A PCB or ‘Printed Circuit Board’ is best described as a thin board, constructed from fibreglass or similar material. This unsung hero of our age actually began life in the 1940s but of course has been developed and improved massively since then, specifically becoming considerably smaller and more compact in that time. Usually, most printed circuit boards are constructed to be flat and rigid but recent developments and advances in technology have meant that some devices contain flexible boards constructed from various types of bendable material.
You’ll find printed circuit boards in most common devices such as computers and digital cameras as well as specialist products such as medical equipment and airplane cockpits and these PCBs are fundamental to the life of these electronic products. They, in essence, carry the life force of the product in the circuits and connections that make the device work, in much the same way that the electricity in your house needs the circuitry, wiring, fuses etc to make your home’s power function smoothly.
However, the big difference with PCBs is that the circuits on the board are added using conductive ink. PCB manufacturers like Hi5 Electronics specialise in the design, prototyping and volume production of printed circuit boards and it’s vital that they are made with exceptional care to ensure they are error free and are able to function correctly over a very long period indeed. The design engineers job bears great responsibility and it’s testament to their skill that these incredibly intricate circuits work so efficiently. Equally it’s also vital that high quality machinery is used to print the circuits or the engineers hard work is put in jeopardy.
PCB boards are manufactured in different layers ranging between two and ten, and copper is usually the preferred material used to print the circuit on to the board, being a good conductor of electricity.
The printed electrical circuits of the PCB ensure that the main processor is connected to the other components of the device. In common devices such as a computer, the main printed circuit board is known as the motherboard and may have many smaller ones working with that perform other functions within the device.
In order to maintain the required high standards, PCB board manufacturers not only need to use cutting edge technology and exceptionally accurate and precise engineering to be able to continually produce the best quality PCBs, they must also ensure they are able to use the highest quality raw materials. This protects the circuits from corrosion over time which may have caused the electronic device to stop working correctly.