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The Sizes and Usable Areas of PCB Panels

The most cost-effective PCB panels have a larger processing area. That’s why the most desirable PCB panels are 12in by 18in, 16in by 18 in and 18in by 24 in. For specialized uses, panels with other dimensions are utilized.

Note: At the present time, 18in by 24in panels are the only size that are used to process GETEK materials.

The best way to use materials for PCB boards or arrays is when their finished outline fits are matched well within the panel’s usable area. Ensure that test coupons fit within the panel’s usable area too.

In situations where a client prefers a complete panel to be delivered to its location, the client can arrange to have holes for locating and/or tabs for easy breakaway for inserting through-hole parts or surface mount equipage beyond the usable area of the panel. This arrangement can be done with a tab routing process.

The scoring process is a good way to increase material utilization. Scoring is done by making grooves on each side of a panel and in between every board of a panel. This is for easy removal of the boards from a single panel. Since boards are placed against each in a panel, this removes the open space that could be used as a route path so more boards can be placed on a panel. The benefit of scoring is that a single panel can be delivered to a client instead of sending individual PCBs.
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