Frequently Asked Questions  

1. What is PCB scanning?
2. Is PCB scanning a viable alternative to redesigning the entire PCB?
3. What differentiates LSP among the other so-called “scanning” service bureaus?
4. What is the difference between full redigitization and cleanup methods?

 
 1. What is PCB scanning? Back to Top
PCB Scanning is the process in which printed circuit board (PCB) artwork is scanned in using a high resolution scanner. The scanner software then converts the raster data into vector format. Once this is done, the vector data may be converted to an industry standard format (Gerber data). However, just because we now have Gerber data for the artwork does not mean that the Gerber data is manufacturable. It must be extensively edited to meet the stringent requirements set forth by the PCB manufacturing industry, and even then, the data may not be usable because the file sizes are too large to be laser photoplotted during the manufacturing process.
 2. Is PCB scanning a viable alternative to redesigning the entire PCB? Back to Top
Although LSP Corporation is able to redesign or even reverse engineer any bare board, artwork, paper, mylars, or schematics, this is often time consuming since the typical turnaround for PCB design is 2 weeks. Moreover, PCB design tends to be rather expensive given that more expensive CAD systems must be utilized to complete the designs. On the other hand, the cost for PCB scanning is normally only a fraction of the cost for PCB design. In addition, the normal turnaround time is 3 days as opposed to 2 weeks.
 3. What differentiates LSP among the other so-called “scanning” service bureaus? Back to Top
As the largest PCB Engineering Service Bureau in California, LSP is dedicated to meeting the quality requirements expected by the PCB industry. Unlike other service bureaus which typically use a “cleanup” method, whereby the scanned data is merely aligned and edited, LSP actually redigitizes or rebuilds your artwork layer using the scanned data as just a template. Because the data LSP creates is on a new layer, the data looks as if it was actually redesigned from a CAD station. The data does not look messy or dirty and you would receive Gerber data that has flashed pads and single line connections, which is drastically different from drawn pads and unclean lines that are typical of cleanup. Furthermore, the file sizes received from LSP are only a fraction of the file sizes received from service bureaus who merely cleaned up the scanned data. More important, LSP is the only service bureau in the world that offers 100% perfect layer to layer registration, 100% perfect CAD quality data, loyalty to the original design, and 100% satisfaction or your money back guarantee!
 4. What is the difference between full redigitization and cleanup methods? Back to Top
Full redigitization requires that the scanned data be used only as a template where a brand new padmaster is created on a new layer and the circuitry is actually traced on that new padmaster layer. This ensures that the file sizes are small, all pads are flashed, and circuit lines are clean and are in single line format as opposed to scanned data that is merely cleaned up. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to explain the process of scanning. If you require further clarification, please do not hesitate to call us. We would be more than happy to accommodate your needs.
If you have any further questions or special needs, please feel free to contact LSP and speak to one of our many experienced engineers.
   
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