How Is PCB Assembly Done Today? A Step-By-Step Look At What Goes Into A Circuit Board


The circuit board is a powerful piece of technology.

How can something so small create some of today’s fastest and most flexible devices? This is the beauty of the printed circuit board, a creation that’s only gotten better with each new year. Back in the day they had to be crafted by hand, sometimes with less-than-stellar results, and could only be so small. Now you can hire PCB assembly services to put together a large order in a fraction of the time, with thrice the quality. How does it all work?

Let’s take a look at how the custom PCB is made nowadays and what you can expect from an order.

Circuit Boards Back In The Day Were Cumbersome And Slow

It’s dazzling observing the average circuit board today. They’re complex creations, covered in angular lines and made out of impossibly thin materials. Now imagine what it was like making them back when technology wasn’t as convenient. Back in the day a single automatic line had several engineers and artists working in cohesion. They had to layer and draw things almost entirely by hand, which was slow at best and inaccurate at worst.

A PCB Assembly Service Is Easy To Come Across These Days

Flash forward several decades letter and you can find a low volume PCB service or high volume PCB service with the click of a button. The advent of machine assembly has meant that, for any size orders, shops can assemble printed circuit boards in a fraction of the time it would normally take for hand placement. In fact, some PCB assemblers boast standard turn-around times of five days or less. That’s 75% faster than the industry average! How do they do it?

Designs Are Crafted With The Aid Of Specialized Programs

The first step is to create a printed circuit board that suits your needs best. Board designers are able to use computer-aided design systems with specialized software that provides layouts, layers, and custom constructions. The most common multilayer boards are the four layer, the six layer, and the eight layer. The number of layers that can be manufactured can exceed 40, however, and these are usually only for highly complex applications. Then comes construction!

Engineering Is A Mixture Of Practical And Mechanical Operation

While creating printed circuit boards by hand is outdated, that isn’t to say a human eye isn’t needed. A solder paste applier, high-speed chip shooter, and pick-and-place machine will help piece all the parts together per the design. It’s then necessary for an engineer to oversee the process and make sure there are no errors. Aberdeen Group found that even simple PCBs require, on average, 11 physical prototypes before they see completion. A survey revealed 55% of respondents said their top PCB design problem is increasing complexity without sacrificing time.

Using Temperature To Create The Final Product We Know And Love

PCB assembly services require a wide variety of skills to create the end result. Artistry, engineering, the right metals…it’s complex work for a complex piece of technology. Temperature curve is a term used to denote the gradual rise and fall of temperature in regards to product creation, which is critical to determine the quality of PCB prototyping. Heating up too quickly can destroy components and lead to deformities. Too slow can waste time and cost money.

PCB assembly services are fast, accurate, and able to tackle any order. Next time you need a rush job done right, you know who to call.

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