Solder Bridge Challenges During PCB Assembly

Written by Admin on . Posted in PCB Assembly and component

soldering pcb

Solder bridges aka shorts have become more challenging to deal with for those who fabricate or manufacture printed circuit boards.  A solder bridge or short occurs when a solder is connecting and crossing one lead to another lead improperly.  What makes them difficult to deal with is the fact that they are microscopic, which means that they can’t usually be detected by the naked eye making it hard to see if one is present.

What Cause Solder Bridging?

There are quite a few different scenarios that will result in the a short, or solder bridging.  Understanding how this can happen can help you avoid this common and unnecessary problem.  When we get down to the bare bones of the issue, it all comes down to a printed circuit board design that has a flaw.  Because of this the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is finding it difficult to find and create the exact layout for the PCB.  Additional causes for solder bridges also include;

  • Lack of solder resistance between the pads on the printed circuit board
  • Not applying a sufficient layer of polymer on the copper traces
  • If the device pitch is less than 0.5 mm the pad to gap ration will cause a short
  • Incorrect stencil specification, leads to too much paste which leads to a solder bridge
  • Excessive paste or an uneven distribution of it being used
  • Stencil is too thin or too thick
  • Mistake on the Surface Mount Component Placement
  • Poor registration of the PCB-solder screen

Bigger and Better in Smaller Packages

One of the most amazing aspects of technology today is how our beloved gadgets are getting smaller and smaller!  Although we love them we can’t overlook the fact that the smaller the package the more challenging in becomes.  The smaller, delicate designs make mistakes more apt to happen which then increases the chances of a solder bridge occurring.

Can Solder Bridging Be Avoided?

The good news is that the answer to this question is an absolute yes.  As we know, shorts are extremely difficult to identify before it is too late.  This begins in the design process.  Meeting with your fabricator/manufacturer and listening to their thoughts and expert advice when it comes to the fabrication process can prove extremely beneficial and definitely avoid some additional costly mistakes in the entire practice.  Listening to the fabricator is important, it they do find a flaw in the design they can begin to immediately start developing a work around or an alternative solution that will ensure the successful completion of your printed circuit project.

Solder bridges (shorts) account for about 15% of the problems that fabricators can face while creating your printed circuit board.  The best advice to follow is to be a careful as you can during the design process.  Design flaws are normally the main reason for solder bridges.  Finding the flaw or better yet not making a mistake in the design process would be the perfect way to avoid them!

Related:

The Value of Solder Paste Inspection

Choosing the Perfect PCB Assembly Partner

 

Continual Advancements in The Electrical Manufacturing Services Industry

Written by Admin on . Posted in PCB Manufacturing

Electrical Manufacturing Services Industry

If you have been looking forward to what’s next in our electronics industry, you have landed in the right place!  There are always new and exciting advancements on the horizon that people everywhere are just waiting to find out about.  Some of the industries that will be experiencing these advancements are the automotive, medical, green, and American reshoring industries.  Of course there are more industries that will continue to benefit from advancements, but we are going to concentrate on these four industries and the trends that will continue to help them prosper.

Automotive Industry

The introduction of smart cars has revolutionized the automotive industry.  It is expected that there will be a growth in the availability for them.  No longer will they be for those high-end or luxury cars.  With the growing number of tech savvy consumers around today, placing the “smart” capabilities may soon become part of the standard option package for automobiles.  Once this happens consumers everywhere will be able to enjoy the smartness of their car!

Medical Industry

The medical industry continues to benefit from technological advances.  There should be no surprise there.  With the growing demand from other countries that are in need of medical equipment this industry finds itself in a situation of a continual and growing demand for current medical technology.  We do not expect to see a slow in advancements any time soon so we look forward to the continual growth of advancement!

Green Technology

Green technology is experiencing an extreme demand.  With its popularity growing among consumers, businesses, and government, you can expect to see new and innovative technology that will have everyone breathing a lot easier, and healthier.  There has also been a strong demand for a green solution to manufacturing pollution, which will be exciting to keep an eye on to see what the experts can create!

American Reshoring

It is becoming more apparent that purchasing products domestically may be worth the additional money we pay for it.  At this point paying for domestic products seems to be making a comeback so this will increase the need for domestic manufacturing.  Since Asian outsourcing is no longer as cheap as it used to be, many are deciding to pay the additional amount for convenience sake.  We will have to keep a close eye on this, to see how it plays out.

Advancements in the electrical manufacturing service industry will continue to grow and benefit industries around the world including automotive and medical industries, green technology as well as American reshoring.  One thing that is definitely for sure we are in for new and exciting advancements that will continue to fascinate us and make our lives a little or possible a lot better.  No matter what industry you work in you will most likely reap some of the benefits of the latest and greatest technological advances.  All industries are guaranteed to feel the positive effect of the technological advances we are looking forward to.

PCB Fabrication Making a World of Possibilities a Realty

Written by Admin on . Posted in PCB, PCB Fabrication, PCB Manufacturing

circuit-board-1375791759cJT

 

The fabrication or manufacturing of printed circuit boards are the backbone of every computer operated piece of machinery on the market today.  The importance of the PCB should not be overlooked, without it we would not be able to enjoy all of the gadgets that have become a part of our daily routine and important part of our lives.  Just as technology advances so does the fabrication/manufacturing of the printed circuit board.  Chances are that you have benefitted from a PCB in form or the other and may not even be aware it.

Printed Circuit Boards Then

When thinking about PCB’s you may tend to think of what they are today if you are a tech savvy individual.  However, you may be surprised to learn the history of printed circuit board;

  • 1920 they made their debut, they could be made of materials such as Bakelite, Masonite, and sometimes wood.  Holes were made and brass wires were riveted and there you have it!  They were most widely used in radios.
  • 1947 the first double sided PCB with plated through holes was created
  • 1950-60 Advancements in the types of materials that were used to make them although they could only be printed on one side.  In 1956 the U.S. Patent Office granted a patent to scientists.  There process
    • They would draw a wire pattern
    • Photograph it into a zinc plate (creating a plate for the printing process)
    • They would use the plate to print the wire in an acid resistant ink on the copper foil
    • That could be etched by an acid solution
    • 1957 The Institute of Printed Circuits was formed.
    • 1960 Multilayer PCB production began
    • 1960’s and 70’s designers that had good experience would be able to layout and tape boards at a rate of two hours per 14-pin IC on the board
    • 1970’s you began to see changes in the size of the boards which were getting smaller, hot air soldering methods were being used and the RS-274-D was introduced
    • 1980’s Surface mounts were beginning to be used (led to reducing the size further)
    • 1986 saw the release of RS-274X
    • 1995 began using micro-via technology in fabrication
    • 1997 the ODB+++ was released to the general public
    • 2010 the production of Every Layer Interconnect began.

Printed Circuit Boards Now

Today printed circuit boards have evolved and become a part of our modern day technology.  Whether you are wearing a fit-bit, watch, or using an iPhone, the list can go on and on, you are benefitting from there sophisticated, delicate design that keeps the gadgets we depend on running smoothly.  The most exciting part is that this industry shows no signs of slowing down and guarantees new ways that will continue to improve our quality of life and enjoyment of all those gadgets that we can longer live without!  Just imagine what’s to come in the future as we continue to explore the untapped potential of the worlds technology!