PCB Array Basics

Focus on getting the most parts per panel, not arrays per panel

Array material is waste material, so getting more parts per panel will almost certainly bring a lower part price.

One might assume that an array with more parts on it will naturally get more parts per panel, but that's not always true. In some cases, an array with fewer parts will be more efficient and get more parts per panel. Compare these two arrays. The 9 part array is actually more efficient than the 10 part array. Because the 9 part array uses the manufacturing panel more efficiently, it yields 9 more parts per panel which could lead to a significant cost savings on a production run.

Part size: 1.0 x 2.0
Space: 0.062
Borders: 0.562

Panel size: 18.0 x 24.0
Space: 0.1
Minimum borders: 0.75

Not Optimized
10 parts per array
9 arrays per panel
90 parts per panel
41.7% part/panel utilization

Array Layout Result

9 parts per array
11 arrays per panel
99 parts per panel
45.8% part/panel utilization

Array Layout Result

Always calculate the array within the context of the manufacturing panel size to find the best array design for each panel. Since your supplier may use several different panel sizes, finding the best array design for each panel size can be a complex challenge. Fortunately, KwckFit's panel calculators can easily calculate the best array design for any panel size.

To learn more about the importance of designing the array for the manufacturing panel read Panelization Basics.

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