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Designing PCBs for SMD
Surface Mount Technology - Design Guidelines
by Martin T. Pickering B.Eng.

Why do multilayer ceramic capacitors crack or burst into flames?

What size/shape copper pads should I use?

How can I reduce the cost of solder by 60%?

These notes were written a few years ago but the points considered remain valid today. They don't contain hard and fast "rules" but attempt to make the designer think logically about his design. Of course, there are some contentious points, which are bound to raise comments such as "Why should I change. I've always done it in such-and-such a way?" My answer is "Why not? You won't know unless you try it!" I worked for fifteen years as a designer and I didn't simply pull these ideas out of a hat. Hopefully you will find them interesting and thought-provoking.

Designing PCBs for SMD

Discover How You Can Improve Reliability And Reduce Manufacturing Costs!

Sounds like a dream?

Well, you don't have to wake up from this one!

Martin Pickering has done the research for you. All you have to do is implement his techniques and you'll save money all the way. Your manufacturing costs will go down and so will your customer complaints as your product reliability improves.

A lot has been written about Surface Mount Technology but it's difficult to find a definitive guide that teaches young designers about the essential considerations. Martin Pickering got his degree in Electronics Engineering in 1972 and has worked for various multinational manufacturing companies such as GEC Telecommunications, Siemens and Brother Industries. He worked his way through Development Engineer, Equipment Reliability Engineer, Quality Assurance Manager and Technical Manager so it's hard to question his experience.


Designing PCBs for SMD

Why did nobody tell me about this at college? Why don't my fellow designers know all this stuff? I can't believe that I've been designing printed circuit boards for the last five years and made so many mistakes without anybody telling me!

This book really explains the problems and what to do about them, without getting bogged down with complicated mathematics or technological gobbledegook. Martin just tells it like it is then lets the designer get on with his job. And my boss has promised me a pay rise because my latest design is actually saving the company money!

Designing PCBs for SMD

Using the techniques explained in this eBook you can

  • Reduce solder usage by up to fifty percent
  • Remove the risk of ceramic capacitor failure
  • Increase the number of copper tracks possible
  • Reduce manufacturing costs
  • Improve reliability

Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCs) are known to be prone to failure under certain conditions. The manufacturers can check them in various ways, including use of the methanol test, but it's up to the designer to get the Printed Circuit Board right. It's up to the Purchasing department to ensure that the correct parts are ordered. The Goods Inwards inspection department should check that the parts meet the specifications. It's the responsibility of the Production Engineer to set the placement machines and soldering machines. Strangely, not all of this happens! People make mistakes and things go wrong.

Worse still, management refuse to see that there's a problem! You feel as if you are banging your head against a wall. But, armed with the information in this eBook, you can become the expert. Convince management that the system needs a little adjustment. Get the design right; forget the "we've always done it this way" philosophy; make the changes; see the cost savings and improved reliability.

Do you know:

  • How wide a copper track should be?
  • The optimum spacing between tracks?
  • How moisture affects printed circuit boards?
  • What type of solder resist to use?
  • What size solder pads should be?
  • The significance of stress fractures?
  • How the various soldering methods work?
  • Why cleaning should be avoided?
  • Why inspection and test are unreliable?
  • How MLCs are manufactured?

Learn all this and more. See photographs of how tests were carried out on MLCs and the amazing results. Find out the secrets of design which nobody wants to publish. How MLCs can cause a fire simply by being run at 5 volts! Why you shouldn't use 47nF.

Designing PCBs for SMD

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We don't send it. If you pay by Paypal, without omitting any important details (such as your name!), the "shopping cart" will automatically send you to a web page address where you can download your eBook immediately!

Designing PCBs for SMD

You are thinking to yourself, "I can get this information simply by searching the Internet." Well, maybe, but here it is all in one place; why bother? And, although a lot of the information is out there somewhere, how long will it take you to find it and collate it so you can understand it? Bear in mind that there is also a lot of BAD information out there. People are probably well-intentioned but they just plain get it WRONG. You can't trust it. And a lot of the information USED to be correct but now it's out of date - so it's wrong. Why not get the right information right now?

Designing PCBs for SMD

Or perhaps you can find a pirate copy that you don't have to pay for; or a cheaper copy on Ebay? Well, maybe you can, but it will be ILLEGAL and OUT OF DATE. Which means the information is wrong. Worse than worthless, because it's misleading. It will waste your valuable time. You might even buy something you don't need.

Designing PCBs for SMD

You are probably asking yourself: "How does he know about this stuff anyway? How can I trust him to get it right? Is it worth what he's asking? And why should I pay for freely available information anyway?

OK, I'm a 62 year old university qualified Electronics Engineer who worked in the Electronics industry for 18 years.

Benefit from my knowledge now!

Designing PCBs for SMD

Why should you pay? Because I've spent months of my time researching and checking this information. It took weeks to compile it and to gather photographs to illustrate it.

So here's your chance to buy this information.