Reducing PCB lead time

PCB manufacturer, Exception, has managed to reduce lead time on a clients high specification board from 20 days to just seven. The client, Polish manufacturer Microtech International, provides software and advanced electronics solutions to the military and industrial sectors.

Tewkesbury-based Exception conducted a review of Microtechs design requirements for the board prior to production. The companys engineering designers were able to reduce its clients costs and turnaround times without compromising the boards performance.

Exceptions PCB manufacturing managing director, Gordon Holden, said: The original board design specified a 16-layer PCB with seven sub-stack bonding operations and a final eighth bond. The inherent issue with this approach is that one can only determine whether or not the layers have successfully registered once the eighth bond has been applied, meaning that it can lead to high losses throughout the manufacturing process.

In consultation with the client, our NPI technical manager, Mike Devine, was able to redesign the board layout using only 14 layers as opposed to 16 and using microvia technology to allow for greater interconnect density and reduce the amount of tracking required. Although the new approach involved spending three days on redesign, the time invested was more than recouped in the reduction of turnaround time from 20 days to only seven and with significantly higher output yields.

Microtechs, chief of advanced electronics, Tomasz Englert, added: Exceptions expertise and experience were invaluable in the successful delivery of this board within the timescale and budget we had assigned. By actively seeking the involvement of Exceptions personnel at an early stage of the board design, we were able to call on their assistance, advice and support to secure significant time and cost savings.