Solutions Bruce

If your work involves printed circuit boards, then we have a solution for you.

PCB Designers

Our Import module reads Gerber/Drill or ODB++ data generated by all major CAD systems. In many cases (especially with Altium, OrCad or any system that generates a Gerber Job File), files are automatically linked to the correct layers. Our acclaimed PCB panelizer technology makes it possible to step up a board and generate quality technical drawings in less than a minute.

Macaos Gallery includes our acclaimed PCB panelizer technology. You can also design solder paste stencils, add peel-off or other assembly mask data, depanelize your boards, and design a test fixture. Gerber/Drill files may be exported in a clear, precise and standards compliant format which is usable by any PCB manufacturer.

Macaos Enterprise brings you the benefits of working in the cloud. It adds instant online price quotations and order placement to the functionality of Macaos Gallery. By sharing your PCB products with your customers or suppliers, you can reduce costs and increase quality. Your product data can be made available to your purchasing department, your EMS provider, and your manufacturer so both they and you can do what they do best.


Macaos Enterprise will greatly simplify your PCB purchasing tasks. Instant online quotations, up-to-date order tracking and detailed order history all in a comprehensive, yet intuitive package. An accompanying mobile app is under development.

EMS providers

Our technologies will quickly give you exactly what you need to get an assembly job up and running. These include:

Import your customer's board Gerbers, add peel-off mask and other data as necessary, step up to a panel the way you want it, create a stencil, and manage PnP and BOM data all in just a few minutes.

Macaos Gallery EMS will do this for you in a stand-alone environment.

Macaos Enterpris EMS will give you the added benefits of cloud-based data sharing between you and your customers and instant online quotations for PCBs. You can also order test jigs, test fixtures and accessories, custom mechanical parts, solder pallets and depanelization fixtures directly within the application. Macaos Enterprise EMS is included with our service which allows Macaos Enterprise users to request assembly quotations directly from you. (This service is currently most suitable for northern European markets.)

PCB Traders and resellers

Macaos Enterprise is a complete cloud-based PCB market. By making Macaos Enterprise freely available to customers in your market, you give them a tool that makes PCB purchasing easy. At the back end, Macaos Perception is your window into all of your customers' activity, and Macaos Convergence manages the logistics and communication with your suppliers.

Macaos Gallery PreCAM is our simple and powerful pre-CAM tool. Quickly inspect and extract basic parameters from a set of Gerber and drill files, and generate accurate quotations and panelization drawings within a couple of minutes.

We also provide a service for Macaos Enterprise users to request PCB quotations by e-mail whenever they obtain online prices. This service is only available to Macaos Gallery PreCAM users.

PCB Manufacturers

Macaos Gallery PreCAM is our simple and powerful pre-CAM tool. Quickly inspect and extract basic parameters from a set of Gerber and drill files, and generate accurate quotations and panelization drawings within a couple of minutes.

Macaos RapidCam takes the data for a single board (or panel), steps it up to an optimized production panel, and then generates process documentation and production files for the factory's specific machines. Typically, RapidCam will process a single board to production-ready data and documentation in less than 5 minutes.

Macaos Fusion streamlines production planning by prioritizing incoming orders and optimizing production panels. Interactive stock and waste tracking helps to improve yields by allowing you to minimize overproduction and reduce lead times

PCB Panelizer

PCB Panelizer Bruce

Macaos has developed an intuitive, yet flexible, rapid PCB panelizer tool.

Assembly arrays

The Panelizer Module in Macaos Enterprise and Macaos Gallery allows you to quickly step up a PCB board to an array (panel) suitable for assembly. The panel may be generated automatically from a script or you may specify panel parameters and add features to the panel frame as desired. Downloadable scripts from EMS providers may be used or modified to meet your own needs.

Panelization module

You can easily add features to the panel, such as:

  • Break-off tabs: corner tabs or edge tabs with or without mousebite holes
  • Fiducial marks: round, square or cross, placed relative to panel or board corners or centers
  • Tooling holes or slots, placed relative to panel corners or center
  • Break-off holes
  • Bad marks
  • Copper fill in frame and between boards
  • Text
  • Bar code, Code 128B or Datamatrix
  • Annotation field
  • Peel-off, glue or other assembly mask data
  • Registration control coupon
  • Impedance test coupon (IPC-2221B type Z)
  • Add any small board as a test coupon

Most of these features may be specified in a panel script, so that they are automatically added to any panel which you create using that script.

A WYSIWYG viewer shows your panel just as it will be interpreted by the manufacturer. A high-quality technical drawing of the panel in PDF format is automatically generated when the panel is saved.

Pick and place data (if included in the board product) is stepped together with the boards.

Multi-product panels

Multi-product panel creation

Panels that combine several different products are also supported. Start by selecting a single product in the product browser and open the panelization module.

Macaos Enterprise: Open the product chooser with the Configure|Product chooser command. The product chooser lists all products that are compatible (stackup, finish, mask colors) with the first product. You may then add products to the panel by dragging them into the panel.

A multi-product panel may be delivered either as a panel or as individual boards. If individual boards is selected then there will be no panel frame or break-off tabs.

Macaos Gallery: Use the File|Open command to add an additional product to the panel. Be sure that the product you open is consistent with the initial product (i.e. has the same number of layers, same stackup, same colors, etc.), since the panel module is not able to check these parameters for you. Select and drag the new product to the desired location. Press Ctrl while selecting to make a copy of a board.

Production panels (for PCB manufacturers)

Macaos RapidCam: After importing a single PCB product, the panel optimizer module fills a panel with boards, and then adds all appropriate tooling holes, targets and coupons to the panel frame, in just a couple of easy steps. Once the production panel is generated, machine files in Gerber, Excellon or Sieb&Meyer may be exported directly to the process line.

Macaos Fusion: Macaos Fusion links to the manufacturer's order database, giving a sophisiticated tool for production planning. Orders can be spread across production panels, maximizing process utilization and minimizing waste. The panel packing routine automatically fills a panel with diverse boards, usually achieving more than 85% area utilization.

More info

Macaos Enterprise user guide: Panelization

Solder Paste Stencil Designer

Solder Paste Stencil Designer Bruce

Macaos has developed a powerful and flexible tool for designing solder paste stencils from your PCB data.

Stencil Product Creator

Using the copper layer and paste mask layer data from the PCB, you can do the following:

  • Select a frame from among pre-defined or uploaded frame data
  • Adjust all opening sizes by a percentage of area
  • Adjust the corner rounding of all openings
  • Fine tune individual opening sizes to correct for process issues
  • Mark fiducials for etching (rather than cutting)
  • Add text
  • Place top and bottom openings side by side on the same stencil
  • Split a large opening into an array of smaller openings
  • Define "step" regions of the stencil to be etched down to a different thickness

All opening size adjustments are defined as a percentage of the copper pad area (when copper data is available). The WYSIWYG viewer lets you see how your adjusted openings compare to the copper pads.

A frame manager and editor allows you to upload frames or build new frames based on pre-defined templates. Frames may be defined with variable texts (company name, product number, etc) which automatically get substituted in the Stencil Product Creator.

More info

Macaos Enterprise user guide: Solder paste stencils

Assembly Data Manager (BOM and PnP)

Assembly Data Manager (BOM and PnP) Bruce

The Assembly Data Manager (ADM) is an integrated BOM Tool and Pick and Place Data Manager for PCBs. It provides an environment for managing and reviewing Pick and Place (PnP) and Bill of Materials (BOM) data.

An integrated, standards-based solution

The ADM helps dramatically reduce time and effort in preparing assembly data, by combining the following features in a single module:

  • Graphic viewer with component editing functionality
  • Structured component overview with properties editor
  • Component search facility, powered by Octopart
  • Component rotation, height and solder temperature editor
  • Send RFQ for assembly to participating EMS providers (Basic version only)
  • Component price estimator, powered by Octopart (EMS version only)
  • Export PnP and BOM data (EMS version only)

The ADM makes use of the recently released X3 extensions1 to the Gerber Format which combine PnP, BOM and Assembly Drawing data into an integrated component layer of a PCB product. As CAD systems2 implement these extensions, a rapid and error-resistant path from designer to manufacturer may be achieved.

The component layer displays the location, rotation, size and key pin location of each component, together with properties such as manufacturer part number, supplier SKUs, height, max solder temperature, etc. The use of a standards-based structure for this information allows purchasers, suppliers, process line operators, etc. to automate their systems and thereby reduce costs.

1 Macaos actively participates in the development of these standards.
2 Some CAD systems, such as kicad, already support Gerber X3 output.

Macaos Assembly Data ManagerAn efficient and straightforward workflow

  1. Import PnP data. (This may already have been done when the PCB product was imported.) This should be done prior to importing BOM data.
  2. If necessary, align the PnP data with the PCB data.
  3. Import BOM data. (This may already have been done when the PCB product was imported.)
  4. If necessary, move new components to their correct position. BOM components are matched to PnP components by their designators. BOM components which are not found in the PnP data are placed to the left of the PCB. Each of these should be moved to its correct position on the PCB.
  5. Draw outlines and mark Key Pins. For assembly purposes, it is desirable to graphically display the size and orientation of each component. This information is typically not included in the imported PnP or BOM data, but it can easily be added by drawing outlines and marking key (1 or A1) pins.
  6. Check/edit the properties of each component. Ideally, a complete manufacturer part number should be specified for each component. If desired, alternate part numbers may be specified, and parts may also be marked as Equivalent or better. At the minimum, each component description should be unambiguous. The edit module includes an online component search function (powered by Octopart) to aid in quickly specifying unambiguous manufacturer part numbers.
  7. Save changes to the product and generate reports as desired.

Request a quotation for assembly

Once the BOM list is complete, Macaos Enterprise users can send an RFQ for assembly to participating EMS providers. This makes the PCB data and assembly data visible in the EMS provider's Macaos Enterprise so that they can prepare their quotation without you needing send data by unsecure means (such as e-mail).

Macaos Enterprise EMS version allows an EMS provider to track and review incoming RFQs. For more info about becoming an EMS provider listed in this module, click here.

More info

Macaos Enterprise user guide: Assembly Data Manager

Solder Pallet Designer

Solder Pallet Designer Bruce

A pallet is a tray or carrier used at one or more stages of the PCB Assembly (PCBA) manufacturing workflow. Macaos supports creating wave solder pallets.

Solder pallet creator

A wave solder pallet is a reliable and inexpensive fixture for soldering through-hole components. The pallet is typically made from a synthetic material, such as Durapol or Durostone®. Macaos supports the design of both full and selective wave solder pallets.

Note: Support for creating other types of pallets is planned for a future release.

When creating a full wave solder pallet, you need only specify dimensions and material, and then place PCB fasteners as necessary. The pallet pockets, openings, chamfers, etc. are automatically calculated.

When creating a selective wave solder pallet, you must draw the solder openings and also specify component pocket depths and locations as necessary. The board pocket, pressure relief areas, solder walls, etc. are automatically calculated.

Once the pallet design is complete, a milling program file (in G-code) may be exported. Alternatively, you can place an order for a finished pallet. If necessary, you can reopen a pallet and make changes as necessary.

More info

Macaos Enterprise user guide: Pallet creation

Rapid PCB Depanelization

Rapid PCB Depanelization Bruce

Depanelization is the process of removing individual boards from a panel, after the boards have been populated with components. Traditionally, boards have been depanelized by breaking or cutting the the break-off tabs which hold the panel together. However, the mechanical forces (particularly bending) which can take place may weaken or damage the solder joints of fine-pitch SMT components near the board edges. This problem can be mitigated by using a milling machine to remove the break-off tabs.

Depanelization module

The Macaos Depanelizer module allows you to easily and quickly accomplish the two specific tasks required for depanelization by milling machine:

  • Generate a milling program for removing the break-off tabs from a panel. A milling program contains the numerical instructions for operating a CNC milling machine which removes the break-off tabs from the panel.

  • Design a fixture for holding the panel frame and boards in place during the milling process. The depanelization fixture holds the boards in place, so that they do not move or otherwise get damaged during the milling process. Macaos has developed an inexpensive and reliable fixture style for this purpose. The fixture uses registration “pedestals” and vacuum suction to hold the boards in place as they are loosened from the panel, as well as a suction nozzle to remove dust from the milling process.

More info

Macaos Enterprise user guide: Depanelization

PCB Test Fixture Designer

PCB Test Fixture Designer Bruce

Test jigMacaos has developed a simple and cost-effective jig for in-circuit testing. The test fixture module (in Macaos Enterprise and Macaos Gallery) allows you to design a test fixture by simply clicking on the test points in your board, and assigning each pint with a pin type (and appropriate labels for a wiring list, if desired).

Test fixtures

A "Bed of Nails" test fixture is a plate with an array of spring-loaded test pins (or Pogopins) which are mounted in the fixture so that they will make contact with desired test points on the PCB. In addition, a few guide pins are placed at mounting hole locations in order to properly align the PCB with the test pins. The PCB is placed on top of the pins and then pressed down so that the pins make good contact with the test points. Ideally, all test points should be accessible from the bottom side of the PCB.

The lower fixture of our standard test jig is a box with hinged top and bottom. It is delivered with holes drilled for the test pins, guide pins, connectors, etc. as specified in the test fixture module. Test pins and other accessories may be ordered together with the test jig and fixture, either directly in Macaos Enterprise, or from our online webshop.

The standard jig is delivered with an upper fixture with slots that allow you to place press pins where appropriate. For boards with test points on both sides, it is possible to design an upper fixture with test pins.

Test pins

Typically, test pins consist of two parts: 1) a receptacle which is mounted in the fixture plate and wired to a connector, and 2) a spring loaded pin which is inserted into the receptacle. The spring-loaded pins are available with a variety of different pin heads, which are chosen according to the type of test point contact to be made (via hole, solder pad, component pin, etc).

Test jig starter kit

The Macaos test jig starter kit includes the following pins, receptacles and accessories:

Pitch (mm) 1.91 2.54 3.18 5.0
B or F-style pin 100pcs PL75-F1 100pcs PA100-F1 50pcs PA125-B 50pcs PA156-B
Q-style pin 100pcs PL75-Q2 100pcs PA100-Q2 50pcs PA125-Q1 50pcs PA156-Q
T-style pin 100pcs PAL75-T2 100pcs PA100-T2 50ocs PA125-T  
Receptacle with solder tail 100pcs RL75-4S 100pcs R100-4S 100pcs R125-4S 100pcs R156-4S
Receptacle with wire-wrap 100pcs RL75-4W 100pcs R100-4W 100pcs R125-4W  
Guide pins 25 pcs each of GP-2l(15L), GP-2T and GP-2-D5.0
Press pins 25 pcs each of PP25 (25mm), PP40 (40mm), PP50 (50mm) & PP60 (60mm)
50 pcs M3 x 20mm screw 200 pcs wires with wire-wrap connector, 0.4mm x 50cm Receptacle insertion tool
Test jig starter kit

More info

Macaos Enterprise user guide: Test fixtures

Online prices and ordering

Online prices and ordering Bruce

The Macaos price engine is a powerful price calculator, supporting about 200 product parameters with several pricing methods. The quotation module automatically determines the lowest compatible price from the available price lists for each quantity/lead-time. The result is instant price quotations for all but the most complex PCB products.

Macaos Enterprise

Online prices and ordering module

Select up to eight quantities and up to six lead times. Click on the Get prices button to find the lowest price for each point. Click on a price to see additional information about the price. Click on the Printer button to generate a formal quotation in PDF format. Select a price and then click on the Add to basket button to add the product to your shopping basket. When you are ready, click on the Checkout button to submit your order.

Macaos Gallery Pro

The Quotation module works in much the same manner as with Macaos Enterprise. However, it gives a more detailed price breakdown and supports editing prices prior to generating a quotation. Quotations may be mailed directly to the customer from the quotation viewer (Printer button).

The Price Editor module is used to set up price lists. The price editor includes a wizard function, which may be used to start a price list based on a typical area/days/price spreadsheet. Setting up a price list may be a daunting task, so support for setting up your price lists is included in the license fee.

With Macaos Gallery Pro, your price lists are stored locally (rather than online), thus protecting your business interests. Macaos Gallery Pro does not support ordering and has no shopping basket.

A Quotation Qrchive keeps track of your quotations, with support for followup and comments.

More info

Macaos Enterprise user guide: Quotations and the Shopping Basket