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The assembling and manufacturing processes begins with the solder paste that sticks to the board used for connecting electrical components. Following that, the process moves to the “pick and place” procedure of the components. In simple words, the entire circuit board manufacturing process includes soldering, inspection, and testing. After the manufacturing process is complete, experts need to send feedback depending on any failures or difficulties with the help of intelligent technology. All stages of the manufacturing process are under monitoring.

With that said, most manufacturers ensure high quality through supervised operations. In the post below, we will discuss the assembly and manufacturing process based on surface-mounted technology for PCBs.

Two Important Stages of the Assembly Process

Check out the two most important stages of the assembly process that lead to high-quality manufacturing:

·         Solder Paste

The first step involves using solder paste on the board using a process that’s similar to screen-printing. The only difference is that it relies on a stainless-steel stencil, which is positioned over the PCB. This way, the assemblers only apply the solder paste to particular parts of the circuit. These areas with the solder paste are where the components will sit.

·         Pick and Place

All boards coming from the assembly process containing solder paste will move to the pick and place process. There, a machine containing component reels will dispense and place components on the board safely where required.

Let’s take a simple overview of the entire manufacturing process below!

Simple Overview of the Manufacturing Process

Here, we will discuss the entire manufacturing process in the most simplified manner for greater comprehensibility. Since the boards aren’t jolted, the solder paste must be effectively and efficiently pasted on them. Why’s that? Well, the quality placement of solder paste will also keep the electrical components in a fixed position on the board.

For wave-soldered boards, pick and place machines add tiny dots of glue to hold the components in place. But, this makes all the repair processes cumbersome because the glue can get messy and interfere with the boards’ components.

The printed circuit board design information allows the pick and place machines to learn about the position and all component information. This allows the machines to program the components as per the requirements. Here are the different stages of the manufacturing process that you must know about:

·         Soldering

The boards pass through the soldering machine once the assembly process of placing components on the boards is complete. However, you must know that some processes involve the use of wave soldering machines, i.e., not for the latest PCBs that are powered by surface-mount components. Since the wave soldering machine provides the solder paste, it doesn’t need to be added separately to the board. As the latest PCB fabrication and release involves surface-mounted technology, the use of reflow soldering techniques is more widespread.

·         Inspection

Once the boards pass through a soldering process, they require careful inspection. This is most important to the overall manufacturing process. Firstly, it ensures high-quality manufacture with defects identified on the spot. Secondly, as failure is detected, the rest of the production can be held and made correct by rectifying the respective errors. Since the surface-mounted PCBs use hundreds or even more components on the insulating board material, a manual inspection can be tiring and time-consuming.

For that reason, automatic optical inspection is a more viable option. From misplaced and wrong components to poor joint placements, the respective optical inspection system can detect a range of failures and errors.

·         Testing and Feedback Report

Before leaving the factor, the manufacturing experts perform a test to make sure that all PCBs are functional and high-quality. Furthermore, sending the feedback report allows the manufacturing to suffer from fewer failures and errors.

Conclusion

The detailed post above contains the entire manufacturing process in a simplified way. All essential processes of assembly and manufacturing have been discussed. For your information, the entire production process is considerably optimized so that the level of defects is low. That’s one of the major ways manufacturers ensure high quality. The abovementioned operations of the manufacturing process are quite important to meet the growing demands and expected quality for high-end technology placements.

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Nova is a full-service printed circuit board assembler located in Denver, Colorado.