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Improving Printed Circuit Board Via Capping/Plugging Inspection Capability

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000029146D
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that uses a contrasting via cap or plug material (i.e. a material that is a different color from the solder mask) on printed circuit boards (PCB). Benefits include aiding in the visual inspection of the finished PCB.

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Improving Printed Circuit Board Via Capping/Plugging Inspection Capability

Disclosed is a method that uses a contrasting via cap or plug material (i.e. a material that is a different color from the solder mask) on printed circuit boards (PCB). Benefits include aiding in the visual inspection of the finished PCB.

Background

PCBs often require plated through holes, or vias, to be capped or plugged with material to meet certain functional requirements. Traditional PCBs typically use a green solder mask and green via cap/plug material, which are often indistinguishable; this makes inspection in a high-volume manufacturing environment slow and difficult.

General Description

The disclosed method uses a contrasting via cap and/or via plug material, on PCBs. The contrasting (i.e. different colored) via cap/plug material, aids in visual inspection of the finished PCB (see Figure 1).  By utilizing a different color via cap or plug material, the visual contrast between the cap/plug and solder mask is apparent.  This easily observed difference provides for a much needed and improved inspection process for visually determining whether or not the via cap or plug exists.  This technique could be used with many other PCB via fill design variations, including conductive or non-conductive materials.

Advantages

The disclosed method improves inspection quality and throughput, and increases yields at PCB suppliers.

Fig. 1

Disclosed anonymously