Printed circuit board labels (PCB labels) help electronic equipment manufacturers keep track of PCBs during production, storage, and installation, ensuring they use the right components in their products. PCB labels are electronics labels that convey critical PCB information in an easily accessible format, including the PCB’s origin and lot numbers, test data, soldering temperature, and flux density.
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are critical elements of electronic devices and systems, from computers and cell phones to medical devices and industrial equipment. By mechanically supporting and electrically connecting electronic components, they ensure electrical power and signals can flow where needed for the operation. However, they must be properly designed and installed to ensure they work as intended, which is why electronic equipment manufacturers often utilize printed circuit board labels.
The following article provides an overview of printed circuit board labels, highlighting why they are important, how to choose the right materials, and what solutions are available at Technicode, Inc.
Why PCB Labeling Is Important
PCBs labels are essential for traceability. They facilitate the tracking of PCBs throughout manufacturing, assembly, and distribution operations, ensuring the components proceed through the full production cycle, and the manufacturer integrates the right units into products. Overall, they can enhance a facility’s management capabilities and increase its production efficiency.
How to Choose the Right Materials for PCB Labels
Given their importance in electronic product manufacturing operations, PCB labels must be designed for long-term readability. The failure of a label means a PCB unit cannot be tracked through operations, which can result in manufacturing errors that waste time, money, and material. That’s why PCB labels are made from materials and with printing techniques capable of withstanding exposure to chemicals, extreme temperatures, wear, and other degrading conditions.
PCB labels can be made from a variety of materials, each of which offers varying levels of durability. The right material depends on when they are applied and what conditions to which they are exposed.
Applied at Start of Manufacturing Process
If the PCB label will be applied at the beginning of the manufacturing process, polyimide labels are an appropriate option. Polyimide labels use substrates and adhesives that are resistant to high temperatures, which allows them to withstand exposure to the elevated temperatures experienced during reflow and wave soldering operations.
Applied After Board Washing, Durability Expected
If the PCB label will be applied after board washing operations and durability is expected, polyester labels are an appropriate option. Polyester labels use substrates and solvent acrylic adhesives that can withstand exposure to IPA cleaning chemicals.
Applied After Board Washing, Durability Not Expected
If the PCB label will be applied after board washing operations and durability is not expected, paper labels are an appropriate option. Paper labels use adhesives that may dry out, so they can fall off over time.
PCB Label Solutions at Technicode
At Technicode, we are a premier source for high-quality barcode labeling supplies. We offer a broad selection of products to meet the needs of our customers. Our PCB label offerings include:
Duratran™ Gloss White Polyester Electronic Component Labels
This topcoated white glossy polyimide film is coated with an aggressive permanent acrylic adhesive.
Duratran™ Gloss Polyimide Electronic Component Labels
These film labels employ a permanent adhesive that’s designed for use in extremely high temperature environments. They are commonly used to label printed circuit boards.
Order PCB Labels From Technicode, Inc. Today
Want to learn more about PCB labels? Ask the barcode label experts at Technicode! We’ve supplied premium thermal transfer printing media, including for PCB labels, for over two decades, so we can answer or address any questions or concerns you may have about these products. We can also provide standard or custom label solutions, with or without printing, for your applications. For additional information about our PCB labels and other quality products, contact us or request a quote today.