Author: Alfred Goodwin

PCBNet – All About PCB Assembly

PCB Assembly (PCBA) is the process of assembly or soldering electronic components to a printed circuit board (PCB). Note that circuit board assembly and manufacturing are two different processes. PCB manufacturing involves several complex processes including creating a prototype and board designing. After completing the board, electronic components are soldered onto the surface prior to using it in electronic gadgets or equipment. There are many methods in PCBA, depending on the type of board and components used and the purpose of the PCB.

PCB assembly

If you’re looking for a PCB manufacturer that provides quality products, competitive pricing and on-time delivery, PCBnet is the best solution. We use equipment of the highest caliber and employ unique tools and special applications to meet our clients’ demanding board requirements. Most of our profiles are preloaded so you can save time and money, and get your products to the market quicker with a more cost-effective price.

PCB Assembly with Through-Hole Components

Through-hole electronic components are components with leads that are inserted through small holes in the board for soldering. The assembly process for these electronic components involves hand soldering and wave soldering. Wave soldering is a process in which the solder bar is placed in a high temperature bath.

The solder is kept in the bath until it melts and produces a wave at an extremely high temperature. The type of solder being used determines the temperature range. The melting point of a traditional lead or tin is lower compared to that of a lead-free solder. The circuit board with all the through-hole components is transferred over the molten solder using a conveyor belt.

The entire wave-soldering process involves several steps including:

• Insertion of electronic components
• Application of solder flux
• Pre-heating
• Cleaning
• Board testing

Once the wave-soldering process is completed, the PCB is subject for cleaning and testing. If any fault is detected, the board is sent back for rework (typically done by hands). Hand soldering is performed in repair/rework jobs or in units with less workload. This process uses good quality solder wire, soldering iron and solder flux.
With PCBnet, however, we use a special tool to jet the solder paste. This is currently the standard in the standard and it has far more advantages compared to the standard process.

PCB Design Standards

There are 3 main PCB design standards: IPC-2221A, IPC-2220 and IPC-9592. Currently, IPC-2221A is the generic standard of all PCB designs. The standards provide rules and quality guidelines for manufacturing PCBs and relevant information on how to correctly route the circuit board. These guidelines and information apply to all PCB types including multi-layer and single layer. The information includes component placement, tolerance rules, dimensioning, conductor thickness, material properties, substrate information, surface plating criteria and more.

For a reliable and faultless PBC design, basic knowledge of circuit operation and understanding of layout techniques are needed. When designing a PCB prototype, you must take extreme care of the substrates based on the soldering method and components that you’re going to use. You must also choose the width-trace of the board based on the anticipated maximum temperature and impedance. Further, it is important to keep a balance between cost restrictions, and performance and reliability requirements.

PCBnet always uses the standard design, which is perfectly suitable for the project. Being in the business for decades, we have acquired ample experience and knowledge, giving us the ability to provide our clients with professional advice as to which board type is best used.

Drawing a Circuit Diagram

A PCB circuit diagram shows and explains where and how the electronic components will be attached to the board to achieve the desired product. It is essential for new electronic gadgets, devices and products. Thus, making a PCB circuit diagram is a must before you proceed with production.

pcb board

It isn’t that difficult to draw a circuit diagram if you’re aware of the basics. You can apply these few general tips when doing so:
• Familiarize yourself with the common abbreviations and symbols that are used on all circuit diagrams.
• Draw the connecting wires in the form of straight lines. You can do this easily using a ruler. Use the () ‘blob’ symbol to indicate junctions between wires. The electronic components (diodes, capacitors, resistors, etc.) should be labelled with their corresponding values. The negative supply (-) should be placed at the bottom and the positive value (+) should be placed at the top.
• If you’re making a more complex circuit diagram, start from the left going to the right. Controls and outputs should be placed on the left side, and outputs should be on the right.

Full TurnKey Quote from PCBNet

Obtaining a PCB quote has never been this quick and easy. After gathering all the components and requirements for your project, you may request for an online quote using our Full Turnkey quote system. Alternatively, you may send us your kit, so we can begin working on the project. At PCBnet, we have a thorough inventory process, which guarantees all your supplies have arrived before we start the assembly.