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What Is a PCB Legend?

What Is a PCB Legend? A PCB legend is a layer of text placed on a printed circuit board (PCB) to label components and provide other useful information. Sometimes called silkscreen or component identification, legend text is printed on top of the circuit board’s solder mask as one of the last steps in the circuit board manufacturing process. Though a PCB may not technically require a legend to function, this text provides information that’s vital for assembly, testing and troubleshooting by the end user. Some common pieces of information included in a PCB legend include: Reference indicators labeling component types Polarity indicators labeling the polarity of certain components Component outlines indicating where components should go Test points to assist with testing and troubleshooting Manufacturer information, serial numbers and other labeling By indicating proper orientation and placement of components and providing other information about the circuit board, a legend helps ensure

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Rigid PCB vs. Flexible PCB

Rigid PCB vs. Flexible PCB Both rigid and flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs) serve to connect electronic components in various consumer and non-consumer devices. As the names suggest, a rigid PCB is a circuit board built on a rigid base layer that cannot bend, while a flexible PCB, also called a flex circuit, is built on a flexible base capable of bending, twisting and folding. Though traditional and flexible PCBs both fulfill the same basic purpose, it’s important to note that they have many differences. Flexible circuits are more than just PCBs that bend — they’re manufactured differently from rigid PCBs and offer various performance benefits and drawbacks. Learn more about the properties of rigid PCBs versus flexible PCBs below. How Are Rigid PCBs and Flex Circuits Different? A rigid PCB, usually known simply as a PCB, is what most people think of when they imagine a circuit board. These

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PCB Lead-Free Regulations

PCB Lead-Free Regulations Until recently, lead was almost ubiquitous in the construction of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Due to its melting point and ability to form strong bonds between surfaces, a eutectic lead-tin alloy proved highly effective as a solder material. However, as electronic waste volumes increased, the use of lead in circuit boards came under scrutiny in Europe and elsewhere. Lead is a toxic material known to cause serious health and developmental problems in humans and animals. Though electronics containing lead may not pose major threats while in the hands of consumers, lead can leak into the environment after devices are discarded in landfills. To prevent excess amounts of lead from entering the ground, water and air, several governments have placed restrictions on the use of lead in printed circuit boards. What Regulations Control the Use of Lead in PCBs? Two main regulations control the use of lead in

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ENIG Black Pad

What Is ENIG Black Pad? What Causes Black Pad? How to Prevent Black Pad How to Fix Black Pad Is Black Pad Still an Issue for ENIG? ENIG Black Pad Across consumer electronics and all other industries that rely on well-manufactured printed circuit boards — or PCBs — the ability of vias to conduct signals appropriately is tantamount to a successfully designed PCB. Vias are the conduits that allow electronic signals to pass between the layers of a PCB. Oftentimes, manufacturers add a layer of a conductive metal — typically copper — to a PCB’s substrate to connect the board’s layers as the necessary layout and holes are made. For some applications, copper plating is sufficient. However, for applications that create high levels of heat and/or strong currents, plated through holes can also be filled with more conductive materials like copper. This setup creates what’s commonly referred to as copper

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What You Need to Know About PCB Assembly

PCBA Terminology Through-Hole Assembly Surface Mount Technology Mixed Technology PCB Manufacturing at Millennium Circuits Limited What You Need to Know About PCB Assembly The printed circuit board (PCB) assembly process consists of various steps that must be performed in the proper sequence for the finished product to function as designed. To ensure that this happens, PCB manufacturers use screen templates and controlled heating and cooling mechanisms to regulate how components are applied and fastened into place. When you assemble a printed circuit board, you must choose the right technology for the type of components at hand. All of the parts and pieces must be correctly aligned in their designated spot, as specified in the PCB design. Any deviation, ever so slight, can have huge ramifications on the functions of the finished board. PCBA Terminology To understand the PCB assembly process, you need to know the meaning of several terms: Substrate:

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Guide to IPC Standards for PCBs

Why Do IPC Standards Matter? Improved Product Quality and Reliability Improved Communication Reduced Costs Improved Reputation and New Opportunities Terminology You Should Know A History of IPC Standards Examples of IPC Standards Our Commitment to Quality Guide to IPC Standards for PCBs As manufacturers of printed circuit boards, or PCBs, know, ensuring quality throughout the manufacturing process is critical and requires careful attention at all phases. Adhering to standards from the trade association IPC can help. What Is IPC? IPC is the trade association for the electronic interconnection industry. It provides standards for the assembly and protection of electronic equipment, as well as training, market research and public policy advocacy. IPC is a member-driven organization and has more than 4,800 member companies around the world. Its members include companies in all aspects of the global electronics industry, including designers, suppliers, board manufacturers, assembly companies and original equipment manufacturers. The organization

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Coin Insertion Technology as a PCB Thermal Solution

Coin Insertion Technology as a PCB Thermal Solution If you need PCBs for high-power components, a built-in cooling feature can be very important for keeping your PCB from overheating. Coin insertion technology for PCBs can be an extremely effective solution for thermal management. When it comes to embedded coin thermal management solutions, some of the most popular options are Embedded T-Coin, Embedded I-Coin and Embedded C-Coin. What Are PCB Embedded Copper Coin Thermal Solutions? The standard way to dissipate heat in a printed circuit board is through thermal vias. But most PCB material is not particularly good for heat transfer. Copper, on the other hand, is an excellent conductor of heat, which is why adding copper to your PCB is highly effective when you need to dissipate heat from an active PCB. With embedded coin technology, you can insert a piece of copper directly under the component to absorb and

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How Different Technologies Affect the PCB Cost

Factors That Affect PCB Cost Material Choice PCB Size Numbers of Layers Finish (ENIG, HASL, etc.) Size of Hole Minimum Trace and Space The Thickness and Aspect Ratio Custom or Unique Specifications PCB of Different Designs How Different Technologies Affect the PCB Cost PCB technologies involve high levels of intricacy. Depending on the design of a circuit board, its production could be more or less costly than the average PCB. If a PCB is intended for an everyday conventional item, the cost to manufacture the board itself should be significantly lower than the price of a board designed for high-tech machinery. Factors That Affect PCB Cost The three factors that most impact PCB manufacturing cost breakdown are the type of material, the size of the board and the number of layers. Other factors that can also impact price include the finish and the size of the holes, including these eight.

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PCB Jump Scoring

PCB Jump Scoring – V Scoring Explained Many in the electronics industry agree that V-scoring and PCB Jump Scoring are both extremely useful features when it comes to printed circuit boards. But what is V-scoring, and why might you want to use it for your PCBs? What Is V-Scoring? V-scoring is when you cut double-sided marks into the laminate of the printed circuit board to make it easier to remove individual parts from the circuit board array. To V-score your boards requires a scoring tool consisting of a top and a bottom cutting blade that you run across the panel in a straight line. In some scoring machines, you pull the panel through the blades to create the scoring. Why Use V-Scoring for Printed Circuit Boards? V-scoring is used consistently in printed circuit board assembly because it is a great cost saver and a highly efficient way to offer easy

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History of PCB Innovations and Their Impact

What Are Printed Circuit Boards? 1850-1900 2000 and Beyond Where Are Printed Circuit Boards Used 1900-1950 Quality Printed Circuit Boards The History of PCBs 1950-2000 Printed circuit boards are the internal components that transmit electrical signals through electronic devices. Every time you turn on a computer or press a button on a smartphone, radio alarm or stereo component, you are interacting with a printed circuit board, which are inside the enclosures of all such devices. If electricity is the lifeblood of electronics, printed circuit boards are the vital internal organs. In today’s heavily device-dependent world, most people are unaware of the complex circuitry contained in each smartphone or portable MP3 player. Without printed circuit boards, modern-day technology would have never become possible. What Are Printed Circuit Boards? A printed circuit board (PCB) is a substrate device that features etched-on electrical components. PCBs come in single, double-layer and multi-layer varieties with

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