● Manufacture capability
● Design problems
● Image set-up
● Initial routing & Penalization
● Final manufacturing preparations
Set-up belongs to one part of the PCB fabrication process, in which all the information is gathered, sorted and specified. Generally speaking, PCB fabrication set-up should include the following aspects:
Manufacturer ability is one of the important contents of PCB fabrication set-up. The Gerber files, drill files, and fabrication notes are loaded by an engineer, checking for any problems or items that are exceed manufacturing capacity. Besides, material thickness such as copper thickness, drilling size, plating information and other fabrication processes should also be included in inspection area.
Secondly, design problem is also contained in PCB fabrication set-up. Design checking is an optional step for confirmation, namely, it may not be done in some cases by the manufacturers. But if it will be done, the manufacturers may check whether the design is in accordance with specifications made in the design (such as IPC). Moreover, the adequacy of mounting hole clearance and board edge clearance might be checked, too.
Considering the copper loss in etch-off, the manufacturers should increase the copper areas to account for it. So all the copper areas, including the trace width and pads would be increased, too. Through which, the copper can be reduced to the original size after etching.
Initial Routing & Penalization
As the board is still at the initial stage of fabrication, so the slots and cutouts should be specified. Besides, the board will be placed many times on a panel (18’’ [457.2*24’’ [609.6]) in order to accelerate the process of manufacturing.
Final Manufacturing Preparations
There are many aspects should be prepared and confirmed. To be specific, the drill path for drilling the entire panel will be defined firstly. Additionally, the amounts of copper placed on or around the board need to be determined. Sometimes, the types and locations for the manufacturing marking like data code and manufacturer ID may be also necessary to be considered.