303.670.1025 sales@novaenginc.com

Have you ever taken a look inside any of the modern electronic equipment in your house? Lots of commercially-produced electronic equipment doesn’t contain wire leads or other traditional components with inefficient integration. Now, critical electrical components of printed circuit boards are mounted on the board using a special integration and manufacturing process. Most components that are mounted on the printed circuit boards are minute in size, and that’s one of the major advantages of it.

In simple words, mounting minute and lightweight components on printed circuit boards to fulfill the same functions refer to Surface Mount Technology (SMT). Virtually speaking, nearly all electronic equipment of today comprises Surface Mount Technology.

Since it offers lightweight features with optimal functionality, it has become one of the most favorable choices of PCB across the industry. Here’s a quick overview of the SMT technology (or SMT components) and its benefits.

Surface Mount Technology – Overview of SMT Devices

Surface mount components are quite different from their leaded counterparts due to various advantages. Plus, they offer a range of features and durability that’s different from the traditional components. Surface mount components are placed on the printed circuit boards and then soldered to them. In contrast, the traditional components are wired to the insulated material board.

To help you understand, the traditional components required a wire between every two components, whereas this doesn’t happen with SMT components in the latest PCBs. Also, there is solder inside the board holes for SMT components rather than wiring for traditional leaded components. The packaging styles are different from various components using the surface mount technology. The three main categories of the packaging styles include integrated circuits, passive components, and transistors/diodes.

Biggest Advantages of Surface Mount Technology

In simple words, the three main reasons PCB manufacturers loved switching to the surface mount technology were speed, cost-effectiveness, and reliability. All these benefits become practical during the assembly process due to easier implementation and simplified manufacturing. SMT is a major step up from the traditional leaded components.

You must know that the development, design, and manufacture of new equipment and electronic circuits are also positively impacted by the wide range of benefits from SMT components. Fortunately, using the surface mount technology, designers and manufacturers of PCBs have come up with more advantages of the said tech than the disadvantages.

Reduced Power Ratings

It’s worth mentioning that through the application of surface mount technology in printed circuit boards, the power ratings of the components have dropped. We will take a surface mount resistor as a practical example for discussing the reduced power ratings of the said technology.

For your information, a standard leaded resistor is capable of dissipating nearly 0.25 watts while its counterpart, i.e., SMT component, dissipates quite less. However, if you’re someone working with SMT components, make sure you check the manufacturer’s data before purchase.

Efficient and Denser Circuits (Lightweight and Smaller)

The trend for smaller volumes but increased functionality has been realized to a certain extent with the help of SMT components. The miniaturization of critical components in PCBs has improved the lightweight features and enabled circuits to be denser.

Conclusion

SMT components power a range of different circuit boards, including Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). It’s easy to use and solder them onto circuit boards. However, they require adequate care due to the chances of extensive damage. The SMT components offer a faster, lighter, and more durable alternative to the traditional leaded components in printed circuit boards. Plus, it’s worth mentioning that the use of SMT components in PCBs has enabled manufacturers and designers to make huge cost-saves.

ABOUT

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