Like the mild mannered reporter, depaneling doesn’t stand out in the crowd compared to PCB design, circuit etching, and component placement. But depaneling is really an overlooked potential superhero in the PCB manufacturing process. Do it right, and you can meet or even increase production yield goals and rule the plant floor. Do it wrong, or do it with the wrong tools or process, and you could end up being the villain with damaged components, too much waste, and not enough production yield.
Pumps, catheters, diagnostic valves . . . when you’re combining clear plastic parts, major headaches can occur. Traditional laser transmission welding requires one half of the component being joined to be laser-transmissive (allowing laser light to pass through), while the other half is laser-absorbing, thereby creating a surface which can melt and create a bond. The challenge when welding two clear (and laser transmissive) pieces of plastic together, is that the laser light simply transmits through both halves of the component, as there is no absorbing material present to heat and melt in order to create the bond. But solving that problem created another.
Release your creativity with an in-house prototyping machine.
Ever see those posts about “life hacks” – how to use common everyday things in new, creative ways? Like using a gum wrapper and a battery to spark a flame. (A bit useless unless you’re stuck in the woods, but you get the picture.) At LPKF, we see our engineering customers using our PCB prototyping machines for a lot more than just what they were designed for. What’s more, they are saving significant time while boosting their creativity by not having to send out prototype jobs to a PCB or other fabricating vendor.
The top five reasons manufacturers are turning to UV laser PCB depaneling.
Does it bother you that you’re using a depaneling tool commonly referred to as a pizza cutter when you’re working on sophisticated PCBs populated with highly sensitive components for military, aerospace, or other precision high tech applications? We thought so. The mechanical stress to the board alone and its impact on yield percentage and quality drives designers and production managers crazy. But your CFO has suggested a UV laser PCB depaneling machine isn’t justified. So you’re left with little choice other than to rely on basic depaneling processes utilizing punches, routers, saws and even your bare hands.
You don’t have to look far to find a PCB fabrication house that offers a free design package as an incentive. On the surface, these packages seem to be a great deal. They boast features that include extensive part libraries, integrated design schematics, and easy-to-use board creation wizards. And instead of paying hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for your design software, you pay nothing.