/resources/image/template/step.png PCB ASSEMBLY OVERVIEW


Information and articles about techniques used in the assembly and build or manufacture and production of electronics equipment, including component technologies, placement, soldering (including infrared reflow, wave and vapor phase) as well as process monitoring

Process Overview

In assembly the bare board is populated with electronic components to form a functional printed circuit assembly (PCA), sometimes called a "printed circuit board assembly" (PCBA). In Through Hole Technology (THT) component leads are inserted in holes. In Surface Mount Technology (SMT) the components are glued on pads or lands on the surfaces of the PCB. In both component leads are then mechanically fixed and electrically connected to the board by soldering.

There are a variety of soldering techniques used to attach components to a PCB. High volume production is usually done with SMT placement machine and bulk wave soldering or reflow ovens, but skilled technicians are able to solder very tiny parts (for instance 0201 packages which are 0.02 in. by 0.01 in.), by hand under a microscope, using tweezers and a fine tip soldering iron for small volume prototypes. Some parts may be extremely difficult to solder by hand, such as BGA packages.

Component placement

One of the major elements in the manufacture of electronic circuit boards is the placement of the components onto the boards. While some printed circuit boards may have only a few components, some of today's electronic circuit boards may use several thousand. This is clearly not suitable for manual assembly and therefore automated techniques must be used.

Soldering processes applicable to Surface Mount Technology

Basic soldering processes

Standards and Legislation

There are several standards and some legislation covering the manufacture of electronic equipment.

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