5 Reasons Cutting is the Better PCB Breakout Method
The best PCB breakout method has long since been debated
Manufacturers have a lot of considerations when determining the best breakout method, including:
Cost of tools or machines
Labor and time expenses
Flexibility or rigidity of board
Type of panelization
When an expensive router is not cost effective, or when a backup method is needed in case of router downtime, manufacturers often need to choose between manual breakout, or “snapping”, and using a tab breaker (nibbler) or pizza cutter, depending on panelization method.
Though many manufacturers believe that manual depanelization is more cost effective, it actually has a higher probability of damaging components, which ultimately leads to more scrap PCBs, and thus higher costs.
Undue stress on PCBs from localized flexing in the case of manual breakout causes cracking, splintering, chipping, and tearing of PCB fibers, especially when components are closer to the edge.
Manual breakout is also highly labor intensive, causing slowdowns, and human force can not be measured and replicated to optimize efficiency of the breakout process.
With all that in mind, here are 5 reasons cutting is the better singulation method:
Inexpensive relative to routing machines
Produces more reliable and repeatable results
Increases volume and speed
Reduces flexing which puts less stress on the boards
Smaller probability of costly damages from reduced margin of error
For V-Grooved PCBs, the EBSO EasyCut 300 or EasyCut 450 are the top options depending on height, length, and clearance requirements.
In the EasyCut 300, the adjustable upper knife guard is for securing so that only the scoring groove can pass through the two roller knives.
For the EasyCut 450, the front and rear height-adjustable tilting table allows for a more convenient operation, and the lower knife can be adjusted for a vertical position.
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