What is the key to designing a plate that is realistic both on paper and physically? RayPCB explores the design recommendations you need to know to design your next fabricable, functional and reliable PCB.
The Top of Design Recommendations
When a new design is started, it is easy to ignore the PCB design, since most of the time is spent focusing on the design of the circuit and on selecting components. However, at the end of the day, not providing enough time and effort focused on the design of the PCB can lead to a design that does not completely transmit the digital idea to physical reality, and could be a problem for the manufacturer. So, what is the key to designing a plate that is realistic both on paper and physically? RayPCB will explore the top recommendations you need to know to design your next fabricable, functional and reliable PCB.
# 1 – Fine Adjustment of the Placement of Components
The component placement stage of your PCB design process is art and science, as it requires strategic consideration about the main parts available on your card. And while this process can be a challenge, the way you locate your components will determine whether your plate will be easy to manufacture or not, in the same way, if it meets the requirements of the original design. There are several specific guides to take into account, such as:
- Be sure to orient similar components in the same direction as this will help to achieve an efficient and error-free welding process.
- Avoid locating the components on the solder side of the card below the through-hole components.
- It is recommended to locate all of your surface mount components (SMT) on the same side of your plate, and the through components (TH) on the top side of your plate to minimize the number of assembly steps.
- When utilizing blended innovation segments (through-gap and surface mount segments), producers may require an additional procedure to gather their board, which will add to their overhead expenses.
# 2 – Place your power, ground and signal connections
With your components in place, it’s time to route your power, ground and signal connections to ensure your signals have a clean and trouble-free route. Here are some recommendations to keep in mind for this stage of your design process:
- Orient the power and ground planes
- Connect signal paths
- Define the width of the connections
# 3 – Keep things separate
You may have experienced the way in which high voltages in power circuits and current peaks can interfere with your control circuits for low voltages and currents. To minimize this interference problem, follow these recommendations:
- Be sure to keep the power and control grounds separate for each stage of power supply.
- Place a low impedance path to reduce the risk of any interference to the power circuit and to help protect your control signals.
- Coupling to reduce the capacitive coupling due to the placement of a broad ground plane and the routed lines above and below, try to make your analog ground only traversed by analog lines.
# 4 – Combat the heating problems
Did the performance of your circuit ever decrease or even your plate be damaged due to heating problems? This problem affects several designers when heat dissipation is not taken into account. Here are some recommendations given in points:
- Identify problematic components
This can be achieved if you first find the “Thermal Resistance” indices in the component datasheet.
- Add thermal reliefs
Adding thermal reliefs can be very helpful in producing a fabricable card, and they are essential for wave soldering applications in high copper content assemblies and multilayer plates.
Do you want to know more about the best practices on how to design a plate that is manufactured correctly the first time? Consult our Design for Manufacturing webinar by visiting our webpage www.raypcb.com.