PCB Assembly- An Essential Technology for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

A survey was carried out recently to ascertain which devices were most frequently used by people in their daily lives and the top three on the list were mobile phones, desktop computers/PCs, and printers. Do you know what all these devices have in common? They all have printed circuit boards in them!

Understanding PCB Assembly

When you dismantle any electronic device, you’ll most certainly recognize that green chip covered in copper-colored lines and other tiny components. Nowadays, we have advanced circuit boards with components mounted on it. The process of developing a PCB assembly usually involves several steps carefully carried out by a team of experts utilizing highly sophisticated technology.

Even though this might sound very difficult and complicated, we’ll break it down and go over the whole process in an easy-to-understand manner.

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What Does PCBA Entail?

There are 6 major steps that comprise PCB Assembly. They are highlighted and discussed below.

Solder Paste Stenciling

This basically involves applying solder paste to the circuit board. Solder paste is applied on certain parts of the board so that the components needed in those locations can be added at will. You might be itching to know what the paste contains; well, it has a grey color and it contains tiny balls of metal. These balls are mostly tin- 96.5%, 3% silver, and 0.5% copper.

Pick and Place

As the name implies, this process involves the use of a robot to place some components on a prepared PCB. In the past, this step was done manually by experts, however, the increasing demand required a concomitant increase in speed and accuracy, calling for machines to take over.

Reflow Soldering

Once the components to be mounted has been placed properly is to ensure that these components remain in place. For the solder paste to solidify, the assembly goes through a process known as reflow. During this time, the conveyor belt moves through an oven which melts the solder and then through certain coolers. This process creates a permanent solder joint on the board.

Inspection and Quality Control

You might think that all is well after a permanent solder has been created on the board, but this is not usually the case. Sometimes, while the paste melts and solidifies, there are connections that are missed or disjoint, and these errors will cause the PCB to function wrongly. When it comes to top PCBA companies like PCBGOGO where quality is prioritized, these inspections are crucial and they are essential to identify errors.

Through-Hole Component Insertion

This is a process that mostly depends on the type of board in use. Any board that requires additional components (usually plated through-hole components) will require this step. The essence of these is to accommodate components that pass signals from one side of the board to the other. Soldering is either a manual or an automated process called wave soldering.

Functional Test

This is done once every form of soldering has been completed. This step is arguably the most crucial as it involves the simulation of normal circumstances in which the circuit board will be used. With a company like PCBGOGO, this step tests the electrical characteristics of the PCB, including the voltage, current, and other threshold values before the product is shipped out.

Conclusion

Now you know the basics of PCB Assembly, and hopefully, you have a reason to explore the ever-expanding consumer electronic market. If you’re looking to deal with experienced PCBA experts, then PCBGOGO is your one-stop shop for turnkey services and products.

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