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PCB Panel Design Consideration

printed circuit board

What are some of the most important factors you should consider when designing a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) to ensure efficient manufacturing?Consideration should be given to how the bare PCB will be supplied to the PCB / PCBA manufacturer for production.

  • For volume manufacturing, the tools used throughout the process need “tooling strips” on at least two opposing sides of the panel so they can be secured to prevent disturbance to the electronic components placed on the board. Besides handling, also consider:
  • The maximum size panel that can be processed
  • Addition of fiducial marks to allow vision alignment systems on different machines to know exactly where the PCB is with a high level of accuracy. The standard practice would be to add three fiducials to the panel in three of the four corners on both sides of the PCB so the machine can determine if the PCB has been loaded correctly
  • Addition of tooling holes within the handling edges for positioning in the various machines to be used
  • The method to be used for separation of the individual PCBs from the panel once fully assembled. Typical methods include:
  • V-Scoring
  • Routing
    • If routing is to be used it is important to detail the type and position of “breakouts” to be used.
  • Combination of both
  • Inclusion of a radius on the panel corners so that when the PCB panels are vacuum packed the panel corners do not break the seal.

A typical example of a PCB panel drawing may be like the following


Below are details for breakout design if the PCB panel is routed


After completing your PCB design, it needs to be sent to a PCB manufacturing company along with your panel design specification to ensure the format the PCBs are received in is as you require.

Optima Technology Associates, Inc., located in Lewisberry, PA and New Delhi, India has over 25 years of experience providing off-shore manufacturing capabilities of PCBs and PCBAs with local, on-shore support and engineering services.

Please contact us today to discuss how we can help you on your next project.