The Superconductive Circuit Board

    How Copper Weight Impacts PCB Board Manufacturing

    One of the critical steps when ordering a printed circuit board is specifying the copper weight.

    The default, should you choose not to specify a weight, is 1.2 oz of copper. This is because customers routinely specify a minimum 1 oz copper thickness and 1 mil of copper in plated through holes. To achieve this, we routinely plate up .5 oz base material with .7 oz of additional copper which provides the requested thickness in the hole. Often our PCB board quotes will reflect this specifying .5 + .7 oz Cu/sq ft where the .5 is the base copper and the 0.7 is the plated copper.

    Printed Circuit Boards and single source strategies

    Single source arrangements between companies are often a source of stress for management, supply chain and operations personnel on both sides of the table. Provided it is managed intelligently, the relationship can be long-term and beneficial to both parties. But just a little bad luck or poor management by either side, can quickly escalate into a financial catastrophe.

    I have had the good fortune to have had roles on both sides of the single source table, first in purchasing, then in management roles. Initially, the challenge is to find a supplier with the knowledge, equipment and interest to provide materials with specifications far in excess of what is currently available in the market. In some instances, I was asked to find suppliers with the capability to manufacture components with tolerances beyond what our own QC department was able to measure. Depending on the complexity of your requirements, this phase can take months and requires travel to candidate sites to audit capabilities and access the flexibility of their organization. Typically, the virtues which brought you to the site were provided by sales and marketing types whose vision of the company exceeds their abilities. Once you sit at the table with those in the know, you quickly learn not only are they not able to provide what you need, they do not have an interest in pursuing it, much to the chagrin of the sales and marketing types.

    Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Silk-Screening

    One of the more artistic processes in a PCB manufacturing facility is the application of Ident layers, also known as silk-screening.

    Silkscreen is normally used on the component side to identify components, test points, PCB and PCBA part numbers, warning symbols, company logos and manufacturer marks. It isn’t uncommon to have silkscreen required for the solder side as well but if you are price sensitive, you need to know the work required to produce two silk-screens is simply twice as much as one.

    Silk-screening requires specially formulated inks. Standard colours are Black, white and .yellow. Non-standard colours can be requested but will impact your cost and your lead-time.

    Custom PCB shapes

    In business as in life, we learn more from listening than talking.

    Printed Circuit Boards Supporting Our Future

    Over the course of a year, our Omni website receives over 900 visits from students and instructors from more than 45 academic institutions located around the world.

    It all started in the early days of the Internet when Omni was one of the very first PCB manufacturers to create an accessible web site. Being one of the early adopters provided us an opportunity to support and collaborate with some of the more prestigious universities on the planet and the tradition carries on today.

    Printed Circuit Board Design Techniques and Best Practices

    Using a few simple techniques can help ensure a more robust printed circuit board design which can also help you save money.

    4 Tips for Saving on Circuit Board Prototyping Costs

    1) Thermal and antipad clearances

    Considering thermals and antipad clearances on the power &/or ground plane layers of multilayer boards - if layer to layer registration, tolerances for hole size, location, film expansion and registration have not been taken into account then manufacturing will experience high reject rates and increased costs.