The Macaos Enterprise Panelization Module allows you to quickly step up a PCB board to an array (panel) suitable for assembly. The panel may be generated automatically from a script or you may specify panel parameters and add features to the panel frame as desired. Downloadable scripts from EMS providers may be used or modified to meet your own needs.
You can easily add features to the panel, such as:
- Break-off tabs
- Fiducial marks
- Tooling holes
- Break-off holes
- Bad marks
- Copper fill
- Bar code
A WYSIWYG viewer shows your panel just as it will be interpreted by the manufacturer. Once the panel has been "published" to the system it will appear in the Order Browser, ready for purchase. A high-quality technical drawing of the panel in PDF format is automatically generated when the panel is published.
Pick and place data (if included in the board product) is stepped together with the boards. Once the panel product is published, right-click on a Pick&Place layer to export pick and place data for the panel.
Panels that combine several different products are also supported. Start by selecting a single product in the product browser and open the panelization module. Then open the product chooser with the View|Product chooser command. The product chooser lists all products that are compatible (stackup, finish, mask colors) with the first product. You may then add products to the panel by dragging them into the panel.
A multi-product panel may be delivered either as a panel or as individual boards. If individual boards is selected then there will be no panel frame or break-off tabs.
Add assembly masks to a panel
Often, the necessary data for assembly masks is missing from the Gerber files created by the board designer. Especially in cases where assembly is being done by an EMS provider, this missing data can be a problem. It is the EMS provider who knows the processes and needs to specify the masks, but getting this information to the board designer early enough to be included in the design is usually not possible.
With this feature, the mask areas may be specified by the production engineer while creating the assembly panel. Mask areas may be specified either to fill a rectangle drawn by the user, or to fill all solder mask openings within a rectangle drawn by the user. The following masks may be defined:
- Peel-off mask (Blue mask)
- Paste mask
- Glue mask
- Hard gold
By adding paste mask data to the desired solder mask openings of a panel, it is possible to create a solder paste stencil when paste mask data was missing from the designer. Although the solder mask openings are usually somewhat larger than the copper pads, this is easily corrected in the Stencil module, which adjusts openings relative to the original copper pad size (when available) rather than the specified paste mask pad size.