What Are The Steps Involved In PCB Assembly? Find Here!
A printed circuit board is all about detailing. The first and obvious step is about creating the design, after which the PCB prototype is created. It is then tested, checked and reviewed to find possible design faults. Once the printed circuit board is ready, the required components must be soldered to it – a process called “Printed Circuit Board Assembly”. PCBA is an extensive process, which requires experience and expertise, which is why most companies and manufacturers rely on outsourcing. There are a bunch of PCB assembly services, but before you select one, here’s a quick overview of the process.
Ways of PCB assembly
PCB were originally assembled manually, using a soldering iron. Expectedly, when more components were required and PCBs became smaller in size, automated technologies came into existence, which also helped in easing the time required for assembly. No matter whether you are going for manual or automated assembly, both being still in use, the process almost remains the same.
- The first step is a DFM check, which checks for the specifications and checks if anything needs to be bettered, keeping in mind that a lot of money is at stake. One design flaw can ruin the final product, which is why the DFM check helps in cutting costs considerably.
- There is also a second step called “Incoming Quality Control”, which checks all the materials before the actual work starts. This just ensures that the products or materials used for the assembly have no quality compromises.
- Next, the components must be placed as required, for which a placement machine is used. Gerber data is often essential for the same and can be used. You can talk to the assembly service to discuss as how they take care of the placement process. After this, solder paste is applied on the PCB using stencils.
- Once solder pasting is done, the components are then placed, which is again an important step. It involves using each component through different methods and placing it right at the required location of the PCB at a high speed.
- Next, PCBs will be inspected and tested, for which standardized tests and devices can be used. Inspection is often done more frequently at the start of the production process, which just helps in avoiding flaws in a larger bunch or order. Packing is then done and the PCBs are shipped as required.
Get a PCB assembly quote in advance if you need to hire a service and ask them about the turnaround time. Don’t shy away from seeking details of their work process and how they ensure quality during each step of the assembly process. There is no harm in asking for references and other details related to their work.