Panelization of printed circuit board has consideration with PCB manufacturing efficiency. Printed circuit boards are required to be kept safe during manufacturing, shipping and assembly process to avoid damaging of unit.Panelization contribute two factors to the manufacturing of board, one is the lead time of manufacturing can be reduced. Another advantage that panelization offers is, it is an aid for manufacturing of small printed circuit boards of irregular shapes. In broader sense the product quality can be controlled easily. The size of printed circuit board panel must confirm with the manufacturing ability of unit. It should have capabilities of automation equipment including paste printer, SPI system, re-flow oven, wave soldering machine. Some irregular printed circuit board of smaller sizes cannot be panelized.
A paramount problem which has been consistent in the process panelization of printed circuit board, the SMT fabricators fail to take consideration of manufacturing in terms of cost. This method has to depend on the combination methods according to the printed circuit boards requirements.
Some combination method of panelization
This method is the vastly used panelization method. It brings lots of advantages as far manufacturing of the printed circuit board is concern. First and foremost advantage is that, it is compatible in all situations, with no consideration to be taken of SMT manufacturer fabrication conditions and product combination. Another advantage is there is no influence of manufacturing item numbers on panelization. There is a unique process for some components of printing stencil design, because of panelization the printing quality will not diminish because of orientation of pad. For manufacturing of printed circuit board the cost of panelization is acceptable by manufacturers and the highest quality level of boards can be maintained.
Rotation Angle Panelization:
This is basically a material saving method from waste. In order to make the material utilization optimum, panelization is implemented by rotating 90 or 180 degrees. This method is called rotation angle panelization. The method of rotation angle panelization also offers some disadvantages. The mounting efficiency in printed circuit board manufacturing is decreased by method of rotation angle panelization and mounting quality will not a part of consideration in stable state. If the state is stable the visual inspection method of quality check is providing good results and on the other hand because of continuous rotation for the operator it is difficult to have observation regarding printed circuit board and chances of error in inspection result would increase. Ultimately it decreases the quality of board.
Double side panelization:
In this method of panelization both sides of the printed circuit board are panelization on one side as a panel. This method panelization is used in case where the volume of board on either size is not large and the heat resistivity of component is very poor. It has some advantages. It increases the efficiency of the process and also decreases manufacturing cost. Double layer printed circuit board in one-time craft, it cause saving of printing stencil and increases the utilization efficiency of the SMT equipments. The manufacturing of such board do not cause much waste of materials. By and large it can be said that this sort of panelization is beneficial for mass production of printed circuit boards.
It is also known as characteristic panelization, in this process different types of printed circuit boards are combined together according to the combination principles. This process certainly has some good features. This process is suitable for production of such models which has combination of different types of printed circuit boards, for example households and some toys. It also contribute in terms increasing the production efficiency and cost cutting so that the products turnover and semi-finished products would not get piled up as inventory, and also makes it capable enough to meet the customer requirements of quick shipment. On the other hand it has some disadvantages as well. In the assembly line of printed circuit board, differentiation of products is difficult to manage, ultimately it cause chaos in the process. In the process of making combination if unfortunately one board is of good quality and another is of bad quality, then the overall number of such panelization will decreases and it bring down the manufacturing efficiency.
The ideal method of panelization is for production of a specific printed circuit board is decided through the manufacturing efficiency, process complexity, economy, the techniques of depanelization; of the process. The processes of depanelization are viz. V-groove and snap hole. In this process of depanelization, the pressure applied in the process is very critical. Hence it should be taken into full account , in order to restrict the deformation and also assurance regarding depanelization. The process of snap hole is generally utilized for printed circuit boards, whose thickness is less than 1 mm and consists with components which are sensitive to external force like BGA so that the possibility of reflow deformation can be restricted. Ultimately the quality of product, improvement in efficiency of manufacturing process and distribution of external forces; such objectives can be achieved.
Panelization also offers a number of challenges. The method of depanelization produces lot of dust which is required to be vacuumed out. Laser cutting process must be used with board of thickness of 1 mm or less. The hanging part of printed circuit board must be managed, during the process of panelization possibility that these components can be damaged. Tolerances are also a critical consideration, if not defined well in initial design phase, then the cumulative effect of small variances in dimensions could cause abrupt failure. With more boards this problem usually get multiplied.