Printed circuit board-custom pcb assembly
Panelization is a procedure whereby a number of PCBs are grouped for manufacturing onto a larger board - the panel. Usually a panel consists of a single design but sometimes multiple designs are mixed on a single panel. There are two types of panels: assembly panels - often called arrays - and bare board manufacturing panels. The assemblers often mount components on panels rather than single PCBs because this is efficient. The bare board manufactures always uses panels, not only for efficiency, but because of the requirements of the plating process. Thus a manufacturing panel can consist of a grouping of individual PCBs or of arrays, depending on what must be delivered.
The panel is eventually broken apart into individual PCBs; this is called depaneling. Separating the individual PCBs is frequently aided by drilling or routing perforations along the boundaries of the individual circuits, much like a sheet of postage stamps. Another method, which takes less space, is to cut V-shaped grooves across the full dimension of the panel. The individual PCBs can then be broken apart along this line of weakness. Today depaneling is often done by lasers which cut the board with no contact. Laser panelization reduces stress on the fragile circuits.