Remember 5 Points When Panelizing PCBs
When it comes to panelizing PCBs - the art of joining up the individual ‘circuits’ to make a ‘panel’ - less care and attention are paid on it. Ignoring some of the delicate details associated with board penalization could end up costing you. So when it comes to PCB penalization, 5 points you should keep in mind:
There will be a maximum size for the panel. It needs to fit the surface mount production line equipment. This is typically around 400mm x 500mm.
PCB boards that only have plated through-hole technology and no surface mount technology (SMT) don’t always need to be panelized – single circuits can be fine.
Typically there should be a ‘waste’ border of 12.5mm so they can be handled through surface mount production machines and there should also be a 2.4mm routed gap between the PCBs and waste border.
Four 4mm tooling holes in the corners, 5mm in from border edge are needed for test fixture alignment.
There must be three 1.2mm round pads on the panel border, and on each individual circuit board (if possible), two on one axis and one on the other. These are called fiducials and are invaluable for aligning surface mount machines, automated optical inspection and so on. The fiducial pads must have good contrast against their background color so the cameras within the production equipment can accurately align to them.