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5 Important Aspects of PCB Assembly Services

Wed, Mar 24, 2021 at 3:00PM

5 Important Aspects of PCB Assembly Services

Electronics are at the heart of our daily lives, and the beating heart keeping our devices going is the printed circuit board, or PCB for short. Simply put, PCBs are intricately designed pathways created by metallic insertions that allow electricity to transfer smoothly between components of electronic devices, which is the driving force behind the operation and lifespan of these devices. Choosing the right PCB assembly manufacturer is key for the final product to look exactly how you expect, which is why we are offering five important aspects of PCB assembly services that you need to know before starting your project.

Pre-Assembly Preparation

The assembly of PCBs requires a few electronic parts and consumables before the process is underway, including the board itself as well as various electronic components and the soldering equipment necessary to bring it all together. Once all the pieces are in place, it is essential for manufacturers to conduct a Design for Manufacturing inspection – a process that ensures production at a lower cost by designing components for ease of manufacturing, checking functionality, and reviewing the bill of materials – before assembling the new product.

Carrying out the Steps of PCB Assembly

PCB assembly is a simpler process than it may seem, though one mistake is all it takes to start the process all over again from scratch. This not only wastes time but money as well, and the professional PCB assembly manufacturers at EEI understand that better than anyone. The steps of assembly services may look like this:

  • Solder paste is applied directly to the ideal portions of the circuit board.
  • All elements of the PCB are picked and affixed to the solder paste.
  • Many PCB assembly processes need special consideration in the process of reflow, which solidifies solder paste by melting it and cooling it in a controlled manner.
  • Inspection of the solidified solder to determine functionality of the PCB.
  • If the circuit board requires elements that cannot be affixed to the soldering paste, it may require plated thru-hole detailing.

Washing and Drying

PCB assembly is not a clean process and circuit boards may have residual flux from the soldering paste or oils and dirts from any human handling. In addition to being an aesthetic complication, these residues can also compromise the functionality of the board by damaging solder joints over time. For these reasons, PCBs must undergo a wash cycle using harmless deionized water before getting dried with compressed air.

Cost Structure

There are multiple factors affecting the price of PCB assembly and no one wants to be stuck with a surprisingly high bill. These are just a few of the considerations when totaling the cost structure of your PCB manufacturing project:

  • The materials used on the boards, such as fire-resistant components
  • Cost of automated assembly technology
  • Labor costs
  • Turnaround time on your project
  • Quantity of PCBs being manufactured

Final Inspections

After PCB assembly is completed, a final inspection known as a “functional test” will be completed to test the PCB for its functionality. By doing so, this test simulates the normal operating circumstances for the PCB and puts it through its paces. If any characteristics show unacceptable fluctuation outside of a predetermined range, the PCB must be recycled or scrapped. This is the final and most important step of the assembly process, and it is why regular inspection throughout manufacturing is crucial.

For more information about PCB assembly, contact EEI Manufacturing. We offer complete product design, technology and end-to-end, and integrated manufacturing services to deliver the perfect product to you. We understand that quality and technology are critical, and we are proven as a leader in several key areas including PCB assembly. Review our services in detail before giving us a call today.

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