PCB Assembly is a process of populating the bare circuit boards with the appropriate PCB Component. PCB Assembly has eventually become a very high precision process. This is mainly because, over the years, the PCB Assembly process has faced new challenges such as, making the PCB as small in size and as thin as possible, while keeping a high signal integrity. In addition, the PCB Assembly work should be friendly to the environment and also to the humans handling it.
PCB Assembly is always done after the bare PCB has been made from the submitted PCB Design files. It is recommended that the PCB Designer chooses SMD parts as opposed to through-hole parts. This makes the PCB Assembly to be faster, simpler and more efficient. The bare PCB is inspected and allowed to move on to the next PCB Assembly stage only if it has met the required standards without any flaws. From here, the PCB Assembly process begins: The stencil paste is applied then inspected. If found fit, the PCB parts are placed by the pick and place robot, or if they are unusual, they are placed manually by hand by a skilled person. The placed parts are inspected. If found well placed, the Assembly is moved to a reflow oven which automatically solders all the PCB components in place. After this, the PCB Assembly is inspected and tested to see if it functions as expected.
Inspection and testing is an important step in PCB Assembly. To keep it low cost while maintaining high quality, automated inspection machines are used. To finish up the PCB Assembly process, there is a quality assurance team that checks and makes record to ensure that all the quality standards were followed. The final PCB Assemblies are then handed over to the packaging and shipping team that puts the complete PCB Assembly into a package (anti-static package) ready to ship where it is required.