The Superconductive Circuit Board

    Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Panelization

    The purpose of panelization is to secure PCB boards during manufacturing, shipping and assembly processes while making their separation as painless as possible.

    Panelization can be as simple as a rectangular board tab routed with a 100mil (0.100”) space between PCB boards and a 500mil (0.50”) border on four edges. Or, it can be as complex as a panel filled with combination jump v-score / routed rounded polygons.

    Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Hard Gold Plating

    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.