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SMT Machine: The Modern Way to Assemble Electronics

To realize smart manufacturing, surface-mount technology (SMT) machines play an increasingly important role in the electronics industry. For example, assemble your product with speed and precision using an SMT machine.

In this blog post, we will introduce you to smt machines and explain why they are the modern way to assemble electronics. We’ll also provide a few tips on choosing the right smt machine for your business. So, whether you’re just starting in the electronics assembly industry or looking for an upgrade, read on!

What do SMD and SMT Stand for?

Printed circuit board after full assembly moves to reflow oven machine for heating up soldering paste

Printed circuit board after full assembly moves to reflow oven machine for heating soldering paste.

SMD stands for Surface Mount Device, and SMT stands for Surface Mount Technology. These terms are used interchangeably to refer to the process of mounting electronic components on the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB).

SMDs are small components placed on the surface of a circuit board. Besides, SMDs are much smaller than traditional ones. Therefore, you can place them much closer together on a circuit board. Hence, this allows for smaller, more compact circuit boards.

Introduction to Surface Mount Technology

Printed circuit board without electronic components ready for assembly

Printed circuit board without electronic components ready for assembly

What is SMT in manufacturing? Here comes the answer.

Surface mount technology (SMT) is a method for mounting electronic components onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB). The first introduction of SMT was in the early 1960s and became widely applicable in the electronics industry in the 1980s.

The main advantages of SMT over through-hole technology are:

– Reduced assembly time

– Reduced circuit board size

– Increased reliability

– Increased component density

SMT machines get applied to assemble SMT components onto PCBs. These machines place and solder them in a single step, which greatly reduces assembly time compared to traditional methods.

How does an SMT Machine Work?

Printed Circuit Board Being Assembled with Automated Robotic Arm, Surface Mounted Technology Connecting Microchips to the Motherboard.  

Printed Circuit Board Being Assembled with Automated Robotic Arm, Surface Mounted Technology Connecting Microchips to the Motherboard.  

SMT machines work by placing surface-mount components onto a circuit board. The machine uses a pick-and-place head to grab the component and place it in the correct position on the board. Once all components are in place, the board gets heated to solder them in place. Then, SMT equipment can place thousands of them per hour, making them faster than traditional assembly methods.

What does Surface Mount Machine do?

Electronic PCB Being Assembled with Automated CNC Robotic Arm

Electronic PCB Being Assembled with Automated CNC Robotic Arm

The Surface Mount Machine (SMT) is to place the electronic component onto a circuit board. First, the machine reads the design of the circuit board and knows exactly where to place each part. Then, It picks up each one from a tray and places it on the circuit board. Once they are in place, the board is sent through a reflow oven. This melts the solder on the component and creates connections between them. Then the board gets cooled and tested to make sure it’s working correctly.

The SMT machines have made assembling electronics much faster and easier than in the past. In the past, people had to place each component by hand onto the circuit board. This was a very slow and tedious process. With the SMT machines, we can finish a pcb assembly in minutes. And this has made it possible to mass-produce electronics much more quickly.

Types of SMT Assembly Machines

Close up pcb on the conveyor of PCB LED SMT automatic pick and place machine for electronic assembly board

Close up pcb on the conveyor of PCB LED SMT automatic pick and place machine for electronic assembly board.

Surface Mount Technology (SMT) machines are common in the manufacturing process of many different types of electronics. There are several different SMT machines, each with its unique purpose.

The most common types of SMT assembly machines are:

SMT Pick and Place Machines

The first kind of SMT assembly equipment is the pick and place machine. Pick-and-place machines pick up and place the component on the board.

So what are the most popular Pick and Place Types? Here are three of the most popular types:

Automatic Pick-and-place Machine

Manual Pick-and-place Machine

Semi-Automatic Pick-and-place Machine

Solder Paste Screen Printer

Solder Paste Screen Printer is to print solder paste on the boards before mounting the electronic component.

SMT Curing Oven/Baking Oven 

We use SMT Curing Oven to reflow or cure adhesive curing and the solder paste.

Solvent Cleaning Equipment

To protect the electronic components and board, we use Solvent Cleaning Equipment to clean solder and flux on the pcb.

Reflow Soldering Machine

It is applicable for soldering various electronic parts, such as SOIC, CHIP, PLCC, and QFP, on printed circuit boards.

The reflow soldering procedure allows the solder to flow from the Surface Mount Device (SMD) back to the boards. This happens after completing the reflow soldering with solder paste.

Inspection Equipment/ repair and inspection equipment

After soldering all the electronic parts on the printed circuit boards, we need to inspect whether there are any defects or not. Inspection Equipment will help you to achieve this. Also,  It can repair those defects.

SMT Machine Manufacturers

Printed Circuit Board Being Assembled with Robotic Arm

Printed Circuit Board Being Assembled with Robotic Arm

Here is the list of smt machine manufacturers. If you are looking for smt machines, you can find them here.

yamaha smt machine

Yamaha smt machine (Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd) is one of the most popular smt machines. The Yamaha smt machine price is very reasonable.

Panasonic smt machine

Panasonic smt machine is also a good smt machine. It has many features that other smt equipment doesn’t have.

Such as Panasonic Smart Factory Solution

Customers may benefit from responsive manufacturing by lowering operating costs and increasing efficiency.

Mycronic

Mycronic smt machine is one of the best smt machines on the market. It is very reliable and has a lot of features.

-Precise Material handing

-Agilis Feedback Technology

-Strong Software Suite

DDM Novastar

DDM Novastar smt machine is also a good smt machine. It is very user-friendly and has a lot of features.

The DDM Novastar pick and place machine is one of the top suppliers of pick and placement devices in automatic and manual SMT systems.

This equipment is especially for :

the simplicity of operation, rapid set-up, and high dependability in low to medium volume pick & place applications.

JUKI Automation Systems

JUKI Automation Systems smt machine is one of the best smt machines on the market. The features are as follows:

  • SMT Total System Software
  • Maximum placement speed can be calculated
  • Server manager DB
  • Analysis/optimization support software
  • External output function

Europlacer

With over 50 years of experience, Europlacer is the leading global SMT line, solution provider. Besides, they deliver flexibility, innovation, and reliability to the SMT pick and place market.

Hanwha Precision Machinery

As a Smart Factory total solutions company, Hanwha Precision Machinery provides a wide range of products to provide value for customers.

In 1989, it developed the first chip mounter, which offered semiconductor equipment,  insertion, assembly automation technology, and Surface Mount Technology (SMT) mounters. It also offers collaborative robots, machine tools, integrated software solutions, and industrial automation products.

Neoden SMT

Neoden smt machine is also a good smt machine. Plus, it reduces the cost of your PCB assembly while also allowing you to scale up your SMT production line without sacrificing quality.

What are the benefits of using an SMT machine?

Close up of printed circuit board

Close up of printed circuit board

There are many benefits to using an SMT machine for your circuit assembly.

-First, SMT machines are high precision placing than manual assembly, so you’ll get fewer faulty boards.

-Second, Faster assembly time: SMT machines can place components much faster than traditional methods, so you’ll save time on assembly.

– Reduced board size: SMDs are much smaller than traditional components so that you can fit more of them on a circuit board. This allows for smaller, more compact circuit boards.

– Increased reliability: SMDs are less likely to be damaged during assembly, so your pcb will be more reliable.

How to Choose the Best SMT Machine

Automatic pick and place machine for PCB assembly

Automatic pick and place machine for PCB assembly

When choosing an smt machine, it is important to consider your needs. Do you need a machine that is user-friendly? Do you need a machine that has a lot of features? Once you have considered your needs, you can then narrow down your choices and choose the best smt machine for you.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing an smt machine:

Prices and Costs/ smt machine price

The price of an smt machine is an important factor to consider. There are many smt machines on the market, and their prices can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. It is important to find an smt machine that fits your budget.

Performance and Usability

The performance of an smt machine is important to consider. You want to find an smt machine that is easy to use and provides good performance.

Furthermore, consider the smt machine’s speed, accuracy, and features.

You also want to find an smt machine that is a quick setup and easy to use. Some smt equipment comes with many bells and whistles, but if you are not familiar with them, they can be difficult to use.

Placement Speed

While smt equipment varies in its performance, one of the most important factors is placement speed. This is how an smt machine can place components on a PCB.

Component Size and Pitch

Another factor to consider is the size and pitch of the components that the smt machine can handle. Some smt devices can only take small components, while others can handle a wide range of sizes.

Size of the Parts

Another essential factor to consider is the size of the parts library. This is the number of different types and sizes of components that the smt machines can place.

Accuracy & Repeatability

Quality Control Inspector Checks Electronic Printed Circuit Board

Quality Control Inspector Checks Electronic Printed Circuit Board

Finally, you will want to consider the accuracy and repeatability of the smt machine. This is the ability of the smt machine to place components in the same location on successive PCBs.

smt machine operator

You may also want to consider the training and experience of the smt machine operator. The operator will need to be able to load the smt machine with the correct components, as well as understand the programming of the smt machines.

SMT Machine Programming

Engineer Uses Laptop Computer for Programming Pick and Place Electronic Machinery for PCB Surface Mount Assembly Line.

Engineer Uses Laptop Computer for Programming Pick and Place Electronic Machinery for PCB Surface Mount Assembly Line.

There are some key points to pay attention to when programming an smt machines.

The first is the pick-and-place file. This file tells the smt machines where to place each component on the PCB.

It is important to create a pick-and-place file that is accurate and free of errors.

The second point to pay attention to is the feeder setup. Besides, we need to correctly configure the feeders so that the smt machines can pick up the components from the feeders.

The last point to pay attention to is the stencil. The stencil is applicable to apply the solder paste to the PCB.

It is important to ensure that the stencil has the correct design and is correctly aligned with the PCB.

Summary

Now you may have a better understanding of smt machines. Also, we have introduced some smt machines manufacturers.

If you still have questions, such as screen printing, management software, inspection system, surface mounted, or something related to the PCB manufacturing process, contact us today. We can help you find the best solution for your needs and get you up and running quickly and cost-effectively.

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Hommer Zhao
Hi, I am Hommer, the founder of WellPCB. So far, we have more than 4,000 customers worldwide. If you have any questions, you can feel free to contact me. I really appreciate any help you can provide.

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