What does “run a panel” mean in the context of PCB/PCBA fabrication?

A design engineer told me our PCB prototypes would be completed soon and then he would have his assembler "run a panel". Does anyone know what that means?

PC boards are fabricated whole “panels” at a time. These are bigger than most ordinary boards, so usually you tile several end boards onto a panel. The panels are all the same size to fit whatever machines that the production line is set up with. All the etching, plating, drilling, and silk screening operations happen on whole panels.

  • For some production purposes, you buy whole panels of your boards from the board house. The individual boards tiled onto a panel might be partially routed apart by the board house with “mouse bites”, or V-scored.
  • For high-volume production, it’s more efficient to pick and place on an entire panel of boards. These are then broken apart only at the last possible moment. Sometimes even parts of the final board testing is done when they are still in panels.

Read More: Different PCB Panelization Methods

#PCB Assembly #PCB Manufacturing

Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.
Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.

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