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CCA Electronics-Useful Tips And Procedure Guidance

In CCA electronics, a circuit card is easily inserted in the slots for expansion in the computer, increasing the given computer’s capabilities. The card is made from a material that doesn’t conduct electricity, such as plastic or fiberglass. It is the same as a printed circuit board made of plastic meant to connect the electronic components.

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CCA electronics ​General Concept

The components of electricity are attached to the board by the use of metal so that it can conduct electricity. In most cases, the copper used is etched on the inside of the board, which is usually between the plastic layers or maybe on the board’s surface. This is meant to ensure that electricity goes only to the areas that it is required.

The metal etched on this board allows the traveling of electricity from a given component to the other within the electrical circuit.

The boards can be having several different parts that are connected and still work together. In most cases, the circuit cards are produced in a more significant number for a given job like running the computer, television, or a mobile phone. Circuit cards are the ones that are very thin with suitable material that can flex. Flexible CCAs are used in making cables that are tiny and very lightweight circuits.


The procedure of making CCA electronics products are as follows:

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1.Get a copper-coated film.

2.Use a solid-ink printer when printing directly on the copper film.  

3.Print on the parallax. Draw a design for either of the graphics programs and then use a feed tray that is manual to print on the parallax sheet. The published areas will be protected by wax and will wind up with copper traces on the layout. One should use the high resolution or the mode of the photo when printing. The high-resolution method is slow in printing, but on the other side, it promotes better adhesion from wax to copper.

4.Etch it. In CCA manufacturing, one should put the sheet printed in the ferric chloride for around five minutes. The etching will depend on the thickness of copper, temperature, and other conditions. The copper areas should melt, and polyimide film shows up.

You can now cut it into small circuits if that is your plan, then solder. 5.Populate the card. It can now be taped on metal or a fiberglass circuit board that is regular to hold it steadily.

The Four Components Of A CCA?

Of all the different designs available in CCA, you will find similarities as far as the basic components involved. There are four components in the circuit card assembly manufacturing process.


The substrate is the fiberglass conductive material that holds all the electrical components together. 

Manufacturers use a copper plus heat laminate to make it conductive. Usually, the substrate has multiple copper layers. Still, it might be a single layer. 

Whether it’s a metal core, ridged or flexible substrate, you will find components such as 

  • Slow energy-release capacitors
  • Voltage-control resistors
  • Chokes that smooth out electrical current
  • Transistors

Copper Foil

As mentioned above, the CCA wouldn’t function without copper. Copper lends its superb electrical conductivity to the CCA board. It forms the bridge between the substrate and tracks or traces. 

The manufacturer follows your design to see if they will use single, double or multiple-layer copper boards. 

Solder Mask

If you look at a circuit board, you will notice a yellow or green tint. The tint is a polymer resembling a lacquer. 

The solder mask is a protective coating on the copper layer. It has two primary functions. 

  • It prevents metal-to-copper contact that would short the board. 
  • It prevents oxidation damage. 
  • Also, there won’t be solder bridges between solder pads.


The silkscreen has numbers and letters that tell the engineers where various LEDs and pins go. This topmost board also helps to identify test points. 

What Is The Difference Between A PCB And A CCA?

Circuit card assembly vs PCB has more similarities than differences. In a nutshell, they’re interchangeable terms only separated by some technical aspects. 

There’s a difference between PCB vs CCA and PWB vs PCB. A Printed Wiring Board is a no-printed-circuit board without components on which manufacturers lay components and then wire them. 

A PWB’s dielectric epoxy glass substrate provides a platform for point-to-point wire connections. 

PCB manufacturers can complete the process in one go.Circuit card assembly manufacturers make CCAs in several stages.
PCB manufacturing focuses on building the board, led by engineers. The circuit card assembly manufacturing process leans more toward design by technicians. 
PCBs are single boards with multiple components that complete a circuit. CCAs can have multiple PCBs 
You can connect several crucial electronic components in a PCB.CCAs connect electronic parts.

The Three Circuit Card Assembly Types

  1. Surface Mount Technology Assembly involves fastening metal tab segments to the PCB. High-density PCBs usually have these segments on both sides of the board. 

SMT assembly is an automated process popular for churning out circuit boards in large quantities. 

  1. Box Build Circuit Card Assembly involves designing, manufacturing and installing electrical parts into printed circuit sheets. The complete box build CCA is a functioning system in an enclosure with cables, PCBAs, electrical systems and optional pneumatic components. 
  1. Through-Hole Circuit Card Assembly is reserved for applications with huge transformers and electrolytic capacitors. Here, circuit card assembly manufacturers place leads from electrical components into holes in the board and then solder them to pads on the boards’ back.

Methods To Create CCAs

Manufacturers use three methods to create CCAs. 

When they use manual methods, they place components on electronic devices and solder the devices to complete permanent connections. 

Since it takes too much time, manual CCA creation is reserved for small CCA batches. 

Manufacturers opt for semi-automated methods to speed up the circuit card assembly manufacturing process, maintain a lean budget and improve quality standards. Machines place the components and check positioning before placing them on boards. 

The last method, automated CCA assembly, uses fully automated processes optimized for speed and efficiency. Machines place the components on the board, paying extreme attention to precision and detail.

The Best Mounting for CCA

The best mounting for CCA is one that ensures least time consumption and maximum precision. 

Thru-Hole Mounting

In this technique, you place each component on the board instead of under the board’s surface for maximum aesthetic appeal and functionality balance. 

Ball Grid Array Mounting

This mounting technique involves manually placing components on the PCB with bonding wire. You then solder the parts after verifying they’re in the correct position. 

T and R Mounting

Hold the PCB using a fixture and solder components in their places. 

Surface Mount Technology Mounting

This mounting approach uses laser drilling to group electronic components on a circuit board. It uses minimal solder to maintain low thermal resistance. SMT mounting brings out more compact electronic devices. 

Each mounting technique serves a different purpose for a manufacturer. Therefore, you can use multiple mounting techniques (mixed technology mounting) to get the best results from each technique. 

Consider These Factors Before Choosing a Circuit Card Assembly Manufacturer

Whether you want PCBs or CCAs, evaluate these four make-or-break factors while picking manufacturers. 

Lead time: Ensure your manufacturer can deliver precise-to-detail finished products within a specified deadline. Otherwise, you might have a production backlog.

Quality of material: CCAs are a central part of consumer electronics and other vital systems. Ensure the manufacturer isn’t going for low-grade material that could cause failure and potential damage. Also, make sure the material passes QC standards such as Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals(REACH), Restriction of Hazardous Substances(ROHS), and conflict materials. 

Speed and efficiency: Speed and efficiency might call for the use of one assembly method over another. For example, you may want to choose a manufacturer using SMT over BGA. Ensure they have strict QA checks to guarantee accurate drilling, component placement and board tests. 

Cost: Bulk production can escalate costs. Therefore, shop around for manufacturers offering a balance of cost, high quality, and efficiency. 

Customer Service: Maintain a friendly yet professional customer-client relationship with your manufacturer. That way, they can address your speed, quality, cost and time concerns.

Everyday Applications of CCA

  • Low-power home electronic goods such as TVs, sound systems, and other consumer electronics use CCAs. 
  • You’ll find CCAs in medical devices such as MRIs, ultra-sound equipment, and CT scans.
  • CCAs feature in the aerospace industry in communication machines, satellites and air travel vehicles.
  • The industrial electronics field uses CCA for control systems and emergency service equipment.
  • If you open up a unit with microcontrollers and storage systems, you will likely find CCAs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CCA

CCA ProsCCA Disadvantages
Designers are more creative with CCAs, allowing for smaller easy-to-handle electronics.Some aspects of Circuit card assembly can be expensive, especially for commercial units. 
Electronics have become more affordable.Lacklustre monitoring standards that cause a drop in quality can be harmful, especially in consumer goods and highly sensitive applications. 
Smaller electronics allow better space management. Computer-designed CCAs can be difficult to repair. 
Strict assembly guidelines mean better safety standards and higher quality final products. Mass production is still a challenge when using CCA. 
Concept design and manufacturing of CCA leads to more innovative takes on everyday electronics. 

Basic Electronic Components In-Circuit Card Assembly


Resistors in CCA oppose current flow. They act as voltage regulators that prevent the system from being overloaded in case of excess electrical supply. 


Like resistors, they are a passive component. Inductors store electrical energy to release it to the board when there’s low supply. They block alternating current while allowing direct current. 


These are another passive component in CCAs that regulate energy. They act like inductors, storing energy to release when needed. However, unlike inductors, they allow alternating current and block direct current. 


You can find Bipolar Junction Transistors or Field Effect Transistors in CCA. They regulate current in electrical systems either by amplifying or switching current. 


Diodes in CCA act as current rectifiers. Sometimes AC is converted to DC. It is the diode’s job to rectify this action and make the current flow in one direction. 

Can You Repair Circuit Cards?

As much as circuit card repair is possible, it’s not easy. They are extremely complex structures that can be rendered useless by the slightest damage in sensitive sections.
However, a skilled engineer can pinpoint the cause of circuit card damage and recommend repair measures. 

Causes such as trace damage, terrible design, individual component damage, poor handling and power-related damage could call for circuit card repair. 

But, you can avoid constant repair by trusting the right manufacturer, limiting humidity and monitoring the deterioration rate of the circuit card. 


The use of CCA electronics has become an essential part of the day to day operations. It has some differences with PCB assembly, but both markets relate to each other. 

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Emma Lu
Our professional engineering support saves our customers a lot of trouble and loss. >>>>>> After you place the order, our engineer will conduct technical reviews to make sure the parts can be mounted well/correctly on the boards. We will check if the component packages match well with the Gerber footprints, if the part numbers you provided match well with the descriptions, and if the polarity is clearly marked. >>>>> When your design is ready, please send your Gerber and BOM so we can quote and start!