Are you searching for the Best PCB Manufacturer in the world, then you have landed at the right place. A printed circuit board (PCB) is a thin, flat board with electronic components etched onto it. The PCBs are usually made from a rigid material such as fiberglass or epoxy resin.
So in this post, we will talk about the best PCB manufacturer company in the world, APCT and why you should choose them.
What is Printed Circuit Board (PCB) ?
Printed circuit boards are the foundational building block of the most modern electronic devices. Let’s explore what a PCB is and how these tiny circuits are manufactured.
A PCB has metal traces on the board’s surface. These metal traces connect all the electronic components and provide a path for electricity to flow through. The primary function of PCBs is to serve as a base for electronic components, such as resistors, capacitors, inductors and diodes. The metal on the PCB provides electrical connections between these components to work together in an electric circuit.
PCB has become an integral part of our lives, from home appliances to medical equipment, from toys to cars, from computers to satellites.
How PCB is Manufactured?
Early electronic components were manufactured and connected to each other manually using wires in a point-to-point construction. This manual construction led to errors and difficulty scaling up the production moreover, because these circuits were extremely complex, repairing one that had been damaged was an unreliable and tedious task.
In 1936 Paul Eisler, a genius engineer who worked for a newspaper company, recognized the hurdles and invented the concept of printing conducting copper circuits on a non-conductive board and then connecting components over the traces. This was the very first PCB Manufactured.
Now modern-day PCBs are much more sophisticated, tiny and complex.
- Modern-day PCB manufacturing starts from a simple copper flat sheet.
- To start off, this layer of copper foil is laminated on a flat sheet of insulating glass fibre material. The glass fibre gives mechanical support to the PCB. This glass fibre will remain with the PCB till the end of the PCB manufacturing process.
- This arrangement, along with a protective aluminium sheet, is first sent to drilling. Here some holes called registration holes are drilled. These holes serve as reference points for further alignment processes.
- Meanwhile, an Engineer properly designs the circuit using computer-aided simulations.
- Here are some PCB design softwares which generates design files called Gerber files
- EASY EDA
- AUTODESK EAGLE
- Gerber files contain a detailed 3d model of the PCB, and using these design files drilling machine drills different holes.
- These holes are used to attach the components to the board later on.
- The next process is a chemical process which is called as Etching, where the copper plate is covered with a resistive mask to achieve the tiny and complex copper traces.
- Next, we need to dip this arrangement into an alkaline solution at 60 to 120 degrees Celsius. The area of copper uncovered by the resistive mask dissolves or is etched away.
- After this process is complete, the protective mask is also washed off; thus, we have left with only the required traces of copper.
- The circuit prints on the resistive mask used in this process are obviously made with the help of a Gerber file. A UV light-based technique is used for sticking the mask to the copper plate where it is needed. To achieve bulk manufacturing, multiple masks are made in a single sheet.
- The boards go for an inspection to check the quality of the copper traces. An operator with an optical inspection machine checks the quality of printed boards.
- Next, to protect the board from oxidation and exposure to dust, a layer of solder mask resin protective coating is applied over the board. This layer gives the board its green hue, which has simply been universally adopted.
- The copper traces go hidden beneath the green layer after this operation
- As a final step, a silk screen is printed, which is nothing but a layer of visible ink trace used to identify the PCB components, markings, logos, symbols and so on
What is a PCB Board Manufacturer?
A PCB board manufacturer is a company that makes printed circuit boards. They do this by using a PCB manufacturing process which I have explained above.
The process starts with the customer giving the PCB board manufacturer their requirements for the product. The specifications include what materials to use, how many layers to have, what kind of solder mask they want, and other factors.
Once the customer has given all of these details, the PCB board manufacturer creates a design and sends it to the customer for approval before production begins.
Once production has started, it’s up to the customer to approve each step of progress before continuing to the next one. If there are any problems with any process in production, then they must be fixed before starting the production.
What are the Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a PCB Board Manufacturer?
Picking the Best PCB Manufacturer is a tedious task, and knowing where to start with so many choices can be challenging.
1) Price: The simple the board is, the price will be cheaper, and if you are looking for a complex board with so many components, the price will be high. The cost of the board is relative to its size and complexity
2) Quality: Quality is another aspect that needs consideration when selecting your PCB Board Manufacturer. You want your boards to be made from quality materials.
3) Company’s Reputation: Ensure the company has a good reputation. If a company’s reputation is not upheld, you must not choose that company.
4) Time :Time is another factor that needs to be considered, like how much time it will take to manufacture your product and how much it will cost.
APCT – Best PCB Manufacturer in the World
APCT, which manufactures high-reliability printed circuit boards, is currently one of the world’s best PCB manufacturers. Their business model differs from the other manufacturers, successfully differentiating them from the PCB manufacturing industry competition.
Steve Robinson, the President and CEO of APCT, has been in the printed circuit board industry since 1971, and after working for years, in 2008, he acquired Advanced Printed Circuit Technology and Formed the ACPT.
The company features 4 total manufacturing sites: Santa Clara, their headquarters located in the heart of the Silicon Valley; 2 in Southern California and 1 in Wallingford, Connecticut. Currently, the company has 180,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space with over 500 employees.
Their business model is world-class. Some of the characteristics of APCT are passion, commitment and trust, which differentiate them from their competition. Their services are the Best in class, and that really makes them trustworthy.
These are the Cornerstones of APCT
Business principles I learned in 1971 remain successful today: Respect the people you work with; Offer unconditional customer support; Keep things simple and honest.”
So guys, I am wrapping up this post and if you need help finding a best PCB manufacturer for your needs, feel free to contact them at any time.