CML Improves Your In-Flight Experience

One of the world’s leading suppliers of electronics in noise cancellation and audio enhancement has entrusted CML with the production of a PCB with special characteristics requirements. This PCB is for their electronic touch points in audio connectors for in-flight entertainment systems.

Before the customer came to CML, they were facing a number of problems. Such as contamination, oxidation, scratches, burrs and different colour issues. The customer’s original PCB was designed with 3µm hard gold plating on one side and immersion silver plating on the other. The PCB requires 3µm gold plating thickness which is very high and the gold area is very big which is easy to have and see the visual defects like scratches and contamination etc. The special layout design can also cause serious burrs defect during the routing process. The solder mask pattern design was not good enough which can cause minor issue of discoloration along the board edge. However, because this PCB was used for in-flight entertainment and could be seen by passengers after assembly, it requires perfect quality and visual criteria. Any of the identified issues above would be a big problem for our customer.

Quality and flexibility is compulsory for our customer. Always with reliability and quality in mind, CML only works with the best suppliers. Our supplier for this project passed with flying colours under the strict evaluation of the audit carried out by their Director of Quality. Our PCB experts at CML have had over 10 years of experience in the PCB industry, contributed significantly in offering their professional advice and solutions to the customer’s current problems.

In order to overcome the issues that the customer were facing with their boards, our technical experts and sales team worked very closely with our suppliers to improve the routing parameters and solved the burrs problem. From the beginning of the project and throughout the whole process, we ensured that we worked and communicated closely with their Supplier Development Engineer to optimize the solder mask pattern design. Our customer was very pleased with the results because the discoloration issue was resolved. The scratch and contamination issues were also well controlled with special handling in the factory for this special PCB.

Another heavily emphasised requirement made by our customer was that roughness on the surface of the boards must be absolutely controlled because these connectors will be fitted into the seats of the aircraft cabin and will therefore be visible to the passengers. At CML, we always listen to our customer’s requirements and recommend the best solution for their needs in order to resolve issues and problems for them. Originally the customer wanted to keep using immersion silver for the surface finishing on the other side of the board, but based on our expertise and understanding to the customer’s problems we proposed to change it to 0.05µm immersion gold for the finishing instead. As gold is less likely to oxidise, has longer durability and shelf life. Hence this eliminates the risks of function failure and wastage. Together with our customer’s input and the knowledge and capability of our team, we were able to overcome the issues that the customer was previously facing and ticked all the boxes to their requirement checklist.

About CML

CML are the leaders in printed circuit board (PCB) sourcing solutions. CML’s mission “We care about reliable connections,” places paramount importance on the relationship between all stakeholders from customers to suppliers to the CML Team. These reliable connections deliver convenience and reliability, provides a wide product portfolio and an umbrella of services ranging from consultancy, design, engineering, manufacturing and logistics for all markets. CML has a global network, located across 9 cities and a local presence with a multilingual and culturally diverse team.For more information please visit our website:

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