Monday, August 24, 2015

Building Process of a Printed Circuit Board

Like cells in an organism, printed circuit boards are the building blocks of any and all electronic devices. They are a vital piece of machinery and require a great deal of expertise and finesse to develop.
Following are the steps involved in building a PCB.

Designing the Circuit Schematic

Designing the circuit schematic is the first and most integral part of the process. PCB designers usually draw it on a graph paper or in a computer simulation software, mostly Eagle CAD or Multi Sim. But before they start designing, they create a net list that contains all the circuit nodes and component pins. They have to finalize the location of each device on the board and for that, they develop a grid of numbered columns and lettered rows to designate a place to each component. The devices can be manually placed at their designated locations or the software can automatically assign them to specific areas.
Once the device list is finalized, the software uses templates from a footprint library in order to form a footprint map for different devices. The map is actually the indication of each device’s pins with recommended drill-hole layouts and pads.
Once the logic diagram is complete, the designer prints it out and hands it over to an Electrical engineer for etching it on the board and then assembling the devices on it.

Etching the Design on the Board

Etching starts with putting a layer of copper on the substrate which is composed of a paper saturated with phenolic resin like Pertinax. The unnecessary copper is then removed by applying a temporary mask which is usually made up of ferric chloride. Ferric chloride at 46°C is poured in a tray and the board is then dipped in it for 20 minutes. Then it’s lifted using plastic tongs and gently tapped to remove the surplus copper, leaving desirable traces of the metal. This etching technique is referred to as ‘Silk Screening’. Other methods include ‘Photoengraving’ and ‘PCB Milling’.

Assembling the Components

After the engineer is done with etching, he moves onto assembling the devices and circuit components on the circuit board. Some boards are single-layered and some have trace layers in them due to which they are called multilayer PCBs. In order to place the devices, holes have to be drilled on the board which is done using small tungsten carbide drill bits. It’s an automated process and the placement of the board is controlled by a computer generated drill file called NCD file. The file also describes the size and location of each hole.
The pads and components that are to be mounted are plated because bare copper cannot be soldered. This is called surface mount construction. Whereas, through hole construction requires the engineer to insert component leads in holes and fix them electrically to the board with a metal solder. The parts that are not to be soldered are concealed with a solder resist polymer layer.

The Printed Circuit board is now complete. It is then tested to ensure that it works accurately. Also, it is coated with silicone rubber or polyurethane to prevent corrosion and damage.

For more information visit 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Attend the PCB West 2015 Conference in September

The PCB West 2015 Conference is a conference for all professionals in the entire PCB industry that includes workshops from guest speakers as well as exhibits from many PCB manufacturers.  This workshop is ideal for all professionals in the industry including fabricators, designers, engineers, and assemblers to come together and network or increase their knowledge and skills by viewing exhibits and sitting in on one of the many workshops with featured guest speakers.  PCB West 2015 is taking place September 15-17 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

The PCB West 2015 Conference is expected to feature exhibits from over 80 of the top PCB industry professionals as well as over 60 workshops and free presentations that cover a range of topics related to PCB design, engineering, and manufacturing.  Each workshop is presented by one of the many guest speakers that include engineers, managers, and marketing directors from the top PCB manufacturers in the industry.  Each day of the conference also includes a lunch session in which attendees can network and learn from others in the industry.
This conference is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm each day from Tuesday September 15 through Thursday September 17 in the Mission City Ballroom at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  You can register on the event website for the technical conference which includes the conference sessions and exhibitions or for the free exhibition only pass to view the exhibits. 

Electronic Interconnect is planning to be at the PCB West 2015 Conference to network with other industry professionals and learn about the latest trends and technologies related to PCB design and manufacturing.  We specialize in PCB design, testing, and manufacturing and we also offer a student program to sponsor engineering students for their projects.  You can learn more about our services at

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Design Automation Conference - June 7-11, 2015

The Design Automation Conference (DAC) is considered the top conference for design and automation of electronic systems and it attracts over 1000 organizations each year including system designers and architects, validation engineers, circuit designers, CAD managers, and researchers from major universities.  This conference provides opportunities for professionals in these fields to network amongst each other as well as view exhibits from industry professionals and receive related training and education.  This year’s Design Automation Conference is held in San Francisco, California.
The Design Automation Conference includes a large number of exhibits from companies within the industry from all over the world as well as plenty of learning opportunities such as tutorials, workshops, and nearly 300 technical presentations that cover new trends, developments, technologies, products, and methodology.  There are several different tracks at the DAC that cover the major areas of the industry including design, security, intellectual property (IP), embedded systems and software (ESS), electronic design automation (EDA), and automotive.  Within each track, visitors can find exhibits from companies within these specific sections of the industry as well as related workshops, panels, and tutorials.

This conference takes place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA from June 7 through 11 with exhibit hours from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.  On most days there are activities in the morning that take place before the exhibit hours including breakfast panels. 

Electronic Interconnect encourages you to attend the DAC this year and network with other companies in the industry to learn about the latest developments and technologies.  We provide custom PCB manufacturing and testing at our facility in Elk Grove Village, IL and you can learn more about our services by visiting our website 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

At the Electronic Components and Technology Conference 2015

The 2015 ECTC is held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego, California, USA from May 26 to 29, 2015. ECTC brings together over 1,000 professionals from the global microelectronics packaging industry for 4 consecutive days packed with Technical presentations. Technology Corner Exhibits provide an opportunity to meet with and learn from industry movers on the latest technological advances.

ECTC 2015 - IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference
The Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) is the premier international event that brings together the best in packaging, components and microelectronic systems science, technology and education in an environment of cooperation and technical exchange. ECTC is sponsored by the Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology (CPMT) Society of the IEEE.

Electronic Interconnect encourages you to network with other companies in the industry and learn about the latest developments and technologies.  We provide custom PCB manufacturing and testing at our facility in Elk Grove Village, IL and you can learn more about our services by visiting our website at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Electronic Interconnect to Attend Del Mar Electronics DMEDS and Design Show May 6-7, 2015

The Delmar Electronics and Design Show is the premier show for businesses in the electronic industry and the biggest meeting place for people who design, manufacture, and test electronic products.  The goal of this conference is to help promote the electronic design and manufacturing industry as well as provide a business atmosphere for designers, manufacturers, and testers to meet and exchange information.  Electronic Interconnect will be attending the Delmar Electronics and Design Show which is taking place May 6 and 7 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, CA.

The Delmar Electronics and Design Show is the largest event of its type within the electronic industry and will feature 500 booths of exhibitors from the medical and biotech industries as well as the electronic industry.  Attendees will be able to visit with exhibitors to view their latest products as well as exchange information.  There will be many products on display from a number of companies within the industry including electronic components, instrumentation equipment, IC products and services, and engineering software and services among others.  This show will also feature a variety of free seminars for attendees and exhibitors as well as technical sessions and panel discussions by leading companies within the industry.

The show will take place on Wednesday, May 6 from 10 am to 5 pm and on Thursday, May 7 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, CA.  Admission is free for attendees and there will be over 4000 industry professionals in attendance including Electronic Interconnect.  We provide custom PCB manufacturing and testing from our state-of-the-art facility in Elk Grove Village, IL and visitors to the Delmar Electronics and Design Show will be able to learn more about our products and services.  You can contact us through our website to talk to a representative or you can find us at the Delmar Electronics and Design Show for more information.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Printed Circuit Boards - Design Mistakes to Avoid

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are needed for most electronic devices and applications and the fabrication process is important for creating a PCB that will work best in the specific application.  But how should you approach PCB design to lower the cost of production and make for an easier assembly process?  The best way is through design for manufacturability, or DFM.  Designing a PCB according to DFM guidelines takes the processes and capabilities of PCB manufacturing into account to ensure that you create the most efficient PCBs for your application at a lower cost.

PCB Design Mistakes to Avoid

Submitting a Design Without Discussing your Application with the Manufacturer

A variety of materials are used to manufacture PCBs and the different materials can better suit specific needs.  It is beneficial to discuss the application you have in mind with your PCB manufacturer to determine which materials will be the most effective.  Different materials can be used for flex, high speed, RF, high temp, and RoHS circuit boards and certain materials may have a lead time of a couple weeks.  Talking to your manufacturer will help you determine which materials are the most available.

 Submitting a Design Without Knowing the Impedance Information from the Manufacturer

Every PCB fabricator builds PCBs at different tolerances which will affect the target impedance or stack-up in different ways.  It is important to establish your impedance requirements with the manufacturer before the fabrication because if the PCB is not built to your requirements, it may require adjustments before it can be used.  Making sure the manufacturer knows your impedance requirements before fabrication will help you avoid the need to make further adjustments which will save you lead time and money.

PCB Design with EI Connect

Regardless of the application, communication with your PCB fabricator before your PCBs are built will help you create and submit a PCB design that will best suit your needs.   Making sure the PCB design follows DFM guidelines will help ensure that your PCB is built to handle your specific application without the need for further adjustments.  If you have PCB designs to submit for fabrication, contact Electronic Interconnect.  We provide instant quotes for a variety of PCB types including zoom, multi-part, metal core, and bare bones PCBs.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Electronic Interconnect to Attend the Strategies in Light Show in Las Vegas

For over 15 years, the Strategies in Light show has been one of the biggest events of its type in North America.  Professionals from all aspects of the industry from LED and lighting professionals to professionals in manufacturing, testing, and packaging attend this event to build professional relationships and learn about current issues that are relevant to the industry.  This year, Electronic Interconnect will be attending this event which will start on February 24 and run through February 26 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The Strategies in Light expo is the largest show related to LED and lighting and this year there is also the co-location of The LED Show which focuses on the LED lighting industry.  Attendees at the Strategies in Light show can visit over 300 exhibitors that offer the latest products and services of the industry, learn about business and technological issues from the most trusted names in the industry, hear the Market Review for 2015, network with thousands of professionals of the industry, and attend workshops and conference sessions to learn more about the current issues of the industry.
Those that would like to attend the Strategies in Light show can register on the website for the convention.  Electronic Interconnect will have an exhibit at the convention in which attendees can learn about our latest PCB products and services.  We offer PCB manufacturing and testing services that we perform within our state-of-the-art facility in Elk Grove Village, IL.  You can contact us to learn more about our services and make sure to visit us if you are attending the Strategies in Light expo in Las Vegas.