Automotive PCBs are within complex systems and facing extreme temperature, dirt, chemicals and moisture, every technological improvement needs to concern high-reliability, better control, and care in automotive design. Years before, traditional vehicles use standard rigid printed circuit boards, but now new generation PCBs like HDI(Every-layer Interconnect) boards, flex, and Rigid-Flex are widely used in every part of your vehicles, such as GPS systems, sensors.
Your Leading Automotive PCB Supplier in China
As a leading automotive PCB manufacturer of 10 years’experience with ISO/TS16949 compliant, we support PCB and PCB assembly prototyping to mass production for all your automotive PCB projects, by providing standard rigid PCBs, flexible circuits and rigid-flex solutions to automotive manufacturers and their suppliers.
We at Venture deeply understand the automotive industry, you can expect high-quality automotive PCBs with on-time delivery, reliable, and traceable and strict process control solutions with the economic cost.
Your Valuable Automotive PCB Supplier
Every day, hundreds of millions of people are traveled in vehicles for work and play, automakers and their suppliers, together with Venture strive to make IPC class III standard automotive PCBs, in order to deliver the better driver experience and passenger experience.
The use of LEDs in the automotive industry has posed new challenges in the shape and design of printed circuit boards. When installing LEDs in front the automobile headlights, for example, the printed circuit board is bonded to an aluminium heat sink to which the LEDs are then attached. The printed circuit boards offered by Venture have either one, two or three layers (HDI).
At Venture we can answer any automotive PCB questions that you may have, pls feel free to contact us anytime.
Why Choose Venture Automotive PCB
An automotive PCB used in cars or trucks, subassembly or dealer support system must be highly reliable and long-lasting under extreme temperature, dirt, chemicals, and moisture, and also important be highly competitive in price. Venture meets these criteria by providing automotive PCBs specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions, we offer high-temperature laminates and copper & aluminum substrates, as well as differential copper, plated PCBs that are leading in the industry.
What Applications of the Automotive PCB
Different applications of vehicles are using in automotive PCBs. It can be stated that when it comes to applications, PCBs could be considered as the backbone of the electrical system.
The belows is the list of the main applications of automotive PCBs.
1.GPS kit&ECU modules.
2.Displays (Digital)&Sensors of transmission.
3.Radar system&Audio and stereo components.
4.AC/DC converters&Engine controls.
5.Engine timing system&LED system.
6.Occupant detectors&Power distribution board. manufacturing.
PCB & Assembly Catalog
Download the FREE PCB & Assembly Catalog online today! Venture will be your best partner on the way of bring your idea to market.
Automotive PCB – Your Ultimate Guide
Automakers and different suppliers strive to make standard automotive PCBs that make all the systems efficient.
You know, modern automotive industry feature advanced technology, from smart systems, to autonomous car.
At this point, millions of questions about the automotive PCBs might be going through your head.
Well, you should not worry about that.
In this guide, you are going to learn everything interesting that you need to know about the automotive PCB.
Let me show you how.
What is Automotive PCB?
Let us begin by explaining the meaning of a PCB.
Printed Circuit Boards is a non-conductive board with all the electronic and electrical components. The electrical components connect to the board through a physical support aid.
An automotive printed circuit board is a complex circuit system that controls most of the electronic operations in a car.
Implying, by using an automotive PCB ensures that you get a smooth ride in a car no matter the situation.
You might use the car in places that will expose the automotive PCB to extreme dirt, temperature, moisture and chemicals.
Due to the complexity of the automotive PCB, it has to be highly reliable, and durable at very competitive rates.
Copper, high temperature laminates, and aluminum are some of the components that improve the reliability of the automotive PCB.
Why is it important to have the automotive printed circuit board in your car?
Applying the electrical PCB systems in an automotive aim to increase the performance of the vehicle. It covers three main aspects which include:
- Environmental improvement which aims at saving fuel and reduction of tail gas. It also improves the transformation of fuel gas from gasoline to pure power and hybrid power.
- Security enhancements which aims at reducing traffic accidents through use of airbags, radar monitoring, and automatic avoidance. It also includes the use of infrared monitoring, stereo cameras, to autonomous driving among others.
- Comfort and convenience which aims at improving video display, audio, computers, air conditioning and mobile communication among others.
PCB Systems in cars
In the past many vehicles were using standard rigid automotive printed circuit boards. Modern cars have more than that s you will learn in the next segment of this guide.
Types of PCB for Automotive Industry
Do you know that the PCB is the backbone of almost all the modern electronic devices?
Of course, it is and you will find different types of automotive PCBs in your car.
For the scope of this section, we are going to take you through all the types of automotive PCBs.
Let’s have a look.
·Flexible PCB for Automotive Industry
Flexible PCB is a technology where you will assemble electronic components by mounting them on a flexible plastic substrate.
The flexible plastic substrate can either be PEEK, polyimide, or transparent polyester film that can conduct electricity.
You can easily, twist, fold and bend this type of PCB to fit around bends.
·Rigid PCB for Automotive Industry
Rigid PCB is a type of printed circuit board with electronic components on a stiff board. You cannot bend, twist or fold this type of PCB easily because it has an FR4 stiffener.
You can probably find one behind the display monitors and screens inside your car.
·Rigid-flex PCB for Automotive Industry
Rigid flex PCBs are printed circuit boards where mounting of components is on both flexible and rigid boards.
Most of them consist of multiple flexible circuit layers with an attachment to one rigid board internally or externally.
Rigid flex PCB
You will find it in different applications in your car such as the lighting system.
·HDI PCB for Automotive Industry
This type of PCB has a higher wire density per unit area on the board in comparison to other types. It consists of minor capture and via pads, finer lines and spaces, and a high pad connection density.
The vias are often blind or buried and you might not see them well.
·LED PCB for Automotive
LED PCB consists of a chip that can produce light when an electric current passes through. The main material in LED PCB is aluminum as it is a good conductor of heat and electricity.
It is the main type of PCB you will find in the automotive lighting system.
·Heavy Copper PCB for Automotive Industry
This PCB has 3 or more ounces of copper in the outer and inner layers of the board. It assists in eliminating the complex buss wiring configuration.
Heavy copper PCB
This increases the endurance to thermal strains and current carrying capacity.
You can find it in the safety and signaling system of the car.
·Metal Core PCB for Automotive Industry
It depends on copper or aluminum as the main core with the lower side acting as a heat sink. You can find it in car applications that produce a lot of heat.
Metal core PCB
The metal core is a good heat conductor thus eliminating it from the system.
·Single Sided PCB for Automotive Industry
This type of PCB has all the components and conductive material on one side of the PCB. Simply implying that you will find the component on one side and conductive material on the other side.
Single sided PCB
It is simple and suitable printed circuit board for low density designs.
·Double Sided PCB for Automotive Industry
Also known as double-sided plated thru or DSPT.
Double sided PCB
You will find it in most of the higher application technology in a vehicle.
It depends on vias allowing for more and closer routing traces alternating between bottom and top layers. It will provide you with more flexibility for different automotive designs.
·Multilayer PCB for Automotive Industry
This is a printed circuit board with more than 2 layers of boards. All the multilayer PCBs have at least more than 3 conductive materials at the center of the PCB.
Multi layer PCB
It also allows for easy incorporation and control of impedance features, with a higher flexibility and density.
With all that in mind, let us proceed to another critical aspect of the automotive printed circuit board.
Features of Printed Circuit Boards for Automotive Industry
For a fact, the automotive printed circuit board has numerous features that assist in its operation.
In this section, we will take you through some of the major features of the automotive PCB.
Without further ado, let’s find out what they entail.
·Suitable for complex systems in automotive industry
In an automotive, you are likely to find numerous complex systems. These complex systems face numerous challenges such as extreme temperatures and external interferences.
The automotive PCB features special features that are capable of withstanding such extreme conditions. It allows you the luxury of using the automotive with minimal interruptions.
·Can withstand fluctuating temperature conditions (extremely high and low)
In the automotive system, temperatures are bound to fluctuate from high to low.
The fluctuation can be detrimental to the features of the automotive PCB.
In this case, you have to use materials that can withstand this fluctuation. The automotive PCB features materials that can tolerate the fluctuations in temperature conditions.
·Resistant to chemicals in automotive industry
Corrosive acids, organic solvents, adhesives and bases such as salt water can pose a major challenge to the automotive PCBs.
Due to that, manufacturers use materials that can resist the corrosion of the automotive PCB. It allows the PCB to last longer and more efficiently with minimal interruptions.
The materials that you will find in an automotive PCB are very strong and can last longer. It implies that the materials are capable of withstanding harsh conditions and also function extremely well.
These properties of the automotive printed circuit make it one of the most reliable parts of your car.
·Adaptable to all automotive environments
You can drive your car to different places that have diverse environmental characteristics.
With that in mind, manufacturers ensure that they make automotive PCBs that can adapt to different environments.
Some manufacturers are often specific in making PCBs for specific environmental conditions.
·Resistant to dirt
Accumulation of dirt in the PCB system can cause electric shot circuits to the system. It is, therefore, important to have PCBs that can resists accumulation of dirt.
Manufactures use special laminates that will keep dirt off the electric circuit. It will allow you to use the automotive in dusty environments.
Well, these features can double up as the advantages of the automotive PCB.
It gives you the peace of mind and comfort that your car is safe no matter the environmental conditions.
At this moment, let us see some of the applications of the automotive PCB.
Applications of the Automotive PCB
The automotive PCB is a system that you will find in different applications in a car.
In fact, when it comes to the applications, you can clearly understand why PCB is the backbone of electronic components.
In a car, most of the electronics have the automotive PCB performing different functions.
This segment of the guide will inform you of some of the applications that depend on the automotive PCB.
Let us have a look.
- Power relays
- Vehicle sensor systems
- GPS systems
- ECL/ECU control modules
- Antilock brake systems
- Digital displays
- Transmission sensors
- On board radar
- Stereo and audio components
- DC/AC power converters
- Engine timing systems and Engine controls
- Electronic mirror controls
- Interior LED lighting systems
- LED head lights
- Occupant detectors
- Stalk switches
- Door latch or locking systems
- Comfort systems
- Infotainment systems
- Emergency assist systems
- Airbag deployment
- Electronic mirror controls or automatic dimming
- Power distribution junction box
- Remote diagnostic systems
In essence, the entertainment, lighting, security and other key features of your car depend on the automotive PCB.
Apart from the applications, there is more to the automotive PCB that will interest you.
Let’s proceed to the design considerations of the automotive printed circuit board.
Automotive PCB Design Considerations
This far, you already know that electronic elements play a very important role in the automotive industry.
In fact, a modern vehicle has about 200 electronic control units such as processors and sensors.
To achieve this, manufacturers consider different designs for the automotive PCB.
Here, we are going to take you through the design considerations of the automotive printed circuit boards.
Automotive Printed Circuit Board
Let’s dive right in.
Quality Assurance Requirement
From an international perspective, the demand for quality products from manufacturers and distributors depend on ISO9001 regulations.
To be more specific, the quality administration system that govern the automotive industry id the ISO90001/TS16949.
It integrates special requirements and focuses on defect prevention, waste reduction and quality fluctuation in the automotive industry chain of supply.
As an automotive manufacturer, you have to obtain the ISO/TS16949 before genuinely entering the market.
To define a product under class 3, You must build it under the total IPC criteria. IPC class III standard dictates quality standards for:
- Selection of laminates
- Plating thickness
- Manufacturing processes
- Arrangement of facilities such as components on the PCB
- Criteria of Inspection
- Material qualifications
Basic Performance Requirement for Requirement on Performance
In this case, the main factors to consider include:
Automotive electronic dashboard
Automotive reliability comes in 2 major aspects.
One involves the long service life where electronic components and control units can last.
On average, the service life of an automotive ranges between 10 to 12 years. During this period, you will have to replace the vulnerable parts susceptible to damage.
An automotive PCB should be strong enough to last the service life of the actual automotive.
The other one involves environmental resistance that allows electronic components and automotive control to perform excellently in harsh environments.
It should be able to survive extreme heat and cold temperatures among other environmental conditions.
To determine the condition of the automotive PCB, you can perform a series of tests. These include thermal cycling test, thermal shock test, and temperature humidity bias test.
ii.Miniaturization and light weight
Miniaturization and light weight are very important for saving fuel. You can achieve miniaturization and light weight of PCBs by density and area reduction.
You can reduce the thickness of every aspect and use multiple layers as well.
Automotive PCB Designs and Layout
Here we are going to look at some of the factors you need to pay close attention to.
Automotive PCB design and layout
Whenever two inductors come close to one another, inductance is generated.
It is, therefore, important to have a design where all the designs in a compact circuit layout. It will ensure coupling balance reduction.
Better inductance alignment will ensure will ensure mutual distribution in relation to inductance alignment.
Therefore, whenever you are designing an automotive printed circuit board, you have to follow these rules:
First, the spaces between the inductors have to as large as possible.
Secondly, inductor alignment should be at right angles. This will reduce or minimize any form of inductor cross talks.
In case you place leads close to one another, you are likely to affect coupling and generate mutual inductance.
In this case, you have to place the return current path close to the main current path in a minimal radiation field. It will help in the reduction of the current loop area.
You should consider integrated grounding under leads as much as possible. This is because the integrated mass area grounding will improve the performance of the automotive printed circuit board.
The main issue you will have to solve in this case lies with the bad impedance of different circuits. This may come through different electronic components and interconnections.
Capacitance of the thru-hole is often between the bottom copper and the copper at the edge of the thru-hole. Capacitance of thru-holes is also affected greatly by the cylinder of the metal thru-holes.
Therefore, you should have the inductance module for the thru-hole in a sensitive area. The matching or filter network should depend on independent thru-holes. Lastly, having thin PCB copper will reduce the effect of parasitic inductance.
iv.Grounding and Filling
As an important aspect of the automotive PCB design, you should get the design right. This will help you avoid issues with impedance in the circuit.
When you are designing the grounding and filling, you have to put the following under consideration.
First, you have to provide a continuous grounding area with very low impedance. Secondly, connect the filling wire terminals with the thru-hole array to the ground. Lastly, connect copper coated lines to the ground
With the above design considerations, you are sure of having an automotive PCB that will function well.
Automotive PCB Prototyping
You will need to have an automotive printed circuit board prototype before having the actual automotive PCB.
The prototype will guide you in making a good and complete automotive printed circuit board.
It will also assist you to know whether the automotive PCB design you need will work.
Automotive PCB prototyping
At the end of the day, you will save a lot of money by having a prototype before assembling the real PCB.
Let’s have a look at the process of automotive PCB prototyping.
First, you need to have a design software to assist in coming up with a good prototype design. The software has the key features that you will need in making a good prototype.
A designing software such as Eagle, will assist you in making a Gerber file.
Wait, what is a Gerber file?
A Gerber file is the digital blueprint that you can submit to your manufacturer to assist in building a prototype.
·Understand the specs of the automotive PCB you will need
You need to specify the dimensions, type of material, number of layers, plating finish, board thickness and impedance control.
Apart from that you have to include, minimum spacing, size of holes, minimum pitch, solder mask, silkscreen and castellated holes.
·Check if you have any design rule violation
In this case, you need to have a look at the design rules. With the assistance of the designing software, you are capable of making a great prototype.
Some of the software you will need include eagle (DRC) for prototyping and Free-DFM.
·Generating the Gerber files
With the help of the software, you can generate a blue print of the automotive PCB you need.
After that, you need to check your files and ensure that everything is in the right order.
·Document your stack up
With the Gerber files ready, it is time to document your stack up and send it to the manufacturer. Make sure that you arrange and label the layers accordingly.
The manufacturer will create the prototype and test if it works properly.
PCB for Automotive Industry Assembly
With the PCB prototype in hand, you are free to move on to the assembly process.
Before you proceed, you have to ensure that the PCB prototype is working perfectly.
Let’s have a look at some of the assembly processes you need to know.
Making a good automotive printed circuit board involves the following processes:
In this process, you will combine a mask or photomask with chemical etching. It will subtract the copper areas from the substrate of the circuit board.
With the help of a photo plotter design in conjunction with a CAD PCB program, you can make a photo mask. Apart from that, you can use a laser printer to make a photo mask.
In a multilayer automotive printed circuit board, you need to have the layers bound together.
With the help of the lamination process, you can easily bond all the layers together. Lamination will also cover and secure sensitive circuits from dirt and other environmental effects.
In the end of this process, you are sure of having a safe automotive printed circuit board.
In a multilayer automotive printed circuit board, you will need to connect one layer with another layer.
You can achieve this by drilling holes or vias through the multiple layers.
You can drill the multiple layers with the help of an automatic drilling machine. You will have to key in the specifications of the drills on a computer and allow it to control the drilling machine.
After that, you can mount the components on the substrates and connect them with other layers through the vias.
In this case, you will solder the lands and pads where you will connect the electronic components.
Since soldering bare copper is not easy. You have to plate the surface with a material that you can solder easily.
In the past tin was the material to use. In compliance to RoHS, you will either use gold or nickel for plating.
·Testing the Circuit Board
At the end of the above assembly processes, you can test the automotive PCB. This usually happens before you connect other electrical components on the board. The testing of the automotive printed circuit board can either be through flying probe tester and nail testers.
Following the rules of making a PCB will give you a functional automotive printed circuit board.
The future of the automotive printed circuit board is bright especially with the advancements in technology.
Find out more about it in the next section of this guide.
Automotive PCB Market – What’s the Future of PCB for Automotive Industry
A rise in demand for electronic components, accessories and features in automotive is high.
The demand, however, will not remain constant due to a number of determining factors.
Among the reasons being continuous advancements in technology.
Future of automotie PCB – Photo courtesy: YEAE
In this section, we are going to look at the automotive PCB market and the future of PCB in the automotive industry.
To begin with, you should expect an increase in demand of the electronic accessories in the near future. It will drive the automotive PCB market especially during the forecast period.
An increase in production of both the commercial and passenger vehicles will also drive the automotive PCB market further.
Apart from that, an increase in penetration of the radar systems will be a contributing factor to the increase in demand.
Despite the growth, you should also expect to see certain factors that will hamper the growth and demand of PCBs. Some of the factors that will hamper the developments include:
- Growing consumer preference towards customization through bring your own devices
- Operation failure of the automotive PCBs
Generally, the demand for luxury vehicles will improve the demand for automotive PCBs. As the world advances to a more technological point, the automotive market can only get better.
Did the information on this guide answer some of the questions bothering you?
Well, I believe so.
With this information you can easily make demand on the kind of applications you need in your car. As long as it is an electronic device, you can be sure that the automotive PCB will handle it perfectly.
Worry no more as you are now an automotive PCB guru.