Specifications for PCB Assembly Services

When it comes to board fabrication and PCB assembly services, companies should be thorough and get all specific information in order to get the order right.  It is crucial to get the board fabrication specifications, Gerber files, and other information such as number of orders and expected lead time.

One of the leading full turnkey custom PCB solutions company is Imagineering, Inc.  We are based in Illinois, USA.  Our experience has spawned an effective, lean business model that turns over product quickly and efficiently.  Our PCB assembly process is driven both by specialized equipment and software, as well as highly-skilled individuals on our team.  Our quick-turn assembly process is cost-effective, and has resulted in higher turn-over.  Of course, higher turn-over means increase in revenue, too.

Since the entire PCB assembly process begins with board specifications:

PCB Assemblylet us discuss the various components of the online order form that we have developed to serve our customers better. Aside from getting the Gerber files, we also ask our customers to specify the number of layers on the board. A PCB can have as many layers as needed, particularly for industrial purposes. However, new technologies have eliminated the need for many layers and instead made the components within each layer very powerful.

A PCB with 14 layers is standard. The number of layers depends on the complexity of the design. More layers mean more opportunities to create signal traces and power shapes into various devices.

All PCBs have copper surfaces:

However, copper easily oxidizes and deteriorates that’s why they need to have a surface finish in order to protect it.  Imagineering, Inc. offers various types of surface finishes:  leaded solder, lead-free solder, immersion gold, immersion silver, white tin and OSP or Organic Solder ability Preservative.

PCB AssemblyWith RoHS guidelines in place in the European Union, leaded solder finishes, although very durable, are limited to a certain degree. Hot Air Solder Leveling (HASL) comes in both leaded and non-leaded varieties.  The process of HASL involves immersing the circuit boards in a molten pot of tin or lead alloy that removes the excess solder.  Thus far, this method offers the lowest cost and it has the longest shelf life.  Immersion Gold and Immersion Silver both do not contain lead, and have longer shelf lives as well.

However, the disadvantage for gold is that could get quite expensive and it require a complicated process. Using white tin is another option.  However, tin can corrode and it is not an ideal PCB assembly process for multiple reflows. OSP is water-based and organic, so it is the most environmentally sound process.  It is also cost effective.  However, this type of finish has a shorter shelf life than the other finishes and it is also very sensitive when handled.

The next thing that a prospective customer has to determine is what type of solder mask they prefer for their PCB.  They can choose to mask just the top side, or just the bottom side or even both sides. Solder mask is a thin polymer layer that is applied to the surface of the PCB.  It provides protection.  The mask is a potent mixture made up of solvents and polymers.  It provides a thin coat on the layer.  Prior to mask application, the surface of the panels must be clean and free from oxidation. This gives the green color common in most PCBs.

Testing the PCB is very important:

However, in the interest of time, there are some companies who opt not to have their PCBs tested.

Since our PCB fabrication process also includes full turnkey services, we also offer materials procurement.  Our procurement team has developed relationships with quality suppliers all these years. Some of the materials that we have available are the following: Getek 170 Tg, Polymide 230 Tg, Allied 408 180 Tg, Rogers, ISOLA 410, FR-4 Standard Multifunctional 130 Tg, and many more.  For a complete list, please visit the website at www.pcbnet.com. We are WEEE certified and RoHS compliant.  Our process is also certified by ISO.

The testimonials from various customers on our website, www.pcbnet.com states that after thoroughly testing the PCBs that we sent them, they were very satisfied.  Most of our customers return to us because we are reliable and we have developed relationships with other raw material providers throughout the years.

Our expert PCB assembly team is backed by 25 years of company knowledge. Imagineering, Inc. has served great companies such as Whirlpool, Boeing, Datalogic, Fermilab, Hoover, Lexmark, NASA, The University of Chicago, Westinghouse, GE, Motorola, and many more.