What is Electronic Manufacturing

It is very easy to understand that electronic manufacturing means production of any kinds of electronic products, which are widely used in many industry area, such as consumer electronics, industrial electronics, agricultural equipment, automotive, communication and wireless, lighting industry, IoTs, computer and storage, test and measurement, robotic, medical, military,aerospace and satellites etc. 

The electronic manufacturing process is the technology that assembles electronic components and parts through electronic and mechanical assembly and connection to make electronic products that meet the requirements of the design mission statement. Therefore, without a more advanced and mature operational electronic assembly process technology, it is impossible to ensure the high quality and reliability of electronic products. 

10 main steps in Electronic Manufacturing

Normally electronics manufacturing include the following aspects, such as PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, box build assembly, functional testing, quality intersection and packaging. Here are the main processes for Electronic Manufacturing. 

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    DFM check

    DFM check is an essential step in the process of electronic manufacturing. DFM is short for Design for Manufacturing, and it involves evaluating a design to ensure that it meets all of the requirements necessary for a successful production. In Viasion, DFM checks are performed by experienced engineers who understand both the engineering and manufacturing processes involved in producing a high-quality product, ensuring that any potential design problems can be addressed before they become costly issues later in production. DFM checks also help identify areas where cost savings can be realized during production, allowing manufacturers to produce more efficiently while maintaining quality standards. With careful evaluation and attention to detail, DFM checks help manufacturers achieve their desired results quickly and cost-effectively. 

    In addition to DFM checks, Viaison must ensure that the design is compatible with our production equipment and processes. For example, if a particular component requires a specialized tool or technique for success, this must be considered when performing DFM checks. Considering these factors during a DFM check can reduce risk and lead to more efficient and cost-effective production. DFM check is an invaluable part of the electronic manufacturing process that helps manufacturers produce quality products quickly and cost-effectively. 

    Sourcing PCBs and electronic components

    Electronic manufacturing is a complex process that requires careful planning and sourcing of PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) and electronic components. Sourcing the right parts at the right time can be critical to the success of any electronics project. Therefore, it is essential to understand what components are needed, where they should come from, and how much they will cost. Viasion provides guidance on sourcing PCBs and electronic components for your next electronics manufacturing project. It covers topics such as researching current component availability, evaluating suppliers, understanding lead times, pricing considerations, etc. With this knowledge, you can decide which PCBs and components to purchase for your next build or production run! 

    Researching current component availability is an essential step in electronic manufacturing. It involves researching and understanding the types of components needed their availability in the market, and their lead times. Don’t forget to use reliable sources such as industry publications, manufacturer websites, trade shows, or suppliers’ catalogues to research current component availability effectively. These sources will help you understand the current market trends, pricing changes, and availability of components. 

    Evaluating suppliers is a critical step in the electronic manufacturing process. When sourcing PCBs and components, it is vital to research and compares potential vendors to ensure that you get the best value for your money. Viasion highlights the factors that should be considered when evaluating suppliers: quality assurance certifications, product certifications (UL, CSA, or CE), pricing, lead times, customer service, and shipping options. Researching the quality and reliability of parts from different suppliers is also essential. Reputable suppliers will offer detailed product specifications such as datasheets, internal test results, and compliance certifications, which can help ensure that PCBs and components are up to standard. 

    Understanding lead times is a crucial step in any electronic manufacturing project. Lead time is when an order is placed and when it is received. It includes both the production time for the components and the shipping or delivery time to get them to the customer. If lead times are too long, the project timeline can cause significant delays. Viasion always closely contacts suppliers to get an estimated lead time and ensure adequate delivery time so that components are delivered on time.

    Pricing considerations are essential when sourcing PCBs, components and electronic manufacturing materials. Researching the best cost for each component and weighing the price against other factors, such as quality and reliability, is vital. Different suppliers may offer different pricing structures such as volume discounts, minimum order quantities, wholesale rates or ‘buy one get one free’ offers. Buyers should also consider the price of additional services such as technical support, customization or assembly. 

    PCB Assembly

    The PCB design should first determine the layout of SMD (placement) and DIP (insertion) on both the front and back sides of the PCB. Different assembly forms correspond to other processes and have additional requirements for production lines, which must be carefully considered. The fundamental issues to be considered for PCBA process design are shown in the following figure.

    Standardize the PCBA process design of the product and specify the relevant parameters of the PCBA process, ensuring that the PCBA meets the technical specification requirements of manufacturability, testability, safety, EMC, EMI, etc., and the advantages in terms of process, technology, quality as well as cost are created.

    Reflow soldering

    The connection of surface mount components to PCB pads is achieved by melting the solder paste pre-assigned to the PCB pad.

    The purpose of the reflow procedure is to gradually melt the solder and slowly heat the connection interface to avoid rapid heating that could cause damage to the electronic components. A traditional reflow soldering process usually has four stages called “Zones”. Each zone has its temperature profile: “preheat”, “immersion”, “reflow”, and “cooling”. 

    Surface-mount technology is to use a specific tool to align the pins of SMD components with the pre-coated adhesives and solder paste on the pads, mount the SMD components on the PCB surface, and then perform wave soldering or reflow soldering, establishing a reliable mechanical and electrical connection between SMD components and the circuit. 

    Several SMT assembly processes

    Single-sided assembly:

    incoming inspection → silkscreen solder paste (SMT red glue) → placing components → drying (curing) → reflow soldering → cleaning → testing → rework

    Double-sided assembly:

    Single-sided mixed mounting (Type II)

    Surface mount components and leaded components are mixed, and the difference with type II is that the printed circuit board is a single-sided board.

    Incoming inspection → silkscreen solder paste for PCB (SMT red glue) → placing components → drying (curing) → reflow soldering → cleaning → DIP → wave soldering → cleaning → inspection → rework

    Double-sided mixed assembly

    Wave soldering

    The dissolved solder is sprayed into the designed solder wave by special equipment to pass the PCB with the electronic components through the solder wave. The connection between the device and the PCB pad is realized through the solder wave.

    The wave soldering process is characterized by double-sided space to reduce the volume of electronic products further and still use through-hole components at a low price. However, the process requires more equipment. In addition, the wave soldering process is prone to more defects. Finally, it is challenging to achieve high-density assembly. 

    The DIP electronic components and the dissolved solder are sprayed into the designed solder wave through the special equipment. The PCB with the pre-installed electronic components can be connected with the PCB pads through the solder wave.


    Distance between plug-in components and other components

    The selected solder mainly determines the soldering temperature. The following diagram shows the reflow and wave soldering windows.

    IC programming

    Integrated circuit (IC) programming is integral to modern electronics manufacturing. It involves the writing, testing and debugging code that allows ICs to perform their intended functions. IC programming is used in various applications, including consumer electronics, automotive systems, aerospace systems and medical devices. As a result, manufacturers can create reliable products more efficiently than ever by understanding how ICs work and how they can be programmed. 

    Integrated circuits (ICs) are complex systems of interconnected electrical components that perform specific tasks. ICs are organized into what is known as a “logic tree,” which consists of logic gates, memory cells and transistors. Logic gates allow an IC to respond selectively to the inputs it receives; memory cells store data for later use; and transistors amplify or reduce the output of an IC.

    Programming ICs requires a thorough understanding of how logic gates, memory cells, and transistors work together to perform specific tasks. Programmers must also understand how signals are transmitted through the circuits to ensure that signals are routed correctly and that outputs match their intended functions.

    With advancements in technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, IC programming has become even more critical for creating cutting-edge products that provide users with a better experience.

    Functional testing

    Functional testing is critical to electronic manufacturing, ensuring that components and products meet design specifications. It involves the evaluation of product performance against expected criteria such as safety, reliability, accuracy and functionality. Functional tests verify that each component or subsystem correctly functions when integrated into an overall system. That helps to ensure that the Electronic Manufacturing process yields high-quality products with consistent performance characteristics. Functional testing also allows for early detection of any potential issues in production before they become costly problems. With functional testing, Viaison can build more reliable products with fewer defects while meeting customer expectations for quality and performance and stay competitive in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

    Box build assembly

    Box build assembly is a type of electronic manufacturing that involves assembling components into complete systems or products. It is an intricate process that requires precision, attention to detail and expertise to ensure high-quality outcomes. The box build assembly process typically consists of multiple stages: component selection, placement, soldering, wiring and testing. This type of manufacturing is essential for producing reliable and efficient electronic systems used in the automotive, aerospace and medical industries.

    The box build assembly process typically begins with selecting components that meet the required specifications. These components may include printed circuit boards (PCBs), transformers, resistors, and other small electronic parts. These are inspected for quality control before being placed into a dedicated jig or fixture to ensure precise alignment and orientation. The next step is to solder components together and connect them via wire harnesses or other forms of wiring. Testing and debugging are then performed to ensure the system works correctly before it is finally packaged into a box for protection from environmental factors.

    With the help of box build assembly services from Viasion, you can create complex electronic systems with minimal effort while achieving maximum quality standards.

    Burn In Test

    Burn In Test is a critical process in Electronic Manufacturing that helps ensure the quality and reliability of finished products. It involves subjecting products to extreme temperatures, voltage fluctuations, humidity levels, or other environmental conditions to identify potential issues before they become serious problems. Burn In Test also help manufacturers detect weak components that may fail prematurely under normal working conditions. 

    During Burn-In Test, the Electronic Manufacturing product is subjected to various stresses and monitored for changes, such as decreased performance or unexpected errors. If any issues are detected during the test, Electronic Manufacturers can take steps to address them before the final product release. 

    By running Burn In Test before shipping out electronic manufacturing products, manufacturers can ensure that their products are reliable and defects-free. That helps them protect their reputation, avoid costly product recalls and provide a higher quality product to the end user. 

    Custom Packaging

    When it comes to electronics manufacturing, don’t underestimate the role of custom packaging. Electronic manufacturing is a complex and evolving industry, with custom packaging playing an increasingly important role.

    Customized packaging solutions enable companies to safely transport their products while creating a more substantial brand presence. Without custom packaging, it’s hard for manufacturers to protect their products from damage and ensure they reach customers in perfect condition.

    Additionally, as practical experience shows, custom designs allow manufacturers to create eye-catching packages that stand out on store shelves or online marketplaces. That’s why custom packaging has become an essential part of electronic manufacturing in today’s competitive world.

    Electronic manufacturers have a vast array of options to choose from when it comes to custom packaging, with many different sizes, materials and designs available. By utilizing the right combination of these features, companies can create unique packages that reflect their brand identity while protecting their products. Companies can even add branding elements such as logos or text to give their products an edge. 

    Outgoing Quality Control (OQC)

    Outgoing Quality Control (OQC) is a critical aspect of electronic manufacturing. It ensures that products meet all required standards before being shipped to customers. OQC involves rigorous testing and inspection processes to ensure the quality, performance and safety requirements are met for every manufactured product. That helps ensure customer satisfaction and compliance with industry regulations.

    Additionally, it reduces the risk of costly returns or warranty claims due to defective products or incorrect specifications being delivered to customers. By implementing effective OQC procedures in electronic manufacturing, Viasion can ensure our products’ success in the market while protecting our reputation as reliable suppliers of quality goods and services.


    Tips in PCB design, PCB fabrication & PCB assembly

    Principle of component package selection

    On the premise of meeting performance indexes and structural installation, preferentially select components that can reduce production costs.

    Advise components choose and design: distance between SMD components

    1. Small (short) components cannot be placed in the middle of significant (tall) components; (judged based on 2.0mm). 
    2. The gap between PLCC, QFN, QFP, and SOP themselves and each other should be ≥ 2.5 mm. 
    3. The gap between QFP, SOP and Chip, SOT should be ≥ 1 mm. 
    4. The distance between PLCC, QFN and Chip, SOT should be≥ 2mm.
    5. The clearance between the BGA profile and other components should be ≥ 3 mm. 5 mm is  recommended. 
    6. The clearance between the PLCC surface mount pedestal and other components should be ≥ 3 mm. 
    7. Surface mount connectors and connectors should leave a gap between them to ensure they can be inspected and reworked. In general, the lead side of the connector should have a space larger than the height of the connector.

    Selection of the soldering process

    The selection of the component package on the PCB should ensure that the package is consistent with the physical outline of the component, pin spacing, through-hole diameter, etc. For example, inserted component pins should fit well with the through-hole tolerance (the through-hole diameter is larger than the pin diameter of 8-20mil). The tolerance can be increased to ensure good tin penetration.

    Assembly method Schematic diagram Soldering methodFeatures
    Single-sided PCBAReflow soldering on the single sideSimple process, suitable for small, thin and simple circuits
    Double-sided PCBAReflow soldering on both sidesHigh-density assembly, thin profile
    SMD and DIP both on side AFirst reflow soldering on side A, then  wave soldering on side BGenerally adopt the way of placing components first and then inserting.The process is simple.
    DIP on side ASMD on side Bwave soldering on side BLow PCB cost and simple processAdopt SMD first and then DIP.
    DIP on side ASMD on side A and BFirst reflow soldering on side A and B, then  wave soldering on side BSuitable for high-density assembly
    SMD and THC on both side A and BFirst reflow soldering on side A and B, then  wave soldering on side BFirst adopt DIP on side B and then manual solderingThe process is complex and rarely used.


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    PCB material selection

    Different substrate materials can be divided into rigid and flexible PCBs according to whether they can be flexed; high Tg substrates and regular Tg substrates according to Tg value; FR4, CEM, non-PTFE high-frequency materials, PTFE high-frequency materials, etc. 

    Advise in PCB design

    Components are arranged as regularly and evenly as possible. The positive pole of polarized components, the gap of integrated circuits, etc., are placed uniformly, facing up and to the left. If wiring difficulties, there can be exceptions. Regularly arranging the components is convenient for inspection and improving the placement/insertion speed. The uniform distribution of components facilitates the optimization of heat dissipation and the soldering process. Considering the need for soldering, inspection, testing, and installation, the components should not be spaced too close to each other.

    PCB thickness refers to its nominal thickness (i.e., the thickness of the insulation layer plus copper foil), and the PCB thickness should be selected based on the structure, size of the board, and weight of the installed components.

    The available mounting machine allows the board thickness: 0.5 ~ 3mm (Viasion’s ability to 4.5mm).

    Desirable PCB thickness: 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, 0.8 mm, 1 mm, 1.5 mm, 1.6 mm, 1.8 mm, 2 mm, 2.2 mm, 2.3 mm, 2.4 mm, 3.0 mm.

    The lamination method is used for single-sided PCB with the board thickness of 3.2 mm, 4.0 mm, 4.5 mm, 5.0 mm, 6.0 mm, 6.4 mm, and 7.0 mm.

    Impedance and lamination are determined mainly based on the thickness of the board, the number of layers, the impedance value required, the current magnitude, signal integrity and other basic requirements.

    The most basic purpose of surface finish is to ensure good solderability or electrical properties. However, since the copper in nature tends to exist as an oxide form in the air, it is unlikely to remain as the original copper for long periods of time, so other treatments of copper are required. Although in subsequent assemblies Although intense fluxes can be used to remove most copper oxides in the following assemblies, intense fluxes themselves are not easily removed, so the industry generally does not use strong fluxes.

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