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Some Commen PCB Terms-A
Jun 25, 2018

Automated Optical Inspection (AOI)

 AOI is used to inspect the inner layers of a multi-layer PCB prior to laminating the layers together.  The optics along with the board data are used to find possible shorts or opens in the copper features that will prevent problems once the inner layers are laminated together.
Annular RingThe annular ring is a round copper area surrounding a drilled hole.  The ring (also called a pad) allows an electrical connection from a connecting trace through the hole to other connecting traces either on an inner layer or the other outside layer.
Acceptance Quality Level (AQL)On any given production run of printed circuit boards there is an acceptable amount of defective boards, also known as AQL. These are removed during the test and inspection process.  The level is closely monitored to ensure processes are meeting consistent quality requirements.
ArrayAn array combines a single PCB multiple times to make a larger array of connected boards; or a “matrix” so to speak.  This process is referred to as “stepping out” the individual boards and also often referred to as “step and repeat.”  Other terms used to describe an array include: panelized, stepped out, palletized and rout and retain.  An array is used to make the assembly process faster.
Array # UpThis term is used to designate how many individual PCBs are on an array.
Array RailsRails are extra PCB material that are added to the sides of an array to allow for easier handling during the assembly process.  The rails could be on all four sides of the array or only on two sides.
Array X DimensionThis is the dimension of an array of PCBs across the x-Axis (left to right). 
Array Y Dimension This is the dimension of an array of PCBs across the y-Axis (up and down). 
Artwork In PCB manufacturing the artwork is the electronic data (see CAM Data) that is used to produce the artwork master. This data is usually scaled and not a 1:1 representation.  
Artwork Master

 When the artwork is sent to the plotter it creates a photo image that is a 1:1 scale of the circuit that will be used in manufacturing. From there the image can then be applied to the copper clad laminate to start the manufacturing process.

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