CB component

The most common PCB component selection mistakes to avoid

Just like any other electronic components, PCB components are rapidly undergoing fast technological advancements in both size and performance. This is attributed to the invention of the Integrated Circuits, microcontrollers, and chips in the market such that the flexibility of PCB components increases significantly. On the other hand, one might think that the process of component selection for your PCB is very simple and obvious. However, there are many considerations and technical properties that one should take keen notice of. This is because an error made in the selection of components can lead to serious damages hence the ineffectiveness of the PCB. As experts in PCB design, assembly and manufacturing, we highly recommend that you seek the advice of a component engineer who should act as a liaison between supply chain, design and manufacturing sides. Please join us as we discuss the most common mistakes you should avoid while selecting your PCB components. Please note that you can learn more about PCB design, assembly and manufacturing from our blog https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/blog/. We will also offer the best advice for your PCB component selection.

  1. Neglecting the pros and cons of FTH and SMT components for each design

SMT (Surface-Mount Technology) components are generally less expensive and readily available compared to FTH (Fixed-Through-Hole) components. However, this never qualifies them as the best PCB components to be used in each design.

Several other factors like power dissipation, part density, the size of the PCB and the ease of access of the soldering pads for debugging should all be considered. It is crucial to remember that Surface Mount Technology components are best suited for smaller PCBS although soldering them by hand is really hectic compared to SMT components. One should, therefore, take into consideration the above factors and decide on the best technology to apply before carrying out PCB component selection.

  1. Inadequate ground planes and bypass capacitors

Just like a resistor, a capacitor is a passive PCB component which depends on external power sources to operate. On the other hand, a ground plane is an electrically conductive surface which is connected to an electrical ground. When selecting the components for your PCB needs, it is crucial to ensure that it has enough bypass capacitors for use in power regulation and ground planes for use in appropriate IC pins. Failure to do this leads to a PCB circuit with non-optimized electromagnetic compliance and inefficient performance. Moreover, a number of decoupling capacitors should be placed near the supply to a ground location when Integrated Circuits are used.The size of a capacitor depends on technology, size and frequencies involved thus its crucial to consider the application and the actual design of your PCB when carrying out PCB component selection.

  1. Failing to check for virtual part footprints

In the schematic drawing phase, you should consider having land patterns and footprints that have to be made in the PCB layout phase. Careful PCB component selection is crucial during this stage. Some of the major considerations one should take care of are:

  • Always remember that footprints are comprised of mechanical dimensions (X, Y and Z) of the part and electrical pad connections. This includes the body outline and the pins attached to the PCB. When selecting PCB components, it is crucial to consider packing restrictions on both the bottom and the top sides of the PCB. As an example, some components like polarized capacitors might demand a significant height clearance consideration hence a quick virtual rendering of the PCB should be visualized to give a relatively accurate representation of the components needed and their positioning.
  • The choice of components might change during PCB design thus selection of the parts to undergo PTH and those to undergo SMT in the initial design stages is crucial. Here, factors like availability, parts costs and part area density should be considered.
  • If a footprint doesn’t exist in your database, then you can always create a custom footprint from your tool.
  1. Forgetting to review the BOM

Reviewing the Bill Of Materials report is necessary for your PCB design since the manufacturer can put the PCB manufacture on hold until some parts are provided or specified. The BOM should be a clear representation of the total cost of your PCB design and all components to be used should be shown in the BOM and their respective prices. To learn more about BOM and the reasons why your manufacturer might hold your PCB design and manufacture, visit our blog https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/blog/.

  1. Failing to ensure that components fit in the packaging after PCB assembly

Selecting PCB components might be hectic but this process should be carried out professionally so that your PCB functions as expected. However, one should not forget to consider how the components fit in their packaging so that a functional and a non-compromised design are achieved. The height clearance height of the components should be considered before design. This can be best achieved by drawing a basic board shape outline in the early design but taking care to place the larger components on the best suited location on the board to allow for quick visualization of the position of the components and the best PCB components to be selected.

  1. Not using reference designators

Failure to number reference designators might complicate the process of reviewing the BOM and at the same time prevent accurate sorting. This might result in wrong PCB component selection.

  1. Not verifying spare gates

All spare gates should have inputs connected to a signal to prevent the floating of the inputs. One should always ensure that they review the spare gates and the unconnected inputs. This is because the process of debugging is more complicated when compared to simply reviewing the gates. It is vital to recall that if the inputs are left to float, the system might not operate effectively. Components should, therefore, be selected in a way that there is a complete connection between all the inputs and the outputs of the PCB.

Careful selection of PCB components is paramount to aid in averting challenges like non-functional end PCBs. So how can I acquire the services of a component engineer or high quality PCB components? Please worry no more; we at RUSH PCB Ltd have the best experts who can help you select your components, design and assemble the PCB until the final product is achieved. Please visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/ and enjoy our explicitly unique services.