Many industries are familiar with PCB boards, but most of them also know that assembling these boards should always be trusted to the experts. After all, the process requires a company that is very familiar with these boards and everything it takes to make sure the final product does what it’s supposed to do.
If you’re wondering, what is PCB assembly, the answer is simple. The actual assembly of these boards has to be completed by the pros because without it, you’ll likely never know what you’re going to get in the end.
Assembly Is a Complex Task
Assembling a PCB board is a step-by-step process, which doesn’t sound difficult, but you have to remember that every step of the process is an important one. Indeed, no step can be completed correctly unless the previous one is done to perfection. PCB assembly usually involves four main steps, and they are described below.
Step 1: Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Processing
With this step, the placement machine is used to mount the tiniest parts into the PCB board. A process is used that includes step-by-step techniques such as positioning the PCB board, printing the solder paste onto the PCB pad, detecting the thickness of the solder paste to control its printing effect, making sure the chip head is placed correctly on the PCB pad, reflowing the soldering, conducting an automatic optical inspection (AOI) to find any problem areas, then making any necessary repairs manually so they are more efficient.
Step 2: Double In-Line Package (DIP) Processing
The process starts with inserting the plug material into the pins then on the PCB board, followed by wave-soldering the inserted board, manually soldering the components using an electric soldering iron, washing the board to make sure it is clean, and inspecting the board thoroughly to make sure everything is as it should be.
Step 3: PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) Testing
This step is different depending on the type of PCB board and even the customer’s requirements, so it is personalized to each job. Vibration testing and aging testing are just two of the methods that can be used to test each and every aspect of the board. Each component and each section of the PCB board needs to be done correctly, and this stage of the process makes sure this has happened.
Step 4: Finished Product Assembly
This is, in essence, the final inspection that must be conducted before the product is shipped to the customer. Often, the board goes back to a previous step because it does not meet the specifications of the customer or even the assembly company. It can go back and forth until the PCB board is completely ready to go.
Some Final Thoughts
So, now that we’ve answered the question, what is PCB assembly, and now that you have some idea of everything it entails, you likely feel more confident in the ability of your assembly company to produce the right results. After all, without proper assembling, the rest of the process won’t matter in the end.