What is a printed circuit board (PCB)?

A printed circuit board, or PCB, is first and foremost a plate that connects a set of electronic components together to make more complex circuits. The board is assembled from one or more layers of copper chemically cut and covered with an insulating paint, which protects them from short circuits and oxidation.

Printed circuit boards are made up of several electronic components:

  • Capacitors
  • Diodes
  • Resistors
  • Transistors
  • Integrated circuits

1.0 The different types of printed circuit boards

There are several types of PCBs suitable for different uses. For relatively simple electronic devices, single-layer PCBs are generally more used, whereas for more complex devices, double-layer or multilayer PCBs are preferred.

1.1 Single-sided printed circuit board

As the name implies, the single-sided printed circuit board consists of a single conductive layer of copper on top of an insulating substrate. This type of circuit is commonly used in everyday electronic devices and has many advantages. The single-layer PCB is much simpler to manufacture and therefore requires fewer resources. As a result, its manufacturing cost is not expensive.

1.2 Double-sided printed circuit board

The double-sided printed circuit consists of two conductive layers on each side of the substrate.

1.3 Multi-layer printed circuit board

It is often confused with the double-sided printed circuit board, but a multilayer printed circuit board is when it consists of two or more layers. This is suitable for more sophisticated electronic devices, requiring high power and speed of operation.

2.0 What are the advantages of a printed circuit board?

Printed circuit boards stand out in several ways. First of all, it is much smaller than a conventional circuit which allows to minimize space and to create much smaller electronic systems. In addition, soldering is greatly reduced, which greatly reduces the risk of component breakage or failure.

3.0 What are the different uses of the printed circuit board?

PCBs can be found in everything from large machines to small, everyday electronic devices. Here are some examples of the most common uses of PCBs:

  • Industrial equipment
  • Medical environment
  • Aeronautics
  • Automobiles
  • Electronic devices
  • Household appliances
  • Lighting

4.0 What are the etching techniques for making printed circuit boards?

There are several etching techniques for a printed circuit:

  • Chemical etching
  • Etching by ultraviolet rays
  • Mechanical engraving
  • Laser engraving
  • By substrate deposition

5.0 Acquisition of the V-ONe printer from voltera

HP Hydraulique has acquired Voltera’s V-One to create its own PCBs.  This tool uses the automated control method called Computer Numerical Control (CNC), allowing rapid PCB design for prototyping.  Thus, to design a printed circuit, it would be enough to draw the card with a software of edition of circuits like AutoCAD Eagle PCB and, using the software of Voltera to send it to V-One in the form of Gerber file so that this one can print the circuit directly on the plate.

This tool allows us to obtain a functional circuit quickly. It is accurate enough to make SMD, Small Micro Devices et through hole.

Previously, the creation process was done from punched cards. This process was more time-consuming and laborious, and increased the risk of error due to the multitude of wires and solder joints required to produce a functional circuit. This new tool, the V-One, eliminates this process and produces a complex schematic directly. In addition, since these circuits were manufactured outside the region, it was difficult to control deadlines and quality. It is now possible to design, print and test in a very short time.

The advantage of the V-one tool? It allows us to make two-sided circuits on various materials, from fabric to fiberglass panels. Yes, yes, fabric! The printer supports several types of conductive alloys for its printing such as silver or copper paste. Not to mention that it has a heating plate that allows “reflow” soldering.

If you need advice on the choice of circuit types and equipment or assistance with the installation or maintenance of your hydraulic system, please contact us. Our team of experts will be happy to answer your needs.

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