The most cost-effective method of producing circuit boards is by printing multiple circuit boards onto a panel. These panels must then be separated into the smaller, individual boards the customer ordered. This process is called depaneling. Years ago, this process was painstakingly done by hand, but as circuit boards got thinner and more fragile, these manual methods quickly became impossible and unaffordable. Today, there are a slew of different technologies available to depanel circuit boards, each with their strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will explore those differences.
Depaneling an array of assembled circuit boards can be a huge time and money saver for the PCB manufacturing industry. Printed circuit boards can be lumped together en masse in panels and separated after all of the individual boards on the panel have been populated with components. The process of depaneling can be complex because of the massive amount of circuit boards types. With so many things to keep track of, there can be complications, but they can be easily avoided with proper data analysis and preparation.