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The Importance of Small Batch PCB Assembly in Prototyping and Design!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: June 10, 2021
Small Batch PCB Assembly

In the electronics industry, you can’t stick to one design or model. With the changing market demand and development of innovations, you also have to upgrade few things in your industry. That means the PCB prototyping also needs modifications from time to time. And besides that, the need for electronic items is sky-high. In whichever sector you look at, that is immersed by the electronic appliance. So, to go with the demand, you need some process that makes the circuit at a faster rate. In solution to this problem, the small Batch PCB Assembly Prototyping and design is a great choice.

The main aim of small batches is to produce a higher number of prototypes in minimum time. Some projects need a prototype in bulk, and others need a few, so the number varies from project to project. Now, if your circuit plan needs a small number of the circuit in a short time, small-batch PCB assembly is a preferable option. This blog will discuss the a-z about small batch PCB assembly, which you must need to know.

What is a Small Batch PCB Assembly?

As it is in its name “small batch,” this assembly manufacturing process produces fewer circuit boards. In most cases, the number of borders it manufactures each cycle is approximately 250. For this reason, the other term of the small-batch assembly is “low volume Assembly.”

The main cause for using this process is, it’s simple to handle traits. But, not only one advantage, there are various reasons for its preference among manufacturers, which are discussed in the next passage.

Importance of Small Batch PCB Assembly in Prototyping and Design:

The benefits of small batch (low volume) PCB assembly are following-

Rapid Turnaround:

The time small-batch PCB Assembly required for every cycle of production is faster than others. This feature is very important to beat your competitors. When the market demand is exponentially high, a rapid turnaround is necessary for quick delivery. If you are in mass production and need to know what the ultimate circuit looks like, small batches also help you check. When you know about the first batch product, you can change the error to improve in the next cycle. So, you can use a small batch process as the evaluation tool in the case of bulk prototype production.

Flexibility:

As new inventions are made every day, in this scenario, flexibility is an essential factor. The small-batch process is very flexible to make a change when required. If anything goes wrong after the circuit is designed, in low volume processes, you can change it afterward also.

Similarly, if any new characteristics need to be added in the future, you can put those on the circuits by this process. So, if you go with small batches for your PCB prototype production, there will be room for improvement with the modern changes.

Cost friendly:

In small batches, the cost they charge according to the number of the circuit they produce. But, if you are associated with a high volume for your small production, they will charge you more because their production methods fit with bulk volume. So, if your business requires a small volume of products, why do you need to go for a mass production process with a higher rate.

And, if any errors happen in the production procedure, the big batch replicates more in numbers of that faulty circuit than small batches. So, in simple terms, small batches are the better option if you have a low budget or want to save the cost. That’s how small batch PCB assembly production can save time and money!

Quality of Prototype:

The good quality prototypes that small-batches are produced is another great feature of printed circuit board assembly process. Actually, the quality of the prototype depends on the client’s view. The same prototype may seem good for one client but poor for another. But, small-batch products are flexible, and those can change after manufacturing. You can alter the circuit according to the client’s review.

At any time, you can change to superior quality by introducing the technology to your target audience. This helps to gain the trust and reliability of the customers.

Minimum Risk:

Again, as it is changeable, the risk of failure of the design is minimum. In small batches, the entire circuit can evaluate, so no chance of disappointment from the customers. And, you only have to analyze some 250 circuits, rather than thousands as in large batches if any mistakes happen.

From the cost perspective also, as it produces a very small number of prototypes, it doesn’t affect much if any negligence happens during production.

Conclusion:

Because of its numerous benefits, the uses of small batches, assembly prototyping, and design are growing rapidly. It attracts more start-up companies because of its low-cost, high-value product.

For testing purposes also this process is a good option to gain an idea of the circuit without investing large money. So, if you are thinking of Small Batches Assembly in prototyping and design, our recommendation is definitely to try it at least once.

At Mer-Mar Electronics, we offer you the facility of low volume PCB Assembly, small batch PCB prototypes, low-cost PCB fabrication and small run PCB manufacturing that meets your bespoke requirements. Our advanced PCB manufacturing facilities in California, USA; are fully equipped to provide you high quality and low cost printed circuit boards. In addition, we also offer turn-key PCB assembly services with quick turnaround times.

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Why does the Through Hole PCB play the most important role in PCB Design?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 27, 2021
Through Hole PCB

The field of technology is so dynamic that you also have to grow to synchronize its steps. From personal use to industrial use, electric technology spreads its wings in every aspect of our life. As the acceptance of electronic material is almost all over the technology, it gets sophisticated gradually.

To make it elegant, the need to minimize the circuit size is a concern. But organizing all the parts of the circuit becomes challenging until the Through-hole PCB Assembly is found out. It is used in most tiny circuits, like a capacitor to the microchip. Getting curious about this incredible mounting process? Over this post, we discussed it thoroughly, so go through it.

What is Through Hole PCB assembly?

Through-hole PCB assembly is the most reliable PCB assembly process which can easily bear any kind of stress. In this process, the components of the soldering are drilled with the lead, not only at one point but all over the board.

Through-hole assembly is sometimes denoted as a TH assembly also. The through-hole assembly may be plated or non-plated based on layers of the material.

Components of Through-hole assembly:

There are several components present in an assembly board but the main components of the through-hole assembly are classified into two types, those are-

Axial Lead Components:

This applies in the multilayer PCB assembly. Here all mounting is done in a straight-line pattern where all the mounting wires are inserted through one side and then routed through the other side. The opening and ending are separate. In this process, all the components of the circuit are very closely placed.

This type of component is used mainly for lightweight devices like LED resistors because of their compactness.

Radial Lead Component:

In radial components, the differential part of it here leads are drilled on any one side of the board. Here the assembly component is not all time placed in the circuit, they may come out of the board. Very useful for tiny electronic devices which need high-density electronic boards to reduce space like capacitors.

Reasons behind Why does the Through Hole PCB assembly play the most important role in PCB Design:

There are other mounting processes available in the market like the SMT PCB assembly, but the experts are recommended the through-hole PCB for the best PCB design. The reasons for through-hole PCBs’ importance are numerous. But most prominent reasons are-

Simple Prototype:

The prototype of the through-hole PCB is very simple and easy to use. It also has a faster prototype than another mounting process. The soldering of this process is effortless because it can be pinned by wave soldering or by hand soldering. The prototype can manage according to the need of the circuit. The best part is to make a testing design, not even making the circuit board.

Resistance trait:

The through-hole assembly can successfully withstand any kind of mechanical and environmental stress. It’s a very good criterion for the electric devices which work in harsh conditions like in aerospace, in martial service, etc. In these fields, the device’s operating temperature is very high, and there is constant physical friction present. Still, the through-hole assembly can meet the services by its high working potential.

Power tolerance:

Not only environmental stress, but through the hole, the assembly can resist high electrical energy also. Some electronic gadgets require a great power supply for their functioning. But no ordinary PCB can tolerate such a high current. In this case, the through-hole assembly acts as a blessing for that area.

Good internal connection:

In through-hole assembly, the internal bond between the components of the circuit and board are very strong, which is very important for the coordination of the device. Coordination helps work in the highest possible efficiency by minimizing stressful situations, high-energy environments. For this reason, the success rate in the capacitor, semiconductor, and other detailed equipment is high.

Durability:

Durability is important to work with a divide for the distant future. This is a very vital criterion for a lengthy time project like an aerospace mission, etc. Strong soldering, good physical bonds make the circuit run for a long time. Not only that other good quality of the through-hole, like the resistant power, makes the durability of it long.

Cost-effective:

The through-hole assembly is cost-effective for use. The long durability, stress tolerance is helping to make the circuit’s dysfunction rate less, which reduces the repair cost. On the other hand, you can test the prototype in advance, so the chance of error in designing also reduces, which saves money to some extent. Although at the initial level, through-hole seems costly, it is worth it because it reduces the repair cost, which ultimately decreases the overall expenditures of the circuit.

Conclusion:

One of the hardest decisions for designing the PCB Assembly circuit board is to choose the right mounting process. One type of mounting can fulfill some criteria, and the other types can meet some. So, it’s totally your preference to choose the right according to your necessity on the board. But we can assure you Through-hole assembly is always a good choice if you pick it. And you can also see it on your own by reading the above article. So, consider the power of through-hole assembly before taking the major decision of choosing the layout of the PCB.

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How does Hiring a contract manufacturer can be an asset to electronic circuit board assembly business?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 29, 2021
Electronic Circuit Board Assembly

To beat the sky-high competition of the market, electronic circuit board assembly businesses are trying to find innovative ideas for their business. But who knows better about the growing electronic circuit board assembly than the expert on the field? A contract manufacturer is nothing but ‘the expert’ who scales up your business in many folds by their advanced advice. They will be one of the most beneficial assets for your business. Wondering how? Then, go through the post till the end; it will answer all your questions.

What is a Contract Manufacturer?

The contract manufacturer is a third-party business organization apart from your partnering manufacturer, who will guide you to design and manufacture your desired circuit board assembly. They looked at every detail of your project, from quality to cost, which helps build a circuit according to your preferences in your minimal budget. If you are getting confused about where to and how to find the perfect contract manufacturer, then the following are the types of the contract manufacturer from them you can choose from

PCB Assembly Manufacturer:

This type of contract manufacture is intended to develop the lightweight, small size, modern technology, budget-friendly PCB circuit Assembly.

System Assembly Manufacturer:

System Assembly contract manufacturer is the right solution if your electronic business is suffering from bad system assembly. The professional services of the contract manufacturer make a revolution in your business in a way you can’t imagine.

Design Manufacturer:

The design manufacturer emphasized the design and building of the layout of the overall circuit. A good design automatically improves other aspects of the circuit also.

Foreign Manufacturer:

Some abroad companies provide the best deal of contract manufacturing at a very low cost. In foreign manufacturers, the American-based companies are very popular and skilled also to consider for the hiring.

The advantage that makes the Hiring a contract manufacturer can be an asset to your electronic circuit board assembly business:

Hiring a contract manufacturer is a very advantageous decision for your electronic business. And the reason for it also multiple, like-

One-stop solution for all problems of PCB:

When you are working with a PCB assembly, there are various factors you need to give your focus on, which is very difficult for any one person to handle. But if you hire a contract manufacturer, it will solve the A – Z of every situation. From the prototype testing, initial design to the final review, everything is under the contract manufacturer’s eyes. Not only that the most complex part of the design, but the supply chain management is also dealt with by this manufacturer.

Time management:

Time management is crucial for every type of business strategy. In PCB fabrication also it is an important factor to deem. For a beginner PCB manufacturer supplying the products on a hectic deadline is very much challenging. Even sometimes, any changes in the design can require a new start of the project the case timeline is vital.

But the expert hand of the contract manufacturer easily handles such a stressful deadline of the work. They have a proper schedule of their plans which helps them to never fail in their strategy. Besides that, they have a skillful engineer who has to speed up their works with years of experience.

Accurateness:

There is no space for concession with the quality of the circuit. Based on the excellence and accuracy was of the designing the greatness of the whole project depends. Any minor error in the prototypes leads to major damage to the circuit assembly. The contract manufacturer promised to provide the five best quality services in a minimal period. Their long-time knowledge in the PCB Assembly designing field knows the value of precision. They vow to maintain the uniqueness of your project.

Cost friendly:

The contract manufacturer knows how to manage the budget without endangering the quality. They have advanced technology, modern equipment, trained Labour, which cut down the side expenses of the project. They have a calculated draft of the expected expenditures, which helps them to maintain a purposeful budget.

Simple element sourcing:

The contract manufacturer suggests the best material within your budget. You, as an amateur, are sometimes overwhelmed by the vastness of the components, but they know what is suitable for your project, and they recommend that only. Plus, a good contract manufacturer has a well-known reputation in the market and has a good link with the circuit manufacture to adjust the cost with them at a certain level.

Guide about the rules of the market:

If you are recent in the business, you may not know about the market’s rules, regulations, and restrictions. Here contract manufacturer helps as a pathfinder to guide you. Take an example of the warranty period; as a beginner, you may not know what to do if it becomes faulty before the warranty but the contract manufacturer mentor in this troublesome situation.

Conclusion:

You may have to pay some additional fees for the hiring of the contract manufacturer but trust us, and well worth it. It will save you from any danger of your project. And now you can see how it helps it for the best results of the design. But one thing to keep in mind is that several companies promise to provide such services but don’t give as they said at the end.

We are an ISO-certified company and ITAR compliant manufacturer who have been striving to deliver the best Electronic Circuit Board Assembly services for over 4 decades. We have the capabilities to handle single-sided or double-sided, SMT or through-hole. With our enormous experience, we also deliver the most complex electro mechanical assembly as per the customer specification.

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Top things You Need to Know About the Printed Circuit Board Assembly Process!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 7, 2021
Printed Circuit Board Assembly Process

Electronics have become an integral part of our daily lives – whether it is a smartphone or an electronic component on any automobile vehicle, we have printed circuit boards at the heart of all these electronics. A printed circuit board is nothing about a small green chip covered in metal parts, copper lines, fiberglass, and held together with a solder mask that is in green.

If you are a beginner and looking for information about the PCB assembly process, dive in!

What is PCB Assembly?

Do you know how these components are stuck on these circuit boards? Do you think they are just ornamental decorations of a PCB board? No, if they are randomly mounted on it, they won’t serve the purpose they are intended for and do not provide the exact functionality. The components have to diligently mounted on the PCB and this process is called PCB assembly.

Here, the copper lines on the bare boards electrically link components with each other. These let the signals run between the features and helps your circuit board function in the designed way. You may accomplish simple or complex functions and can go for smaller to complex PCB. There are single-sided, double-sided, and multilayer PCB assembly and you need to go through multiple stages of deployment in the PCB assembly process.

PCB assembly process is an integrated process that all the stages are important, and we need to flow from one phase to the next till the final stage. Quality also remains the core of the PCB assembly process. You can rely on several manual and automated steps to complete the PCB assembly process.

Here is the overview of the PCBA process:

Solder Paste Stencilling

This is the first step of the PCB assembly process where the solder paste is applied to the circuit board. The assemblers apply the solder paste where the parts would sit on the finished PCB. Solder paste is a grey substance that has tiny metal balls with 96.5% tin, 0.5% copper, and 3% silver. It is mixed with a flux that is designed to help the solder melt and bond to the circuit board surface.

You need to make sure that this is applied at the right places on the boards accurately and in the right amounts. You can use a machine for spreading the paste across the stencil for even application.

Pick and Place Machine

Once you are done with applying the solder paste to the PCB board, the next step in the PCB assembly process is the pick and place machine that places surface mount components onto the circuit boards. Earlier this was a manual process done with a pair of tweezers. Now, a shift has happened, and this is an automated process that helps in achieving the level of accuracy and consistency that wouldn’t otherwise be achieved.

This indefatigable pick and place machine does the job by picking up the circuit board with a vacuum grip. The robot orients the PCB and begins to apply the SMT on the PCB. Finally, the components are placed on the soldering paste in the preprogramed locations. Solder paste ensures a tight grip of the components and keeps them firm without any shakiness. There are some machines that add glue during the PCB fabrication phase for a firm grip.

Reflow Soldering

Once the surface mount components are in the right place on solder paste, you need to make sure they remain in there. For this, the solder paste has to be solidified sticking the components to the board which can be accomplished through the reflow soldering process.

The PCB boards are then passed to a conveyor belt that moves through a large reflow oven. The conveyor belt has a series of heaters for heating purpose wherein the temperatures can go as high as greater than 200 degrees Celsius. This melts the solder, and the PCBs move through a series of cooling heaters for letting the solder to cool. The solder also gets solidified and creates a permanent solder joint connecting components to the circuit board.

Once you have the components on the PCB, you can now pass the board through a wave soldering machine. Here the machine has its own solder and some of the PCB Assembly manufacturer prefer using a reflow oven.

Quality Control and Inspection Process

The PCB assembled boards should be tested for functionality and quality purpose. During the reflow process, the movements result in a poor connection and poor quality. Sometimes, even the components can be misplaced. These errors and misalignments will be inspected through a series of tests like –

Manual Inspection – Manual inspection of the PCB board functionality and quality through a visual inspection process by the designer is one way to ensure the quality of your PCB. Of course, as the number of boards increases, this process becomes impractical. This may result in optical fatigue and result in less accurate inspections.

Automatic Optical Inspection – If you have larger batches of PCBAs, you can go for this inspection machine. It has a series of high-powered cameras that are arranged at different angles to inspect PCBs and the solder connections. The AOI machine recognizes the low-quality solder easily and in a relatively short time.

X-ray Inspection – Used in more complex and layered PCBs. It helps to view through these layers and identify any potential hidden issues. If there is any malfunctioning, it will be either reworked or scrapped.

Once you made sure that the functionality is as expected, next test the PCBs for quality.

Through-hole component Insertion

Your PCB board may also include through-hole components that are placed on the board by drilling holes for passing signal from one side to the other side of the PCB.

Different types of soldering methods used are

Manual Soldering – Inserting one component into the designated through-hole. Once it is done at one station, it is moved to the next station, where a new component would be inserted. The cycle repeats till you finish the fitting all the components.

Wave Soldering – In the wave soldering, a conveyor belts runs through an oven. Here, a wave of molten solder moves to the bottom of the board where all the solder pins are placed. If you have a double-sided PCB, soldering the entire PCB would make the delicate electronic components useless.

Final Inspection & Functional Test

Finally, the PCB has to go through functional tests and final inspections. The tests put the PCB through simulating the normal situations in which the PCBs usually operate. The PCB fails the test if there are any unacceptable fluctuations or goes out of the range. The failed PCB either be reworked or scrapped.

Conclusion

Now that you are aware of a little about the PCB assembly process, you need to focus on finding the right partner for your PCB assembly process. Mer-Mar Electronics is a premier Printed Circuit Board assembly provider. You can rely on us for end-to-end PCB assembly process and be assured of high-quality and high-performance.

We are an ISO-certified company and ITAR compliant manufacturer who have been striving to deliver the best RoHS Compliant PCB Assembly services for over 4 decades. We have the capabilities to handle single-sided or double-sided, SMT or through-hole. Mer-Mar Electronics can be a reliable partner for the PCB assembly process right from the start till the finish line.

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