What Should be Considered on Technical Rail?
1. Width of Technical Rail. Generally speaking, the width of technical rail is in the range from 1.5mm to 5mm based on specific assembly requirement and assembly device parameter requirement. Therefore, it's of much necessity to enquire contract assembler to ensure that your design is compatible with corresponding assembly equipment.
2. Cost of Technical Rail. With technical rail manufactured, material consumption will definitely be increased, and so will the overall cost. How to balance PCB cost and manufacturability can be regarded as the first consideration taken by both PCB design engineers and PCB fabricator or assembler. To minimize cost, the usual method lies in minimum application of technical rail by designing optimal arrangement for PCB panels, which is capable of shrinking the application of technical rail to the largest extent. A reliable PCB fabricator or assembler has sufficient knowledge and experience to provide an ideal scheme for customers based on quality and cost consideration.
How to Remove Technical Rail?
Since technical rail doesn't belong to the mechanical system of circuit boards, it won't be useful any more after the PCB fabrication or assembly, and you should consider to remove it from those boards. Currently, there are three methods to remove technical rail:
1. Router depaneling machine. It is the most effective option when comes to quality alone. This machine mainly depends on milling cutter that can separate panel PCBAs into independent pieces with high-speed rotation according to programmed route. Compared with V-cut depaneling machine, it features an obvious advantage that V-cut depaneling machine can only cut panels along straight lines whereas it goes far beyond that. Furthermore, it leads to clean and neat board edge while V-cut depaneling machine or manual depaneling usually tend to cause blur. Therefore, it contributes to quality improvement and scrap reduction but is highly expensive with complicated operation program and low flexibility.
2. V-cut depaneling machine. It implements cutting operation along v-grooves in straight lines with relatively high cost of blade consumable. The overall cost, however, is lower than that of Router depaneling machine.
3. Manual depaneling. It relies on hand or needle nose pliers for separation with advantages of convenient operation and low cost. Nevertheless, larger mechanical stress may be generated so that components near board edge will possibly suffer from breakdown.