Printed circuit boards are used in, almost, every technology that exists in the world. It becomes pretty hard to imagine our lives now if technology ceases to exist. Our daily lives are very much dependent on technology. Right from switching off the blaring alarm clock in the morning till the time we switch off our bedroom lights, we are utilizing the technology of one kind or another. Talking about printed circuit boards; the most crucial part is the design phase as if the PCB hasn’t been designed properly; it would, indeed, invite unexpected surprises during the manufacturing phase.
There is no doubt that, as compared to the past, with the evolution of PCB design software, the PCB design process has become much simpler. If we talk about the PCB software which provides the best design technology then, probably, the name of Altium’s PCB Design Technology comes to mind first. Altium PCB design software integrates both electrical as well as mechanical components to help you design a cutting-edge printed circuit board. With Altium on your side, you will get to know the errors that can happen in the later phases, in the design phase itself. Hence, at the very first attempt, you will create a fantastic board. But, there is no universal way of designing a printed circuit board. Each designer will have his/her own view regarding placement of components over the board. Hence, designing a printed circuit board, along with being a science, is an art too. In this post, we have compiled some general guidelines regarding component placement over a printed circuit board to help you achieve an impeccably and immaculately designed printed circuit board.
Know How Your Board Will be Manufactured
Before attempting to design and place components over a printed circuit board it is essential that you understand and acquire certain information from the manufacturer like the process that will be used to manufacture the PCB.
This is because you require arranging the components according to the process that will be utilized to manufacture the PCB. Assembly of the components, whether it is done by wave soldering, selective soldering or hand soldering is also going to impact the placement of the components.
Keep Sufficient Space Between Each ICs on your Board
You need to keep at least 0.3500” – 0.5000” of space between each IC that you have present on your printed circuit board. However, if your integrated circuits are big then you need to keep more space between them than what is mentioned above. Always keep sufficient space and never overlap your components when working on smaller-sized printed circuit boards.
This greatly helps in the routing part later. On the other hand, if you haven’t kept sufficient amount of space then you are more likely to rework on your PCB design again wasting essential resources and time.
Same Type of Components Must be Placed in the Same Direction
On a printed circuit board there are, definitely, groups of similar components. You need to take care that you are placing such components neatly in the same direction. This is essential because it greatly aids and assists the manufacturer to produce the board in an efficient and quick manner. When groups of similar components are placed together on a printed circuit board the manufacturer can easily install, inspect as well as test the parts that you have placed.
It is needless to say over here that this helps to save time, prevents rework and saves essential resources as well thus making the PCB project complete well within the estimated cost and time.
Place Non-Movable Components First
Components such as switches, connectors, jacks, screws etc. cannot be moved once placed. These are also known as edge components. So, when you will place the edge components first you will provide yourself a better idea of how to go ahead with the remaining design of the interior of the printed circuit board.
These are some of the common tips that you need to keep in mind while handling the component placement part. Placing components over a printed circuit board is a tedious process and requires enough dedication and concentration on your part.
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