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EI Capabilities Frequently Asked Questions

What does Electronic Interconnect use as its standard for manufacturing?

Unless the standards are specified in the zip file information you email to our pre-engineering staff, Electronic Interconnect follows a standard set of building parameters. These parameters include: ½-ounce copper on outer layers, 1-ounce copper on inner layers, FR4 material, 0.062" finished thickness, LPI green solder mask over bare copper (SMOBC), and white silkscreen. To see the full range of standards for manufacturing please review our manufacturing capabilities section.

What drawing files / design software do you accept?

EI recommends you download Viewmate (www.pentalogix.com) to preview your Gerber and drill files before you submit them. Viewmate is a free version of the software that we use to prep your Gerber artwork and drill files. If you can view your files using Viewmate, then we should be able to use them to produce the artwork necessary to manufacture your design.

What tooling specifics are needed for manufacturing my circuit boards?

Our CAM (computer aided manufacturing) process starts when we receive all the necessary files and data to begin the manufacturing process. We do not issue any order until our pre-engineering staff has approved your files. Review our manufacturing capabilities to see the range offered on EI.

I have a project that doesn't fit the Electronic Interconnect parameters. Can EI still build my board?

For any order that does not fit into one of the above services, please use our contact us form and explain your differences. This will help to expedite your request.

What is Silkscreen?

Silkscreen (component legend) is printing on the component side (sometimes both sides) of a PCB that uses outlines and symbols to show component locations and to identify particular components with legends. Solder mask is required for silk screen printing.

What is solder mask?

Solder mask is a dielectric coating of the PCB, usually of a dark green color, which is designed to insulate and protect the copper traces and keep them from shorting together during the soldering process. The solder mask covers the whole board except solderable surfaces such as thru-hole and surface-mount pads. Solder mask is also required for silk screen (component legend). The only disadvantage of solder mask is it is an added cost to your board.

What is panelization?

Panelization is a method of arraying one or several designs within the boundary of fixed-size PCB panel. Optimal panelization utilizes the allocated panel space more effectively, thus reducing the cost per board. Unlike most other fabricators, Electronic Interconnect performs the panelization and corresponding price adjustment automatically.

What is depanelization?

Depanelization is the post-manufacturing process that separates individual PCBs from board arrays on the panels.

Can I request custom color of solder mask and silk screen for my PCB design?

Yes. We will inform you about the availability of the requested option and updated order cost shortly after the order is placed.

Can I request gold plating or custom solder finish?

Yes. We will inform you about the availability of the requested option and updated order cost shortly after the order is placed.

Can I request inverted silk-screen option?

Yes.

Can I request custom board material, board thickness, or copper weight not available in the list of presets?

Yes. Electronic Interconnect supports a number of custom board materials, such as Rogers, different thicknesses and a range of copper weights. We will inform you about the availability of the requested option and updated order cost shortly after the order is placed.

Do you support custom shaped boards with slots, cut-outs, etc.?

Yes.

Can I choose if boards are cut to border, V-scored, or tab-routed?

Yes.