Introduction to Surface Mount Contract Manufacturing

Typically, products of surface mount contract manufacturing are smaller and more affordable, making them a more popular choice over the through-hole method. The three-hole method is actually quite old and with this, larger circuit boards with drilled holes are needed where in comparison using the surface mounted method, solder and two-in-one glue are used that eliminate holes. As a result, this creates more reliable electronic connections.

In looking at the difference between through-hole and surface mount contract manufacturing there are a number of specific things to consider. For one, components of surface mount are smaller. The only restriction to component size is current miniaturization technology.

With surface mounted contract manufacturing, components as small as 0.4×0.2 millimeters can be hosted and according to experts, there is a new generation of standards whereby size will get even smaller. Because of this, engineers will have the ability to add more features onto the circuit board to accommodate smaller sizes of devices. With technology focusing on smaller handheld devices, this is critical to future technology.

Another comparison between through-hole and surface mount contracting manufacturing is that the latter makes it possible to print on both sides of a circuit board. With the older through-hole method, components could only be manufactured on one side of the board but being able to use both greatly expands opportunity. This ensures a higher density capable of accommodating a smaller device.

Surface mount contract manufacturing is also more beneficial because it offers much faster setup. The setup assembly line even when making numerous variations on a single product is faster. In addition, this method is superior because it eliminates defective products often seen with the through-hole methodology.

By being able to manufacture high quality boards in less time, there is a reduction of cost specific to labor before and after production. Even prototypes of boards made with the Surface Mount Assemblies are less expensive. Because of this, multiple prototypes can be designed prior to engineers making a commitment on the final product.

There is also less electronic interference with the surface mounted contract manufacturing method. The number of open wires with this method are minimizes, which in turn makes products more resistant to interference but also the effects of RF signals.

One of the most annoying problems a consumer faces is having a device with constant electronic interference. Therefore, the surface mounted contract manufacturing method ultimately ensures a happier end-user as well.

Why Choose Surface Mount Technology

Surface mount technology (SMT) is a method of designing electrical circuits that involves mounting required circuit components directly to the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). This is in contrast to older assembly options, such as through-hole technology which were used prior to the advancement of tools for consistently crafting a reliable surface mount device. Given that this is now a far more accessible option for companies, there are a number of reasons to opt for the surface mount technology process over other circuitry methodologies.

Improved Accuracy

Using reliable manufacturers and seeking out those who are skilled in SMT assemblies allows for incredible accuracy and precision in crafting your product. With the right surface mount technology process, your device can be created using smaller components, and increased precision of placement. In fact, as of 2017, these components measured 0.25 millimetres. The more accurate the device placement, the better your PCB can perform, and the more consistent the results it can yield.

Increased Density

In addition to being able to place the components more precisely, SMT allows components to be placed on both sides of the board and at a much higher density. This means you can fit more devices in the same amount of space as what through hole would allow. Furthermore, each of these components has the space for more connections, as there are no holes blocking routing space.

Enhanced Performance

While the increased density and accuracy of placement enhances the performance of the surface mount device and PCB, using the specialized surface mount technology process makes the product perform better in other ways as well. Specifically, the PCB does better under shock or high vibration conditions, and it offers better performance in electromagnetic capability environments as well.

Decreased Cost

The initial cost of creating PCBs using a surface mount technology process is less because the process is largely automated: once the machine is set up for SMT assemblies, it is possible to engage in mass production of the specified PCB. This is cost-effective and time-efficient. Furthermore, typically SMT parts cost less than their equivalent through-hole counterparts, offering further reductions in company assembly and manufacturing costs.

Printed circuit boards, like much of technology, are changing quickly: new sophisticated methods of manufacturing and assembly are regularly being developed and it is essential to stay on top of the changes in order to stay competitive in the market. With surface mount technology processes being at the forefront of these changes, this is one area where you don’t want to fall behind.

To make sure you stay up to date and maximize the efficiency and quality of your company’s PCBs, research how SMT may be able to benefit you, and then contact the professionals. Here at Star Engineering, we’re here to help and are happy to see you stay ahead of the game.


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