Circuit Board Assembly Process

Electronics are now used in most electrical and electronic products to add extra features and functions. It makes electrical devices more effective, precise, controllable and useful. From a simple toy to cars and planes, electronics can be seen everywhere. A circuit board is at the heart of these electronics. It is a hard board that can withstand high level of heat, thermal shock, temperature fluctuations, vibration and impact. It is used as a base to carry different types of electronic and electrical components. Combined together, all these components and the board make up a PCB or printed circuit board. Circuit board assembly process is carried out in an advanced manufacturing center.

Assembled PCB

A printed circuit board in itself is just a printed board. It becomes an assembled PCB once all its components have been mounted on it. Most components of a PCB are soldered to it and this process is called PCB assembly. Each component serves its own special function and only the required components are used. All such boards are highly efficient and no unnecessary component is ever used. It improves the effectiveness of the board and brings down the manufacturing cost. The copper lines traced on the board transfer electrical currents and signals. They link the components and connectors to each other. An effective and efficient PCB design helps achieve complex functions using minimum components.

Bill of Materials

The product designer starts working on the BoM simultaneously when the device schematics and approved vendor list are being prepared. This list includes all electronic components needed for the assembly of the printed circuit board. Its important data includes voltage values, tolerance values, base part numbers, quantity, footprint, individual part reference, packaging and others. The vendor list has details of each supplier that will supply a particular component. It is possible a single component has multiple suppliers. The details of alternate vendors must be kept on standby.

Circuit Board Assembly Cost, this cost depends on several factors including the type of assembled PCB, the types of components, the quality of the PCB, the number of PCBs, how fast the PCBs are needed, and some other factors. Some customers decide to supply their own components while others get their PCBs made on turnkey basis whereas the PCB manufacturer arranges all components. The cost covers inspection which is a standard part of any PCB manufacturing process.

Assembling circuit boards is a complex process and requires careful planning. Even a single small design mistake can cause the whole PCB to fail. This is the reason a PCB is put through several tests at each stage of its manufacturing.

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