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Introduction to PCB Assembly
Some of you might have heard of the term PCB Assembly and thought, "What's that"?
This article is supposed to shed some light on the subject.
The entire process of manufacturing electronic units is an extended and complex one.
The starting level for all electronics is within the material - Silicon or another semiconductor.
By way of a number of lengthy and expensive clean room processes, these "wafers" are remodeled into "smart" digital microprocessors and chips.
These chips cannot do anything by themselves, and have to be integrated onto a printed circuit board (PCB) with a view to be able to do something in the long run (like operate your pc or telephone).
Now, there are a big number of firms that design these chips and sell finish-products. However, these corporations can't afford to buy all of the equipment required to assemble their chips onto PCBs with a view to devise their end-product.
This is what PCB Assembly firms are for. These (EMS) corporations have a number of Surface Mount Assembly lines, and supply PCB Assembly companies to other companies who will not be interested by doing this themselves.
The PCB Assembly process consists of a number of various processes:
1) Solder Paste Printing - Throughout this process the initial solder paste is printed onto the PCB using a stencil. This is basically the binding material of the units to the PCB.
2) SMT Pick & Place Assembly - This is the guts of every PCB Assembly line. This process takes all the individual chips and accurately places them on their designated place on the PCB.
three) Reflow/By way of-hole curing - After placing the chips onto the solder paste, the boards go through a conveyor oven to soften the solder and bind the chips to the PCB.
four) Conformal Coating - Some boards require a protective lacquer coating. Conformal "Selective Coating" machines quickly and accurately provide a layer of protective coating on the PCBs.
5) AOI and AXI - Computerized Optical Inspection and Automated X-ray Inspection. These processes are key to confirming that no mistakes have been made during the assembly process
6) Reworking if wanted - If any mistakes or defects are found, some devices can be reworked. Reworking consists of heating the board or machine, and removing it from the PCB so that a replacement will be placed in its stead.
Every of these processes is a world in its own right and is considered a technology field in its own. There are a number of specialist manufacturers for each of the these PCB Assembly fields.
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