SOS: We Cannot Produce Our PCB! 3 Tips To Avoid This In The Future
Designing good PCB can be a tough endeavour. There are many details to consider, which means an equal amount of pitfalls to fall into.
A simple problem that is easy to overlook, is the simple issue of having a PCB that is too difficult or costly to produce.
This stems from insufficient planning or too much focus on other details. The result is that too many focus too much on material selection, construction and components and thus completely forget about the end product and its production.
#1: Design in a way that allows for mass production
You’ll solve this fairly easy by setting up your design rules in the program you are using. Set up rules that dictate how close the various components can be placed. That way you can ensure that your design rules will enable the intended final outcome.
This is, of course, just one example. But it’s a crucial one to make, because it means other rules can also be set up, which will make production of the final outcome easier.
Allowing more manufacturers to produce it is not only smart, but also reduces your costs. There’s the question of never putting all of your eggs in one basket, but if several factories can carry out production, most often, they will compete on price, which will be to your advantage.
It also applies the other way around – the fewer the factories that have the capabilities of producing your product because of its complexity, the more the prices will soar.
#2: Do your homework regarding production!
There’s of course a tradeoff between the cost of your design and what it will be used for.
Are you creating a standard transistor radio, or a component for a satellite that will go into space?
There’s a good probability that the design that goes into space will need much higher accuracy, and chances are, more expensive components than the cheap transistor radio. This often means a bigger budget for these kinds of projects compared to a mass produced transistor radio, which makes all the sense.
These considerations have to be included very early in the design process, because it will inevitably also affect your overall planning, strategies, material selection and much more.
Considering the production of the end product might seem like a no brainer. But we’ve witnessed, on a continuous basis, how this has been overlooked and the consequences of this. Consequences can be at project management level, but also in terms of functionality of the design.
#3: Make sure you know your standards and requirements!
Another factor that can influence the production of the PCB is whether you comply with the IPC standards correctly for your class of product or not.
If you do not comply fully with the applicable standards and requirements, production errors become very possible. If you start seeing a pattern in that, i.e. 10%, of your production fails, it may be due to poor compliance with these standards.
To avoid this you must ensure, throughout the entire project, and almost even before it starts, that the structure, material choice and thickness is correctly outlined.
Unsure whether or not your design can be produced?
No worries – we can take a look at it for you and give you the guidance you need in order to be able to proceed.
We offer a free PCB consultation – which is guaranteed nonbinding.
In this consultation, we can go through some of your pending issues with production and I’ll give you my input.
I have more than 25 years of experience with a multitude of different projects – and also helped save those, who got off the wrong foot from the start.