It is true that PCBs with excellent quality begins with the design and develops with the right raw materials. However, along the PCB fabrication processes, good practices are as important as perfecting the design. No matter how good the design of the PCB is, if the practices during the fabrication are substandard, the final output will be of low quality. We share to you the different good practices that every manufacturer should be adopting.
We analyze your data files:
The moment you send us your Gerber and Excellon files, we check for errors on the design. Of course, we trust your design but we still have to do this for final inspection. Our years of experience thought us to check on the data from our customers. This becomes our standard operating procedure so we could help minimize the errors when we test the PCBs before shipping. We collate those errors for future reference so that when we find that your design contains similar errors, we tell you about it.
Communication is important:
During the designing process of the PCB fabrication, we communicate whatever errors we find in your design. When we know that we cannot proceed with the fabrication if you do not rectify the errors, we coordinate the solutions. You may change the design and accept our suggestions. We may sound bossy but we are trying to help our consumers to the best of our abilities. A slight error in the design may result to a defective PCB. This includes a whole batch of PCBs.
We test your PCBs:
Some manufacturers test only a sample in a batch. This method of testing is cost-efficient but may not yield the best results. Not all PCBs have the same errors. Therefore, to make sure that all of your PCBs are in good condition, we perform testing in all of your PCBs. However if the quantity of the PCBs are more than a hundred or more, testing all of them may not be practical for us. Thus, before we proceed with the mass-production of your PCBs, we create a prototype to see if the PCB design is accurate.
We inspect the quantity of the PCBs:
As final inspection steps, we count whether we fabricated the exact quantity of your order. Once we know that the PCBs are complete, we forward the items to the assembly units for placing of components. If you avail of our PCB fabrication services only, we transfer the PCBs to the packaging department.
In case that the final number does not conform to your order, we perform a top-up order so we could meet the deadline. Losing boards during the fabrication process is normal but this does not hinder us from providing quality service.
We check the dimensions and other related features of the PCBs:
Aside from counting the quantity, we check the final dimensions of the board. It should conform to the dimensions specified in your design. We also inspect if the holes are correct in diameter. We examine if the platings are done correctly, or if the solder masks are in top condition.
Usually, we perform tape test to make sure that the solder mask does not fall out. If no residue is apparent in the tape after sticking it to the PCB, the PCBs are ready for transfer to the assembly or packaging department.
We require certifications from our employees:
To ensure that we deliver the best PCBs, we require our employees to obtain certain certifications related to the PCB fabrication process. For example, our design engineers should have a certification in CAD system so that they could spot errors on the design data files. Our fabrication team undergoes training on how to operate a CNC machine or ink jet technology. Whether the employees are new or not, we require them to improve on their skills.
Every year, the PCB industry introduces new technologies in the process of making PCBs. To stay competitive, we ensure that our team has the necessary updates on their skills and knowledge.
We acquire the certifications from the government:
The government is very strict on hazardous chemicals. Therefore, we acquire the certifications to operate in an environment that exposes us to hazardous chemicals. We also use protective gears to safeguard our employees from prolonged exposure to chemicals and other hazards.
Quality PCBs starts with a good design but the PCB fabrication depends on the practices that a manufacturer adopts. To deliver excellent PCBs, we make sure to adhere to our company standards and follow the government rules on PCB handling and manufacturing. Our process is not perfect but we do our best to become excellent in all aspects of the fabrication and assembly process. We stay updated of all the new technologies. As much as possible, we adopt whatever new technologies we think adds value to our process and service.
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