V-groove panelization involves cutting a third of the board’s thickness from the top and bottom sides. The remaining part joins the separate boards and is then cut with a machine during the depaneling. This helps to reduce the stress on the PCB. One challenge with the V-groove method is that it is restrictive and cannot be used with PCBs that have overhanging components over the edges.
Depanelization is the process of separating the individual boards from the main array and usually depends on the panelization method applied. The choice depends on the clearance to provide at the edges of the PCB, and the presence of sensitive SMT devices, or hanging connectors near the edges. There are automatic methods, such as the laser cutting or depaneling router, as well as manual methods that involve breaking the tabs using hands or other tools.
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