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The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Layout
The connections on the PCB should be identical to the circuit
diagram, but while the circuit diagram is arranged to be readable,
the PCB layout is arranged to be functional, so there is rarely
any visible correlation between the circuit and the layout.
PCB layout can be performed manually (using CAD) or in combination
with an Autorouter. The best results are usually still achieved
using atleast some manual routing - simply because the design
engineer has a far better judgement of how to arrange circuitry.
Surprisingly, many autorouted boards are often completely illogical
in their track routing - the program has optimised the connections,
and sacrificed any small amount of order that may have been
put in place by manual routing. Generally autorouted boards
are slightly harder for a technician to repair or debug, for
this reason. Historically, PCBs used to be laid out by drawing
or using stick on paper shapes on mylar film, - that really
WAS manual routing!
The CAD PCB layout consists of several layers, for illustration
purposes the holes, outline and component identification layers
can be combined into one diagram. When we produce PCBs for
clients, we use actual size checkplots during the design process.
A PCB will usually have mounting holes and may possibly have
cutouts, by cutting an actual size checkplot and placing it
in the enclosure, you can see how it will be positioned in
relation to other parts. We can also place components up against
the pad markings as a quick double check of sizing.
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
-- Albert Einstein
We put a bit of effort into the PCB design - it is somewhere
where quality of design can make a difference. These days
most circuit boards are automatically assembled and tested
- but you will still have people working on your circuit boards,
and having a quality design can make all the difference between
a product that is pleasant to work on and one that they will
hate. Machine test points, for ATE (Automated Test Equipment)
bed of nails testing, just need to be pads or lands. Some
test points, however, are not really intended for ATE but
rather for engineering test or modification - we put labelled
test points on for these, as illustrated.
We put a complete silkscreen identification overlay on most
of our boards, and the quality of this is another way we can
make a better product. The silkscreen contains important information
that assists people to service and install the product. Aside
from functionality (which is rather obvious) the overlay is
the chief distinguishing feature between a purpose-built product,
such as we deliver, and a general-purpose product such as
you might buy from a company like Rabbit. We would label terminals
as: "+12v red" "-pwr black" "solenoid+"
"solenoid-" whereas competitors may often just give
you: "A1 A2 A3 A4". They don't have much of a choice
- they have no idea what you will attach to the terminals.
For dense surface mount boards, we often need to leave off
component values, and sometimes need to omit the component
designators. The silkscreen is the primary method for labelling
connectors, replaceable parts, orientation, and even installation
notes (for instance "Remove J2 while replacing battery
- observe battery polarity")
The PCB layout also needs to take account of EMI and ESD
compliance and we have a seperate page on some techniques
that we use to get our PCBs to comply. We have a tutorial
on designing PCBs - it steps through the CAD process from
schematic to layout. We also support the Autotrax/Easytrax
CAD package by providing Updated video drivers. If you are
intending to design PCBs yourself, we would recommend this
very good manual on PCB layout. OPTIMUM DESIGN ASSOCIATES
Printed Circuit Board Layout, PCB Design & PCB Assembly
PCB Assembly, Quick Turn Rapid Prototyping
We are the contract manufacturer you've been looking for.
We offer advanced technology and we're fast, affordable and
easy to work with.
Rapid turnaround for low to mid volume EMS
Focused on medium to highly complexity PCBs with critical
Tier One planning for on time deliveries to you
State of the art SMT equipment for accurate, repeatable assemblies
PCB Assembly ?
PCB Layout Services, Award Winning PCB Designers
We provide award winning printed circuit board design solutions
that meet or exceed all of our customer’s electrical and mechanical
constraints. We are focused on medium to high complexity PCB
designs. Highly constrained, high speed layouts are our specialty.
PCB Layout ?
Library Administration Service
Our Library Administration Service is our custom part creation
service that produces any symbol-cell parts that you request,
typically within 24 hours.
PCB Libraries ?
Design For Assembly (DFA) Analysis Services
Our advanced front end DFF (DFM) and DFA systems assure customers
that EMS jobs start on time and run with no surprises. By
performing DFA services on pre production PCBs we help insure
a smooth transition to a higher volume electronic contract
manufacturer, domestically or abroad.
Design For Manufacturing (DFM) PCB Design Layout, Fabrication,
Since 1983 Compudraft has excelled in providing quality Printed
Circuit Design and Turnkey solution to the electronic community.
Our customer's recognition as "Best Valued Supplier"
is achieved with accurate and concise data, quality manufacturing,
and on time delivery of .
Concurrent Engineering is a primary concern at COMPUDRAFT.
Our design team works closely with the customer, the fabricator,
and our in-house assembly with the common goal of producing
quality circuit boards that meet our customers specifications,
and exceeds our customers expectations.
We service the Aerospace, Medical, Automotive, Communication,
and Military Industries. You can find our designs in the B1
Bomber, Space Shuttle, Mars Probes, AH-1Z Cobra Helicopter,
Radar, Sonar, and Microwave Systems.
PCB Design Layout Custom Systems
PCB Fabrication Electronic & Mechanical Engineering
PCB Assembly 2D & 3D Mechanical Design & Drafting
Component Procurement Engineering Personnel
Proto & Production Level Manufacturing Plotting &
Thermal & Vibration Analysis
control board design
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