Why Turnkey PCB Assembly Is Rapidly Replacing The Hand Placement Technique


Prototype pcb assembly

The efficient, fast and high-quality assembling of circuit boards is a goal many manufacturing companies are putting on top of their to-do lists. With so many customers to please and expectations higher than they’ve ever been, proper turnkey PCB assembly can mean the difference between success and failure for many businesses. PCB fabrication is more accessible than ever before due to multiple technological advances, all of which can promote quick turnkey PCB assembly without sacrificing accuracy or quality. Even better, circuit board assembly processes can offer different models, stencils and designs on the fly. Let’s take a look at what PCB assembly services can offer you.

History And Modern Reality Of The Western Circuit Board Industry

The United States and neighboring companies are enjoying significant success through the advent of more advanced turnkey PCB assembly. The revenue of both circuit boards and electronic component manufacturing has reached nearly $44 billion as of 2014 in the United States alone. Despite this impressive figures this success hasn’t always been so widespread. The 1990’s, just 50 years after the first introduction of PCBs, they originally reached $7 billion. A mere five years later and they hit $10 billion. The following years have been a series of constant milestones, with things only expecting to get better from here on out.

Printing, Materials And Set-Up

Thanks to ongoing changes older techniques have been replaced with better results. Before PCB design software was introduced they were originally designed with the aid of clear Mylar sheets, as much as four times bigger than the actual board itself. Upon these designers would use transparent photomasks of the design before heading to the creation phase. Heavy copper PCB is the standard, with printed boards with a thickness of more than three ounces in both the inner and outer layers being deemed efficient. However, some PCB designers will still use one or two ounces of copper.

Solder Operators, Paste And Applicators

One of the finishing elements of creating the final PCB product is through the aid of solder and paste. A solder paste applier, high-speed chip shooter and a pick-and-place machine will be placed in a conveyor configuration, that of which can both place and solder 50,000 parts or more by the hour. A single automatic line can place and solder more components than even the most skilled 50 hand solder operators, with superior accuracy and better overall quality to boot. While some companies still employ skilled technicians to piece boards together by hand, it’s quickly being replaced by manufactured turnkey PCB assembly.

The Future Of Quick Turn PCB Assembly

Digital means combined with efficient machinery means printed circuit boards can be created in higher volumes faster and better. The introduction of machine-assembly for orders of any size means a single shop can assemble printed circuit boards in a mere fraction of the time it would take hand placement to do. Many places will even have a turnaround time of five days or less, creating some of the most rapid production yet seen. Any and all problems caused by printing technique have been found to account for 70% of all assembling issues, the majority of which will be buffed out by turnkey PCB assembly. With such skilled technology on our side, both customers and businesses have a lot to look forward to.

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