Top 3 Common PCB Design Errors You Must Avoid At All Cost

Posted on Sept. 25, 2018

Designing a PCB requires ardent precision and high-tech technological skills. For instance, a PCB layout design requires capacitors and regulators that must be positioned correctly. Consequently, if one wants to build a PCB, they should thoroughly research, plan, and gather enough information to avoid common PCB design mistakes. On the other hand, for highly complex PCB designs where pan performance and reliability are required, they can consult from reputable PCB manufacturers, such as the Royal Flex Circuits, who are experts in flex PCB Manufacturing. The following are the top 3 common PCB design errors you must avoid at all cost.

High current traces not wide enough

When designing a PCB, one should take note of the current limit that the PCB trace can handle; this will ease the process of determining the width, thickness, and material for the PCB trace. For instance, when designing a PCB that can handle more current, engineers recommend that one should avoid the minimum width to circumvent malfunctions. Moreover, it is worth noting that there is a difference when the PCB trace is in the inside and when it is on the outside due to factors such as better airflow and heat dissipation for the external trace. Hence, an internal layer of a trace carries more current than the outer layer of the same thickness. When designing a PCB, it is advisable to read the manuals and to consult experts before replicating a prototype. You can also use an online recommended trace width calculator to calculate the correct dimensions for specific temperatures and trace width. However, the recommended copper weight measures the thickness of the copper used on each trace is from copper weights of 0.5 oz./sq. Ft. to about 2.5 oz./sq. ft.

Errors in the landing pattern

For most PCBs, manufacturers provide a library of its electronic components in their software package. Such content includes the schematic symbol and PCB landing pattern for each PCB component. Therefore, to avoid errors, one needs to follow the instructions and parts as provided on the list. For this reason, it is cumbersome to customize your schematic symbols and landing patterns. However, if it is necessary for a personalized design, you must consult a qualified PCB manufacture to avoid errors such as misalignment of the pins due to wrong spacing on the pad to pad, if one opts for the manual drawing of a landing pattern.

Improperly Placed/Absence of Decoupling Capacitors

For all the PCBs, decoupling capacitors are located on the powers supply rail. They serve the purpose of stabilizing power, which ensures a clean and stable voltage. Therefore, such capacitors are essential for stability in the power supply. Moreover, in analog-to-digital converters especially, these capacitors are for minimizing the supply voice. PCB manufacturers recommend that the decoupling capacitors should be placed close to the pin to guarantee a stable voltage. Power should also pass through the power trace before reaching the pin that requires stable energy.

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