What is a PCBA Design?
Appropriate PCB designing techniques are very crucial and integral parts of any and every electronic gadget used for either domestic or industrial applications. As the circuit designing and components selection is essential, laying out a PCB diagram is as important.
If proper time and thought are not invested in the PCB layout, the design may end up as improper, failing to translate well to the real world. For any project, a clear guide is not provided even when the design objective is clear. To avoid this negligence you must know the best techniques and practices in PCBA Designing.
Best Practices in PCBA Designing:
Mentioned below are the 6 major practices to be kept in mind for a PCB layout that will guide you in identifying some of the core considerations for each part of the PCB.
Encourage Manual Routing
Manual routing techniques should be used frequently instead of auto-routing. The human mind is more intelligent than the auto-routing system CAD. Hand routing is preferred unless it is a very complicated PCB like multi-layered with many ICs. The final design will be much cleaner when Manual routing is done.
As appealing as it may seem to work on polygon shapes or multiple grids, a PCB running on such grids are more likely to fail. This occurs due to the increased complexity caused by the grids.
Clean and Smooth Copper Foil Traces
While designing and drawing the copper foil traces for printed circuit boards make sure that the shape of the copper foil on the board is compact and thin whereas the ends of the copper foil should be round. This helps to avoid sharp corners as such corners, dust particles, moisture, etc often lead to discharges and sparks which result in damageable circumstances such as a short circuit or a leakage.
Use of Solder Mask
Soldering masks should always be used in your PCB designs to lessen the risk of short circuits during the soldering process as the chances of sparks or short circuits are very high during the process.
PCB Design Software
The designing software used for PCB also plays a vital role. Free software is easily available but as a professional, industry-standard software is used to create UETPCBs. Some of the top-rated software include:
- Solid works PCB
- Autodesk Eagle
- Altium designer
Incorporating Heat Sensitive Components
One of the best PCBA techniques includes the placement of components that produce heat away from the ones that are prone to heat such as electrolytic capacitors and thermocouples. Attaching an electrolytic capacitor close to the heat source will reduce their operating time and lessen the operating life. Placing thermocouples close to the heat generators may ignite a spark by messing up the temperature measurements. The component used in the PCB that generates heat generally are inductors, resistors, bridge rectifiers, etc.
45-degree Trace Angles
Utilizing the 45 degrees angle is a very effective practice as the width of the traces is not impacted and at the same time, the acid trapping that is harmful to the circuit board is disabled. Angles lesser than 45 should also be avoided as they can cause electromagnetic radiation with time.
Key Elements or Components of a PCB
A variety of different electrical elements are used to create a single PCB. Each element indulges in its way in the functionality of the device the PCBs belong to. All the components ensure the safe running of the devices. Even if one of these elements fails to work, the whole PCB will crash down affecting the working of the product. The cost of a PCB can also be affected by the number of layers. A single-layer PCB cost is the least expensive, while a multi-layer PCB can be more expensive. The number of layers is determined by the complexity of the circuit and the amount of space available.
A few of the most common PCB components are mentioned below.
Transforms are the element used to transfer electrical energy from one circuit to the other by increasing or decreasing the voltage.
A device used in a circuit that enables the electric current to flow in one way only. This is often used to block the current to flow in the wrong direction if there are changes to damage the PCB or the device itself. One of the most popular examples of a Diode is an LED that is commonly used to release light.
The most commonly found element in the PCBs after resistors are capacitors. They hold a charge in the boards and only release it when more power is required anywhere in the circuit of the board.
An amplifier used to control the electronic signals in a board is called a transistor. They are available in various variations however the most common one is the bipolar transistor consisting of; the base, the collector, and the emitter.
Similar to capacitors, inductors convert the energy into a magnetic field when the current flows through them and stores it. The use of inductors is to block the signals inside the board for example when there is an interference from another electronic device.
Devices are used to detect changes in the environment and generate a signal in response to the changes noticed. These signals are then passed on to the other elements of the PCB.
Resistors are a very vital element in a PCB as they transfer an electric current to produce a voltage and convert the electric power into heat.