“Do you find yourself wondering what exactly the circuit board assembly process is? Printed circuit boards are critical to almost all electronics today. They are widely considered to be green computer chips covered with copper wires and symbols screen printing.
Printed circuit boards are usually made of fiberglass, copper traces, and other conductive materials, and are helped together with epoxy. The green color of the circuit board comes from the solder mask, which helps isolate the entire circuit board and helps prevent conductive elements from interfering with each other.
Here are the four main steps of the board assembly process:
Applying solder paste: Similar to T-shirt shielding, the solder paste template uses a thin stainless steel template to apply solder paste to the part, and the part will be mounted on a printed circuit board. When using solder, a chemical called a flux is used to help melt the solder paste and adhere it to the circuit board surface.
Pick and place components: After applying solder paste, the next step in the board assembly process is to pick and place the machine. This is where the surface mount components are placed on the printed circuit board. This process was previously done manually by a board assembler who would pick and place components using a pair of tweezers. However, with the advent of robotics, this step has been automated to achieve greater consistency and accuracy.
Soldering: After all components are installed, place the printed circuit board on a conveyor belt and move the conveyor belt to the reflow furnace. While inside the oven, the circuit board is heated to melt the solder paste and permanently bond the components to the circuit board itself. Where the circuit board includes components other than SMD, it may be necessary to insert through-hole components. However, in these cases, a more specialized welding method is required.
Testing and quality control: In some cases, the movement of the printed circuit board during the reflow process can cause component misalignment, resulting in poor connections, no connections at all, or incorrect connection of components. This is why it is important to check and perform some tests to ensure the functionality of the board. Even if all of the above steps are done carefully, the board may still fail the functional test. A failed printed circuit board can be either scrapped or recycled, and the process will restart until the end result is a fully functional printed circuit board.