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LEL Semi is a leading global supplier in SMT and PCB Assembly Equipment. We started with a desire to bring honesty, integrity, and quality to the electronics manufacturing industry and now work with companies worldwide who trust our team for their equipment solutions.
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Defining Printer Circuit Board and SMT Assembly
Before we delve into features, let’s define the pieces of technology. SMT assembly involves electronic components, PCB, and SMT.
If you’re unfamiliar with electronic components, they are essentially all the pieces of an electronic system that impact an electromagnetic field to accomplish a task. They’re used in industrial equipment products in the form of switches, transistors, circuits, capacitors, antennae, networks, and more. And they work in conjunction with PCB and SMT technology in assembly lines.
In short, a PCB is a Printed Circuit Board which connects all the electronic components and powers their operations. SMT stands for Surface Mount Technology, and it manufactures an electronic circuit which gets mounted to the PCB’s surface. So the PCB, SMT, and components work together to create an efficient process.
Understanding How Printer Circuit Boards and SMT Work
You’ve probably seen a Printed Circuit Board before, whether you realize it or not. The semiconductor chip is the tiny chip covered by copper wiring inside both your personal devices and most industrial equipment. Surface Mount Technology became popular in the 1980s, with IBM and similar companies researching and perfecting the system as an alternative to traditional through-hole technology. The functionality provided by SMT allowed for smaller components and more dense circuit boards, enhancing production on a more minute scale. Rather than completely replacing through-hole circuitry, SMT works to complement it, adding more capabilities.
For instance, you might find SMT in a flash drive and through-hole with a massive transformer. And in many pieces of equipment, both SMT and through-hole are soldered to the same circuit board, working hand-in-hand to enable the electronic components to function properly.
Which technology is utilized depends completely on the components themselves. Smaller and more delicate components like diodes warrant SMT, whereas a wire or lead is optimal for through-hole technology. SMT is a favorable option because it has smaller components, meaning it can house even more component signals at once. When the PCB is put together with surface mount technology, the actual process of production is known as PCB or SMT assembly, which you can achieve with our products.
The Process of Assembling Printed Circuit Boards and SMT
PCB assembly is a multi-step procedure; one with several checkpoints to ensure the equipment’s pieces function correctly before it is even constructed.
Soldering. Before any components can operate through the circuit board, it has to be soldered. If you aren’t familiar with solder; it is a paste composed of tin, silver, and copper precisely applied to areas of the circuit board with a stencil. Later in the process, the components are attached to the soldered spots.
SMT Placement. Next, what’s known as a pick and place machine mounts the components (chips, radio devices, antennae, etc) onto the printed circuit board. Reflow. Although the solder has already been laid by this point, it is not yet securing the pieces in place. A process called reflow soldering solidifies the SMTs on the circuit board.
After the boards have run through the pick and place machine, they are heated to nearly 500 degrees in an oven to melt the solder, then moved by conveyor belt through a series of cooling layers to set the paste.
Functionality Assessment. SMT manufacturers do not blindly assume the products will function perfectly. Although the assembly equipment is highly precise, errors can occur throughout the PCBA process.
If a piece is misaligned, the melting of the soldering alters the connection of the components, or an electrical short renders the board ineffective, it should be caught in the inspection phase. High tech cameras, X-Rays, and manual inspections are all utilized to catch malfunctions, with automated checks becoming more popular due to their unmatched accuracy.
Add-ons. For larger and more complex machinery, through-hole technology is added to the process after inspection. Here the through-hole is inserted underneath the circuit board, soldered, and tested for functionality.
Once final inspections have been completed, defunct pieces replaced, and full functionality is achieved, the PCBs can be utilized in production machines.
Constructing printed circuit boards with surface mount technology is highly lucrative. And with the precision offered by automated technology, it is easier than ever. We have products to meet your needs at every step in the PCB and SMT assembly process. Our AOI machines, X-Rays, printers, pick and place machines, reflow ovens, and inspection machines are quality pieces of equipment that come with excellent customer service and fair prices.