Online PCB Quote Terminology

Here you will find all of our printed circuit board parameters and definitions found at InstantPCBQuote, our online PCB quote and ordering tool.


Click Any Printed Circuit Board Selection Below For More Information
Part/Revision Number PCB Quantities PCB Layers Circuit Board Dimensions PCB Array
PCB Array Dimensions Number of Boards/Array Material Type Finish Plating Thickness
Copper Weight (Inner) Copper Weight (Outer) Min. Trace/Space Smallest Hole Size Soldermask
Soldermask Color Silkscreen Silkscreen Color BoardSpec Gold Fingers
Tab-Rout Scoring Blind & Buried Vias Plated Slots Counterbore
Plated Edges Counter Sink Controlled Dielectric Controlled Impedance NRE Test

Part Number:

Your unique nomenclature assignment. Epec will reference all parts by the drawing number and rev.


Revision Number:

Your letter or number. If the part has no rev level to it add a dash -.


PCB Quantities:

Individual circuit board quantities to be quoted. Do not use array quantity.


PCB Layers:

Number of conductive layers in the PCB stackup. Layers for online PCB's from Unclad up to 12 layers can be quoted. For higher PCB layer counts email sales@epectec.com.


Circuit Board Dimensions:

X Dimension - In inches, the most extreme measurement in the X axis of the individual PCB.

Y Dimension - In inches, the most extreme measurement in the Y axis of the individual PCB.

When possible supply a 1:1 gerber PCB outline for manufacturing to create a rout or score program from, include radius, cut outs both internal and external.

Milling needed for parts should be indicated on the 1:1 outline including the depth of the mill, this process requires an engineering review prior to order placement.

Provide fabrication drawings with a hole to board edge (0,0 datum) with all PCB dimensions X,Y from datum. This will decrease lead time from order placement to production and aide in programming of your PCB profile.


PCB Array:

Panelization configuration of individual PCBs.

Best panel fit usage is an array 8 x 10.5. Circuit board parts within an array will be scored or routed with tabs.

Parts with cutouts or radius must be routed or a combined rout\score process. Use an appropriate space between pieces to allow for router to cut the pieces from the array.

Break away tabs with mouse bites will be placed on PCB edge 50% or less to allow for breaking of pieces from arrays.

Squared parts can be butt together for scoring, allow space for component overhang when setting your parameters. Smaller rails or waste strips are more difficult to break, stick with .250 or larger if you need space between the pieces to allow breaking.

Add Fiducials .050 diameter (3) places on the waste rail for aide in assembly process. Clear Fiducials with .100 mask pads. Add (4) .125 NPD tooling holes centered on waste rails, for ease of production.

Allow for thieving on waste rails to aide in plating process.


PCB Array Dimensions:

Array X Dimension - In inches, the most extreme array measurement in the X axis, including any rails or borders.

Array Y Dimension - In inches, the most extreme array measurement in the Y axis, including any rails or borders.

Supply 1:1 outline when possible or a detailed drawing with all of your required details. Include dimensions, tabs, v-scores, fiducials, cut outs, tooling holes, text.

Allow for plating on waste rails to aide with plating process and protect fiducials.

The number of pieces in the array shall be divisible by the quantity ordered.


Number of Boards/Array:

Number of individual PCBs in the array configuration.

Number of pieces in array must be equal to the number ordered.

Example: 5 up array the buy needs to be 5, 10, 50. Not 9, 14, 24.

Allow for X-outs within your multiple up array, Arrays with ZERO x-outs allowed cost more to produce.


Material Type:

Laminate used in PCB fabrication.

Specifying a brand can increase your lead time and your cost, allow for an equivalent materials to be used to prevent delays in production and cost increases.

Select the material based on your needs. FR4 130tg withstands a lower heat whereas FR4 180tg is for higher temperature processes. RoHS parts on average need 40C higher temperature for assembly process.

Two Side SMT applications can see several heat cycles during assembly, select a higher Tg material.


Finish Plating:

Type of plating used in PCB fabrication.

RoHS - Restrictions on Hazardous Substances, PB Free products.

HASL has lead in it choose an alternate finish for RoHS.

HASL, Enig, Immersion Silver, Immersion Tin, Lead Free HASL & OSP are all surface alternatives. Some finishes require extra time to process.

Immersion Silver has a shorter shelf life, like all silver it will tarnish with time.

HARD GOLD surface finish or contact areas are a separate process additional cost required.

For other specialty surface plating such as ENEPIG please contact sales@epectec.com.


Thickness:

The total thickness of the board including all plating and final finishes.

Specify thickness as +\- 10% class 2 industry standard on PCB thickness.

Example: .062 +\-.007    .093 +\-.009

Tighter tolerances than +\- 10% will need engineering review.

Maximum PCB thickness produced .250.
Minimum core thickness produced .003.
Minimum core thickness produced .003.


Copper Weight (Inner):

Copper thickness required on inner layer cores.

Inner layer copper is a FINISHED copper weight. No additional plating is deposited on to internal layers.

Balanced copper is easier to process and a more common stock. Select internal cores to have the same copper on both sides to avoid delays in production.


Copper Weight (Outer):

Number of ounces of copper on finished product.

Base copper weight plus plating equals finished copper weight.

.0007 - .001 is average plating thickness added to surface and barrels of holes during process.

Copper Weight > .001 plating will require an engineering review.


Min. Trace/Space:

Minimum trace width and spacing.

Min. Trace/Space of .005/.005 > circuit and space is STANDARD for process.

Min. Trace/Space .004/.004 circuit and spacing requires engineering review for this ADVANCED technology.

Remember heavier copper weights require more circuit width and more spacing. Allow for process increases when designing your PCB.

Inner layers up to 4oz copper. External layers up to 6oz copper FINISHED.


Smallest Hole Size:

Smallest finished hole in mils.

Hole sizes < .008 diameter hole finished size requires engineering review prior to placing orders.

Aspect Ratio 11:1 is standard processing > than will need to be reviewed by our engineering team.

.0007 - .001 on average is standard plating thickness.

Hole sizes > .001 copper requires engineering review.

Supply an excellon drill data for drilling of PCB; include slots in the drill or a center location for the slot(s) holes sizes should be the desired finished size. Do not size your drills; this will be done at manufacturing.

Designated holes that are plated and nonplated.

Keep Blind vias and Burried vias in their own separate drill programs, these are separate processes.

Via in Pad process is available, but may require a custom quote, please contact sales@epectec.com for this special process.


Soldermask:

Number of sides to mask.

Supplying mask 1:1 with external layers is best to allow for global increase for processing.

.004 is needed minimum to hold a web of mask between features.

Soldermask will be used to clip silkscreen legend off of solderable surfaces.

Double coat of mask requires an engineering review.

Peelable mask added to parts requires an additional mask layer; make sure you specify this is needed on your fabrication drawing.

Cover vias within BGA areas with mask to aide in assembly and prevent shorting.

Specify on your drawing if epoxy plugining is needed, this process will need an engineering review.


Soldermask Color:

Color of mask used to cover the PCB.

We offer various colors of mask including Green, Red, Black, Blue, White, and Clear.

1 color 2 sides – we will not apply 2 different colored masks at this time.

Allow for Matte or Gloss texture to process your order without delays.

Selecting a specific texture could add extra time to process. Some color choices are not available in both textures.


Silkscreen:

Screened reference characters for assembly.

Specify one or both sides needing the legend added.

Characters should be a minimum of .035 in height and .006 in draw width to reproduce legible. Characters on land surfaces or within .006 of lands will be clipped using the solder mask as a template.


Silkscreen Color:

Color of silkscreen ink printed on the circuit board.

We offer various colors of mask – Red, Black, Blue, White, and Yellow.

For more than one color silk screen contact sales@epectec.com.

Review your data for legend on pad surfaces, clipping of legend can make characters illegible.

.006 is the minimum line width that can be reproduced easily in standard process.

Keep legend .005 from copper features to allow for process.

Character Height – .065 minimum - if it is not legible with .006 line width it will not be legible on the finished product.


BoardSpec:

Information (fabrication drawing, readme file) which defines PCB characteristics such as materials, copper weights, thicknesses, tolerances, etc.

All parts will be built to IPC-6012 class 2 latest revision unless otherwise specified.

Provide your customer specification to Epec if required, a review of your specification will be needed prior to manufacturing.


Gold Fingers:

Hard electroplated plug-in tabs along PCB edge, which are plugged into connectors. Generally 30 micro inches thick gold.

Generally 30 micro inches thick gold.

When 50 micro inches are requested this adds cost to the parts, know how much gold you need.

Gold finger tabs that require a chamfer, supply depth and angle required. Some chamfers may require special process to be achieved; additional time may be needed to process.


Tab-Rout:

Tabs routed between each PCBs.

Standard tabs will be used if not supplied with data. Most tabs have mouse bites for ease of breaking, holes will sit on or into board edge. Once pieces are removed from the array these areas will not be smooth.


Scoring:

V-groove cut into both the top and bottom of the PCB.

Scoring is used in squared parts leaving behind a web of material to break apart the array.

High Temp materials have a stronger weave and should have less web than FR4 material for easier – cleaner breaking.

.062 scored FR4 array would require a web of .018 +\- .004 to hold the array together during assembly whereas 170tg or higher temp would only require .014 +\-.004.

Edges of a v-scored board are not smooth like routing.

Copper features should be .020 away from PCB edge, .015 minimum.


Blind & Buried Vias:

Blind Via - A blind via is hole that reaches one outer surface, but stops partway through the board.

A blind via is hole that reaches one outer surface, but stops partway through the board.

Blind vias require added process to achieve and will require an engineering review.

Blind vias are plated to carry current to some layers.

Supply blind vias in a separate drill program.

Buried Via - A buried via is an internal hole that doesn't reach either external surface.

Buried vias require added process to achieve and will require an engineering review.

Buried vias are plated and carry current to internal layers only.

Supply buried vias in a separate drill program.


Plated Slots:

Elongated holes used for component placement.

Depending on the size of the plated slot a tolerance of +\-.005 will be needed to fabricate.

Extensive routing can add time to process.


Counterbore:

A larger hole concentric with a smaller hole at a defined depth.

Commonly place on a PCB to allow for mounting screw to be flush with PCB surface.

Supply diameter and depth of c-bore include tolerances for both.


Plated Edges:

Edges of the circuit board plated with copper and a surface finish.

Edge plating requires added processes and an engineering review is required to determine if this can be achieved.


Counter Sink:

Beveled hole openings.

Commonly placed on a PCB to allow for a mounting screw to be flush with PCB surface.

Supply diameter, angle and depth of c-sink including tolerances.


Controlled Dielectric:

Specified thickness of the insulating layers between a signal, power or ground planes and the core material itself.

Specifying thickness of the stack up whether core or prepreg material can cause delays in production.

Some materials may require an engineering review to determine if the material is in stock.

If dielectric thickness is not critical to the build a balanced construction will be used and is recommended.


Controlled Impedance:

Specifying the cross-sectional area of a trace(s) and dielectric spacing to achieve a specific resistance.

Supply a stack up of the construction needed to achieve the required impedance.

Supply details of the impedance required, circuit widths, layers requiring impedance, OHMs and a tolerance. Also note if impedance testing is required or if built within the design is implied.

Adjustments to the data and stack up may be needed.


NRE Test (Optional on 1 & 2 Layer Boards):

One-time charge (Non-Recurring Expense) to create an electrical testing fixture to test for short and open circuits.

Once the fixture is made, it will can re-used indefinitely on repeat orders, until such time as the design is revised.

Some of the time there can be a reoccurring test charge for more complex parts, your customer service person will advise.

100% testing is done on all parts, supply IPC_356 netlist to compare your supplied data and finished products too. EPEC will extract a netlist from your data when one is not supplied, this is our only option.

America's Oldest, A History of Innovation.  Learn More →
Our History

As the oldest production Printed Circuit Board Company in North America, perhaps in the world, the 60-year plus story of Epec is connected to the development of the PCB and the electronics industry.

See our history timeline →



  • Epec Founded in 1952
  • IPC Founded in 1957
  • Epec Builds PCB for Apollo 11