All new designs are created as a schematic using the Seetrax Ranger XL PCD suite. This is used to create the netlist and provide the reference for the automatic checking to ensure that the layout produced is correct. A schematic provides excellent documentation too.
The tools support multi-layer designs with power planes and both surface mount and through hole technologies. Having spent years in the PCB industry, I'm aware of the pitfalls that make circuits difficult and unnecessarily expensive to manufacture.
There are still many good PCB companies in the UK who can produce bare boards and assemble them too if you require. Very low cost boards of remarkably good quality can be also ordered from China, and this is an economic way to make prototypes and one offs.
I'm still not averse to using Veroboard on occasion for experimental and development. It's a matter of using whatever tools and techniques are appropriate for the job in hand.
Some repairs are more challenging than others, and none more so than when part of the circuit board has been destroyed by the components on it catching fire. That's what happened with the plating bath rectifier control board pictured here.
The pale coloured section on the board is new material cut to the shape that was left when all the fire damaged area was cleaned up. Holes were then drilled in the appropriate places and the components hard wired on the underside as shown.
This is one of many identical rectifiers used on a circuit plating line and the manufacturer was unwilling to repair them but unable to offer a compatible replacement. Of course it's not possible to repair everything, but it's worth asking the question.
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