The assembly phase of a printed circuit board, also known by the acronym PCB (Printed Circuit Board), is the process by which the various components required to make an electronic circuit are placed on the PCB, ready to move on to the next soldering phase.
The PCBA, therefore, represents one of the several steps into which the PCB manufacturing process is divided. In this way we will explain to you which are the assembly techniques and the way to obtain a good quality one.
Over the years, electronic technologies have evolved at a rapid pace, influencing the techniques required for Printed Circuit Board assembly. In general, we can distinguish two main technologies used for the assembly of printed circuit boards, to which we can add a third one, obtained as a combination of the previous ones.
These assemblies are:
– Surface mount
– Through-hole mounting
– Mixed technology
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Ways to obtain a high-quality PCB with a long life time
Use of mixed technologies
The general rule of thumb dictates to minimize the use of mixed assembly technologies, limiting it to specific cases. For example, the advantage of inserting a single through-hole component (PTH) hardly ever pays off due to the additional cost and time required for assembly. Instead, it is preferable, and more efficient, to use multiple PTH components, or to discard them from the design altogether.
If the use of PTH technology is required, it is recommended to place all components through the hole on the same side of the PCB, thus reducing the time required for assembly.
During the PCB design phase, it is important to select the correct package size for each component. Generally, smaller packages should only be chosen when this is validly justified; otherwise, larger package sizes should be chosen. In fact, electronic designers very often select components with unnecessarily small packages, creating potential problems during the assembly phase and possible circuit modification.
Depending on the magnitude of the required change, it is sometimes more convenient to assemble an entire board again, rather than removing and soldering the required components.
Component footprint is another important aspect of assembly. Therefore, the PCB designer must ensure that each footprint is created accurately, based on the ground pattern specified in the datasheet for each integrated component. The main problem caused by an incorrect footprint is the occurrence of so-called tombstoning, or tombstoning, which is also known as the Manhattan effect or crocodile effect. This problem, which occurs when an uneven amount of heat is applied to an integrated component during soldering, causes it to adhere to the PCB only on one side and not on both.
Contact MJS Design
MJS Design is an electronic parts manufacturer with over 40 years of experience manufacturing electronic systems, parts and components located in Phoenix, Arizona.
In addition to PCB assemblies, it also specializes in CCA cable manufacturing. If you would like to make MJS Design your distribution partner you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the customer service 602-437-5299.