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V-scoring vs. Tab-Routing

Randy Holman


V-scoring vs. Tab-Routing | 3 June, 2003

I'm trying to determine the best panelization technique, but have been unfruitful in my internet search for more information.

I'm trying to determine the advantages and disadvantages of using either V-scoring or tab-routing (break-away tabs), but have been unable to find much useful information, other than definitions / explanations of what each one is.

Can someone help point me in the right direction??



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V-scoring vs. Tab-Routing | 3 June, 2003

Hi Randy,

From a bare board manufacturers stand point, scoring is probably faster and easier but has limitations. If your boards are square or rectangle scoring will work fine. Once assembled the scored grooves can be sliced apart using what is sometimes called a pizza cutter type de-paneler or even snapped apart depending on design and how close the component lands are to the edge of the boards.

Tab routing can handle odd shapes but usually leaves nubs or small pieces of laminate on the edges that may need to be sanded off. Also, tab routing in high volumes takes a lot of time on the router and may drive your cost up.

If the vendor has scoring in house and the boards are square that would probably be the cheapest but if they have to send out for scoring that can drive up cost.

Some tabs also have small holes drilled into them to help the breaking apart of the individual boards but again, this can drive up cost. If you use tab routing make sure you make the tabs big enough to be strong and make an array that can be handled but not so big that the boards cannot be broken apart.

Simple huh. I have a lot of photo's of arrays both scored and routed if you are interested. I could email you a few examples as I use them as part of technical presentations for SMTA, IPC Designers Council meetings, and other speaking opportunities. Just contact me "off Forum" if you are interested.

Matt Kehoe

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V-scoring vs. Tab-Routing | 3 June, 2003

I agree with the other posting about V-score but don't forget about a Wand punch if the application is high volume, also IPTE manufactures a cutting system that doesn't require any V-score, it just cuts the boards apart with a diamond wheel.

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