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Small PCB Labels – how small is small?

Oliver StocktonWritten by Oliver Stockton, Managing Director, CILS



PCB’s are getting smaller and more populated as engineers cram more technology into a smaller space to meet industry demands. We are frequently asked by electronics manufacturers for small PCB labels to meet the changing design of their products and they find that their labels are too big and the board has limited space.

We were recently contacted by a manufacturer of Audio Amplifiers, Audio Distribution and Audio Management Systems, who needed a new smaller label to identify their boards with a serial number.

In this case, we supplied them with a durable PCB label 7mm x 19mm wide that could be printed using their office Laser Printer. This was ideal for them but this still isn’t small.

Laser and Thermal Transfer printable labels are made from materials with good durability and heat resistance including high temperatures to resist flow solder and Infrared ovens and can be made as small as 5mm x 5mm. PCB labels as small as this are usually provided on a roll for Thermal Transfer printing because the alignment in a Laser printer can be tricky for such a small label.

We have been known to produce labels even smaller which takes some creative thinking to provide them in a format that is still printable and manageable, however, the size of a very small PCB label is usually dictated by the quantity of data it needs to carry.

You will be surprised how much data you can fit on a small PCB label, especially when you use a 600dpi Thermal Transfer printer with data embedded into a 2D bar code or QR code etc.

If you need help getting more data onto your PCB labels or to make your PCB labels smaller, reach out to us by phone, email or fill out a form. Tell us what you need and one of our technical label specialists will help you out.

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