Browse Prior Art Database

Non-functional Thieving Holes for High Aspect Ratio Board Plating Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016284D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

Publishing Venue



The addition of thieving holes to the non-functional border of a high aspect ratio circuit board, being full panel copper plated, in a DC plating cell, has several key benefits. First, the plating distribution across the surface of the panel improves, which not only improves the capability of the plating process to meet specifications, but also improves circuitization capability. Second, adding thieving holes reduces over plating of the outermost functional plated through holes, which minimizes scrapping due to not meeting minimum plated through hole diameter specifications. Third, by reducing the over plating of the outermost functional plated through holes, the potential for subsequent plugging by coating is reduced, therefore reducing scrap costs. These benefits are provided without having to change the functional panel design and do not require additional operations. Drilling of the thieving holes can be done at the same time that the functional holes are drilled. Therefore, there are no significant cost impacts for adding the thieving holes. Alternative methods to achieving the same benefits are more costly. These alternatives consist of dedicated fixtures or plating cells. These fixtures and/or plating cells, are much more difficult to change, both in terms of time and cost. Thieving holes provide a simpler, less expensive alternative, which can be executed on a much more timely basis. 1