PCB Assembly

Must-Have Qualities of a Reliable SMT PCB Assembly Supplier

SMT PCB Assembly

Hiring a PCB assembly supplier is standard practice across industries that need circuit boards in their electrical products. You might have noticed the importance of PCB in so many industries because of its wide applications in various products. Customers today want gadgets or products that are lighter but powerful. PCB is making this possible for consumer products.

What is SMT PCB Assembly

There are two methods of PCB assembly: through-hole and surface mount technology (SMT). SMT PCB assembly is the method that assembles the electronic components on the surface of PCBs, by assembling the SMD components leads with PCB pads. SMT PCB assembly is more often utilized today in circuit board manufacturing. It has become the preferred PCB manufacturing method for creating present-day devices, products, and equipment.

Circuit boards produced by an SMT PCB assembly supplier allow the creation of equipment or devices that are simpler but more capable than older versions. Since its introduction, SMT has become the preferred method of PCB assembly suppliers in producing circuit boards.

IBM invented the SMT process in the 1960s to produce modest-sized computers. However, the assembly process gained prominence in the mid-1980s and took over the place of through-hole technology in most printed circuit manufacturers.

How does an SMT PCB assembly supplier perform the process? SMT is an uncomplicated method wherein electronic parts are mounted on the surface of a circuit board.

Unlike the traditional through-hole technology, an SMT PCB assembly supplier no longer needs to drill holes in a PCB. The SMT process allows manufacturers to make smaller devices, and the production can be automated, enabling suppliers to produce different kinds of PCBs in a shorter period.

Surface Mount PCB Assembly

Advantages of SMT PCB Assembly

Nowadays, SMT is the commonly used method in producing circuit boards for many consumer products. Here are some of the advantages of using this assembly process:

Smaller Size and High-efficiency

Through SMT, an SMT PCB assembly supplier can use smaller and lighter parts in circuit boards than the through-hole process. It allows manufacturers to maximize the space of the circuit board and fit more components into it without undermining performance and functionality. At the same time, the production efficiency is much higher than through-hole PCB assembly.

More Components and More Functions

One of the advantages of SMT-produced circuit boards is to incorporate high-tech components in the circuit boards. Today, consumer products must have circuit boards with high-tech components due to their multiple functionalities. For example, your smartphone has other functions besides being a phone, such as photo editing, camera, video capturing, etc. These functionalities are made possible through the high-tech components in their circuit boards, which can only be done using the SMT process.

Lighter Weight

The SMT process allows an SMT PCB assembly supplier to use smaller components, which reduces the weight of circuit boards compared to those produced using the through-hole process. Modern products need to have lighter weight but with the same level of performance. Weight is critical to many portable devices like laptops and smartphones. Weight is also a consideration in devices used in the military and aerospace.

PCBs with SMT PCB Assembly

Qualities of an SMT PCB Assembly Supplier

Hiring a reliable SMT PCB assembly supplier is vital for manufacturers of electronic devices because of the critical role of PCBs in building consumer products. To guide you, here are four must-have qualities that you should look into for an SMT PCB assembly supplier:

Well-experienced

The length of experience in doing SMT is one of the things you should look into when selecting an SMT PCB assembly supplier. It would help if you went for a PCB supplier with great experience producing PCBs using the SMT method. You become an expert in a particular field by consistently doing it. Hence, an SMT PCB assembly supplier with vast experience in this assembly process is generally more skillful and well-equipped to create circuit boards based on your requirements.

You can require potential suppliers to provide examples of their previous projects. Different companies have different requirements for their PCBs. A well-experienced SMT PCB assembly supplier has a proven track record and has handled other project requirements. You also check if they have experience dealing with projects similar to your requirements and if they are different.

Reliable and Reponsive

Another crucial characteristic of a reliable SMT PCB assembly supplier is meeting deadlines. You should look for a supplier who can deliver the PCBs on time or, much better, ahead of time. Some suppliers can produce quality circuit boards, but they need help providing them on the agreed timeline. Always check how long it took them to complete the production of PCBs.

PCBs are essential components of consumer products. If your SMT PCB assembly supplier fails to deliver on time, it will have a ripple effect on the production of your consumer products. For example, you are a manufacturer of pressure sensors for airplanes. Aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing have placed orders for pressure sensors for passenger planes they are assembling for their clients. Suppose you encounter delays in receiving the PCBs needed for producing pressure sensors. In that case, you might fail to meet the delivery of pressure sensors to Airbus and Boeing, who might penalize your company for delay in building their airplanes. This highlights the crucial timeliness in producing PCBs for your company’s success.

Excellent Quality Control

Quality control is significant in the manufacturing industry to ensure that any product is reliable and defects-free. It is also essential for PCB suppliers to have quality control to check if the circuit boards meet the standards and your requirements. It will also ensure that the PCBs you receive are fully functional.

If a supplier does not have quality control, it might reflect that they value quality in their products. It might be a red flag that you should look into when selecting a SMT PCB assembly supplier. You should always note that quality PCBs are essential to make electronic devices work correctly.

A PCB supplier with quality control can ensure you get top-of-the-line circuit boards for your electronic devices.

Good Communication

Ensure that your SMT PCB assembly supplier is easy to talk to and communicate with. Check with their previous clients on how responsive the supplier is to their messages. Communication is vital between you and your suppliers. It would help if you got a regular update on the project status. The supplier should have the capacity to respond to your queries and concerns. If you have revisions on the project, how fast can they respond to your request?

Regular communication is valuable for a good working relationship with PCB suppliers. You can check if the supplier has customer support to communicate consistently with their clients. Maintaining communication channels between you and the prototype PCB supplier is crucial.

Conclusion

Finding a reliable SMT PCB assembly supplier is crucial for companies that manufacture electronic products since those devices only function with the PCBs. SMT PCBs might be small in size, but their role in each device is very significant in carrying out the functionalities that the product promised to deliver.

When selecting a supplier, you must look for these four must-have qualities to ensure a reliable SMT PCB assembly supplier.

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