular idea for a new gadget with functions that are easily controlled by a printed circuit board. However, you only have a schematic. The PCB cannot be released to the public in its current form. It’s time to consider a PCB layout service to take your PCB based product to market.
Designing as a Functional Feature
A layout service takes your circuitry connections from a schematic or breadboard, and they create a manufacturable PCB unit. Every circuit must be logically arranged on the board so that the electrical signals move through each component with ease.
This service will include an in-depth look at the safety of your circuits. Certain elements, such as microchips, must have the necessary insulation surrounding them. Without this design feature, the chip’s functions might break down because of interference from nearby resistors, transistors or capacitors. You can avoid any functional headaches with a PCB layout service.
Outsourcing to Professionals
Your idea and overall business could benefit from PCB services for a number of reasons. By turning to professionals, you’re freeing up resources within your business. An entire department can concentrate on other aspects of your gadget.
Outsourcing the design process is simply more convenient. Allow the experts to figure out any issues that might be plaguing the circuitry. You’ll receive feedback on the work, which keeps the rest of your project on track. Dedicating the right people to specific tasks will only boost your productivity and success over time.
Creating a Dialogue
It’s easy to have tunnel vision when it comes to your circuitry design. Hundreds of hours have probably gone into this design, and it finally offers the functionality that you demand. Working with a service gives you a third party’s view of your work. They may see improvements or changes that you’ve overlooked. These suggestions aren’t comments on your abilities, however. A fresh look at the design may be what you need to move the project forward.
Saving Production Funds
One of the costliest mistakes in the production world is faulty dimensions. You might have a PCB size in mind, and housings for your creation are being built right now. Any changes to the PCB size, however, renders your housings obsolete. PCB services will get the circuitry and size right the first time. Therefore, reducing the probability that your production will suffer.
When you turn to BESTProto, you’ll be working with professionals who understand the PCB layout business.