The Circuit Board

Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Avoiding File Errors

Posted by Paul Jackson on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 @ 08:39 AM

At Omni not all PCB files we receive are from seasoned PCB design professionals.

Designs also come to us from enterprising individuals who can credit their body of knowledge to the results of internet searches. The inspiration for this article came from one such individual.

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Tags: printed circuit board design, printed circuit board manufacturing, pcb board design

The Hiring Process - Conducting Interviews

Posted by Paul Jackson on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 12:35 PM

Interviewing provides the opportunity to learn about the applicants skills, abilities and how well they respond under pressure.

< Short Listing the Candidates  Group Decision Making >

Set the rules for the interview team

Before the interview, sit with the team and review the rules of engagement. Basic rules include no questions regarding religion, ethnicity, family, sexual orientation or any topic which would make a reasonable person uncomfortable. If someone on the team doesn’t grasp the limits, replace them now.

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Tags: printed circuit board design, printed circuit board manufacturing, commentary

The Hiring Process – A practical guide

Posted by Paul Jackson on Tue, Mar 03, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

With over thirty years experience culminating in my most recent adventure, PCB manufacturing at Omni Circuit Boards, I have had my share of successes and failures when it comes to hiring.

Short Range Searches >

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Tags: printed circuit board design, commentary, PCB manufacturing

Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Working with Duroid laminates

Posted by Paul Jackson on Wed, Sep 03, 2014 @ 06:45 AM

If you have ever driven in the winter and suddenly lost control for no reason, you probably experienced black ice.

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Tags: circuit board, printed circuit board design, pcb, PCB manufacturing, pcb board design, PCB drilling, printed circuit board, pcb board

Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Odd Layer PCB Boards

Posted by Michael Lesiak on Tue, Aug 05, 2014 @ 12:36 PM

Our cookbook of PCB recipes includes an assortment of odd layer PCBs.

About 8% of PCB boards we are asked to produce are comprised of an odd number of layers. But unless you have a specific requirement, it is usually best to design a multilayer board with an even number of layers. Reducing an even layered board by one layer may seem like a cost-saving move, but from a PCB perspective it is not. It may actually increase the cost as well as lead-time and leave you with a warped PCB board which may not meet your expectations. Let's look at the issues in detail.

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Tags: printed circuit board design, printed circuit board manufacturing, multi-layer, PCB manufacturing, pcb board design, pcb board

How to Avoid PCB Board Delays in CAM

Posted by Paul Jackson on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 12:21 PM

CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) is the art of translating a PCB board designer’s creative CAD (computer-aided design) output into information required in our manufacturing processes.

Our processes require your computer generated files to be converted into phototooling films and drill/router files which will allow us, the printed circuit board manufacturing facility, to produce a custom PCB to your specifications.

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Tags: printed circuit board design, printed circuit board manufacturing, PCB manufacturing, pcb board design, PCB drilling

Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Impedance Control

Posted by Michael Lesiak on Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 11:59 AM

Printed circuit boards with impedance requirements demand a high level of precision.

Image courtesy of Zmetrix

For standard circuit boards, a PCB manufacturer is given a set of patterns - copper patterns, hole patterns, ink patterns, which are combined into a single circuit board with all the pattern sizes and positions within certain tolerances. Failure to meet a certain size or position with the specified tolerance can be cause for the circuit board to be rejected. If a trace has been defined as an impedance control trace, it is not the trace size which is strictly defined, but rather the impedance. While a nominal trace size will be provided in the Gerber layer, it is understood the circuit board manufacturer can vary trace width, height, and dielectric thickness as long as the final impedance is within tolerance.

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Tags: pcb quote, printed circuit board design, printed circuit board manufacturing, multi-layer, printed circuit boards

Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Hard Gold Plating

Posted by Paul Jackson on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 08:51 AM

Plating Hard Gold onto printed circuit boards is typically done to provide contact points and PCB edge connectors.

Gold contact surfaces are often used on circuit boards with membrane switches which are a technology of choice for industrial, commercial and consumer products. When PCBs will be repeatedly installed and removed electroplated gold is used for edge-connector contacts or as they are more commonly known: Gold fingers. It is difficult to hear the term Gold finger without remembering the villain Auric Goldfinger from the James Bond film of 1964. However, the gold fingers (gold-plated contact pins) found on PCBs are quite unlike Auric’s stubby, fat digits. To begin with, the plating thickness of a PCB gold finger is typically a mere 300 micro-inch. At this thickness the hard gold is expected to survive 1,000 cycles before wear through.

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Tags: circuit board, quick turn pcb, pcb quote, printed circuit board design, printed circuit board manufacturing

Developments in Aluminum Trace Circuit Boards

Posted by Paul Jackson on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 08:28 AM

As you might expect, no two applications for aluminum trace circuit boards are the same and most often they are not even similar.

While some customers are investigating frontiers in MEMS (Microelectromechanical systems), others are delving into the inherent superconductive properties at milliKelvin temperatures, while still others are exploiting the radiation response characteristics of aluminum. For the R&D personnel at Omni Circuit Boards, the requests have presented some interesting challenges.

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Tags: printed circuit board design, printed circuit board manufacturing, aluminum pcb, aluminum trace, aluminum trace pcb

How Copper Weight Impacts PCB Board Manufacturing

Posted by Paul Jackson on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 09:37 AM

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.

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Tags: printed circuit board design, electrical engineering, PCB copper thickness

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Omni Circuit Boards is an e-sensitive manufacturer of Printed Circuit Boards.

Omni Circuit Boards has been in the printed circuit board fabrication business since 1985. It has been our goal to be as environmentally conscientious as possible.

We are committed to keeping our customers and the future of our children front of mind.

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