Some people, especially in the manufacturing industry, refer to PC board panels by the term "palette." I can't seem to avoid thinking of the big wooden thing used for shipping stuff, so it's tough for me to call a panel a palette. It is, however, a correct designation - as is "panel.".
On the right, you can see the relatively smooth edges of an individually routed board.
If panelization is so cool, you might ask "why not always panelize?" For large quantities, or really, really tiny boards, you really should ask that question because it's pretty much always a good idea. There are, however, good reasons not to panelize when in the prototype world.
First, with small quantities, you may not need enough boards to fill up a full panel. You can save quite a bit of money when ordering five individual boards, than if you had to order a panel of 30.
Fab houses tend to gang up board designs from a lot of different customers onto one panel. That allows for less waste and faster turns for small quantity boards. The end result of that is that many fab companies charge more for panelization when quantity is small.
Our Full-Proto service can take individually routed PC boards down to 0.75" x 0.75". Our higher volume, more economical service, Short-Run requires that PC boards smaller than 16 square inches be panelized.
Well my buddy Jim Bass he's a-workin' pumpin gas
And he makes two fifty for an hour
That's not very much