PCB Marking at Pick and Place Stage

I’m working on a design that needs to be tracked when it is produced over a few year’s range. We are looking at low cost ways of doing this at the component stage opposed to the board stage since PCBs will be produced in larger batches ahead of when the components are placed.

Ideally it wouldn’t require different board revisions or different pick and place information. Although we will look at anything to start with.

With so many parts being hard to purchase (caps mostly), we want to be able to correlate which parts are on which board. We will be getting new BOMs from the fab house when a subsitution is made, but that doesn’t help us identify later down the line what board has what parts on it.

Hopefully this makes sense and thanks!

Some vendors can laser a unique identification into each board at the assembly stage; some can put unique labels on the boards (there are special “feeders”) just for that. This is not universal, but it’s worth asking your vendor.

Hope that helps.


Thanks for the answer! When you say labels, do you mean like stickers or some other form of labeling? Just wondering.

I think I’ll have to ask them for sure. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t overlooking something very simple.