What is the PCB V Score?

The procedure of cutting a “V” shaped groove at the top and bottom of a printed circuit board is known as PCB V-Scoring. V-scoring allows you to break circuit boards while leaving the board intact and holding it together with a small amount of material. V-scoring also makes removing individual parts from a circuit board easier. This procedure can be compared to the production of a chocolate bar. V-scoring creates grooves on your PCB to separate parts of the board, similar to how grooves on a chocolate bar are used to break off pieces.

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Mal Fletcher

PCB V-scoring is a type of PCB penalization that allows you to put numerous PCBs onto a single produced board and then separate them once they’ve been assembled.

To V-score a PCB, you’ll need a special scoring tool with top and bottom blades that cut both sides of the PCB.

What is the Purpose of V-Scoring on a PCB?

When a group of circuit boards needs to be grouped to make the assembly process more efficient, scoring is usually required. Scoring the PCBs creates a strong framework for the assembly process, allowing you to use minimal force to detach the assembled boards.

By combining numerous similar PCBs on a single manufactured board and providing a more user-friendly final board format, PCB V-scoring aims to make better use of board space and reduce manufacturing costs. For later sub-assembly efficiency, you can even integrate two or more comparable circuits on the single assembly.

Without breaking the single-made PCB, the client, engineer, or technician can employ proper scoring to separate the scored sub-PCBs from the single manufactured PCB. As a result, the number of active PCBs is virtually multiplied.

Knowing how to V-score a PCB can be quite useful to you or a contractor. V-scoring a circuit board will not only save you time and money but will also make it easier to remove pieces from a completed assembly.

V-scoring the PCB allows you to act as if all of the circuit board’s components are one single PCB throughout the manufacturing process. The components can be put in each area of the board in a single pass. You can divide the boards at the “Vees” you built earlier after you have all of the components where you want them, making the assembling procedure considerably more cost and time effective.

What Is the Best Way to Specify Scoring?

The V-score can be determined by looking at the cross-section or by looking at the depth of the score. The distance between the “Vees” will be indicated in the cross-sectional view. The “web” is the stuff leftover after making the scores.

The traditional method for calculating the V-score is to divide each measurement in half: 1/3 cut on top, 1/3 cut on the bottom, and 1/3 web in the middle. You can adjust this procedure depending on the overall board size or whether you want to be able to detach or de-panel the boards afterward.

Many manufacturers also provide the option of a 90-degree or 30-degree score. 90-degree scores are easier to break than 30-degree scores, but they take up more room on the layout. It’s recommended to talk to your manufacturer about these alternatives.

What Are the General PCB V-Scoring Rules?

You must follow a few standard PCB V-scoring principles to be successful with your circuit board designs.

The space between boards should be 0mm as a general rule of thumb. The minimum and maximum PCB footprint sizes for V-scoring are 75mm x 75mm and 450mm x 1245mm, respectively.

Another restriction is that the V-scoring line must be straight, while vertical and horizontal lines are acceptable. The score must run straight over the entire board as a general rule, however floating vertical and horizontal lines are also possible.

The distance between the V-scoring line and the PCB outline should be kept at least 0.35mm. Finally, we recommend that a V-scored board’s board thickness be at least 0.6mm to ensure the PCB’s integrity after scoring.

What Are the Distance Rules for V-Scoring?

When V-scoring, understanding the distance guidelines is helpful because each project will be a little different. These suggestions will assist you in avoiding PCB burring.

To avoid damaging traces, pads, and metal layers, you’ll want to observe different distance restrictions based on your PCB thickness while separating sub-assemblies at the V-scores.

If you’re not sure how to score your PCB or if it doesn’t suit the distance restrictions, talk to your PCB layout engineer. They will help you in getting the most out of your PCB.

Challenges With V-Scoring PCB:

V-scoring printed circuit boards is a difficult task. If the parts don’t come apart easily, it can result in circuit board breaking during singulation, as well as part dimension difficulties. A faulty singulation procedure, erroneous PCB scoring standards, or a quality deficiency during the actual scoring process can all cause these problems.

The ease with which the parts are taken from the scored array can be affected by how they are removed. Manual hand separation is often sufficient to remove the assembled elements from the array. A v-score cutter, on the other hand, can be used when the populated part leaves the little area to grab the assembly or the assembly employs a thicker laminate. This cutter enables removal without putting undue strain on the assembly.

It’s also worth noting that after all v-scoring processes, some laminate material will remain on the edge of the pieces after they’ve been singulated.

The remaining material is normally little enough not to affect part fit, but if the design calls for an exceedingly tight unit fit tolerance, there may be an issue. Keep in mind that if a part is scored on opposite edges, the remaining material on both sides can build up to the point where the final unit is difficult to fit.

A Final Word

Knowing how to modify your PCB to meet your specific requirements is an important component of creating new products. With PCB V-Scoring, you can do this on your own, but if you need help, contact your PCB layout engineer.