Essential Equipment for Opening a PCB Manufacturing Plant

With the growing demand for electronic devices and technology, the need for printed circuit boards (PCBs) has skyrocketed. If you are considering venturing into the electronics manufacturing industry and want to open a PCB manufacturing plant, equipping your facility with the right tools is crucial for success. This article will guide you through the essential equipment required to set up a state-of-the-art PCB manufacturing plant.

  1. PCB Design Software:

Before diving into production, you’ll need reliable PCB design software to create and optimize your circuit layouts. Numerous software options are available, ranging from user-friendly to advanced, offering various features like auto-routing, design rule checks (DRC), and schematic capture. Select a tool that suits your team’s proficiency and design complexity.

  1. CAM Software:

Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software is essential to convert your PCB designs into machine-readable formats. This software ensures that the PCB manufacturing equipment understands and executes the design accurately during the production process.

  1. PCB Fabrication Equipment:

a. CNC Machines (Drilling Machines): CNC (Computer Numerical Control) drilling machines are used to create holes for component placement and vias on the PCB. Choose machines that offer high precision and speed to streamline the manufacturing process.

b. Etching Equipment: Etching is a crucial step in PCB manufacturing where unwanted copper is removed from the board surface. Acid etching and chemical-free methods (using plasma or lasers) are common techniques. Select the appropriate equipment based on your production scale and environmental concerns.

c. Laminators: Laminators are used to apply dry film resist and copper layers onto the PCB substrate. This step is vital in creating the circuit pattern for subsequent etching.

d. Exposure Units: Exposure units utilize UV light to transfer the PCB design’s image onto the photosensitive film or resist-coated board before etching. Consistent exposure is essential for high-quality PCBs.

  1. Soldering and Assembly Equipment:

a. Pick-and-Place Machines: Automated Pick-and-Place machines accurately position and solder surface-mount components onto the PCB. These machines significantly enhance productivity and placement accuracy.

b. Reflow Ovens: Reflow ovens are used to melt the solder and secure the components on the PCB during the soldering process. Proper temperature profiles are crucial to avoid defects.

c. Wave Soldering Machines: For through-hole components, wave soldering machines are used to create solder connections simultaneously on multiple pins.

  1. Testing and Quality Control:

a. Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Systems: AOI systems perform visual inspections of assembled PCBs, identifying defects such as missing components, misalignment, or soldering issues.

b. Flying Probe Testers: Flying probe testers are employed for functional testing of PCBs. They use movable probes to check connectivity and circuit performance.

  1. Environmental Controls and Safety Equipment:

a. Cleanrooms: PCB manufacturing demands a dust-free and controlled environment. Cleanrooms ensure that airborne contaminants do not affect the quality of your boards.

b. Safety Equipment: Ensure your employees have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, gloves, and face masks to guarantee their safety during manufacturing.

pcb production process

PCB Equipment List

PE EngineerFile InputFrontline InPlan Planning Software
CAMOrbotech InCAM
A/WOrbotech photo plotter
Inner LayerInner FilmAutomatic Wet Film Coater
Inner ExposureVarious manual and semi-auto exposure
Inner Layer EtchUniversal DES( Develop-Etch-Strip) Lines
AOI InspectionOrbotech Discovery, Camtek
Brown OxideUniversal Alternative Oxide Line
LaminatingBurkle, OEM, Heng-da Vacumm Presses
DrillingMechnical DrillHitachi, Schmoll, HanStar
Laser DrillMitsubishi Laser Drill
Ourer LayerPlasma CleanReBorn RPP-V13
PTHAutomatic Desmear and Electroless Copper
Semi-Exposure5KW Manual Exposure
LDI machineLaser Direct Imaging photeck
Pattern PaltingAutomatic Panel Plating Line
Automatic Pattern Plating Line
MCP-PAL Vertical Continuous Plating Line
Copper Via Fill Plating Tank
Outer Layer EtchUniversal SES( Strip-Etch-Tin Strip) Line
SM & MarkingSM PrintingHorizontal Semi Automatic Coater
SM ExposureVarious SM Exposure
LegendSprint 100
Ourline CNCCNC Routers + CCD routers
V-CutCNC V-score
Punch DiePunch
Surface finishHASLTin/Lead HASL
Leadfree HaslLead Free HASL
Imm. AgMacDermid(Planar)
Imm. TinAtotech(Stannatech)
Hard FGoldFull body gold, gold fingers and selective gold
Flash GoldFull body and selevtive bondable soft gold
Test & InspectionE-T Fixture2wire / 4wire Fxiture Test
Flying Probe2wire / 4wire Flying Probe Test
Reliability TestX-section and Microscopes, Impendence Test, High-Pot,
Tg Test, Peel Strength, lonic Testing, IR Reflow, Thermal Chamber etc chrommotography,IST,CAF