Tips for Industrial PCB Design
Fabricating an electronic prototype for the sake of hobby may be quite different from designing an industrial PCB board. In actual applications, your design requires not only normal operation, but also high reliability and tolerance. This is particularly true when you’re designing for applications where downtime can be costly and bring the system to a standstill.
Before starting your first major industrial PCB design, the following useful tips may determine the success or failure of your product.
PCB Component Placement
Though this may seem trivial, proper component placement can ensure minimal electrical interference within the effective components on the PCB. The power management circuit is separated from the analog circuit to prevent coupling interference. Arranging your schematic into the modules can help you plan PCB component location.
When it comes to industrial applications, it is important to design a reasonable ground plane. You need to carefully separate the power ground, digital ground and analog ground, so that your PCB can work reliably as expected in the harsh electrical environment. It is important to visualize the current path and connect these various grounds to a single point.
Goods can reach pretty high temperature in an industrial environment. When placed in a non-air conditioned environment, PCB boards may get heated up. If the PCB is placed in a tight enclosure, the surrounding temperature may be double. Thus proper thermal management techniques like heat sinks and thermal vias, are extremely important to prevent components from failing due to extreme heat.
Some industrial PCB boards may be affected by moist and humid environments. The accumulation of moisture on PCB may damage the circuit and components. A good way to solve this problem is to print conformal coatings on board surface. Alternatively, intelligent circuits that detect humidity and open the heater can be integrated into the system.
Electrical interference can affect analog values and communications. This may have a negative impact on performance or produce wrong data. Although proper selection of cables and installation may help maintain signal integrity, designers must ensure sound practice, such as keeping sensitive high speed or analog signals away from each other.