SMD production: surface-mount device
SMD production involves assembling the printed circuit boards with SMD components by machine. This technology can be used for FR4 PCBs, metal-core PCBs and flexible PCBs.
Moderate and large production series are suitable for automatic assembly. Our modern machines are very flexible in terms of programming which, for various production batches, ensures low start-up costs and a short switchover time.
1. Application of paste or glue
This production process starts with the application of the tin/silver paste and/or glue to the printed circuit board, using a paste stencil and screen-printing machine. Precisely the correct amount of paste or glue is applied to every connection point.
2. ‘Pick and place’ of electronic components
The next step entails the required electronic components being attached fully automatically and at high speed to the printed circuit board; this includes BGAs, LGAs, 0201 parts, etc. Every machine is capable of placing more than 30,000 components an hour.
3. Soldering the printed circuit board
The next step in the process is soldering the printed circuit board using a Reflow oven and/or a vapour phase.
4. Automated Optical Inspection (AOI)
We guarantee the quality of the PCBs by means of a final 3D Automated Optical Inspection (AOI). Every printed circuit board undergoes this automated robot inspection and the smallest defect in terms of components or polarities is detected immediately.
Conventional production: through-hole assembly
When automatic assembly is not possible for specific conventional components, we use conventional assembly.
1. Manual pick and place
Conventional production entails the components being assembled manually.
2. Wave soldering or manual soldering
Following assembly, the PCBs are finished through machine-based wave soldering, selective soldering or manual soldering. The wave soldering takes place in a bath with single or double waves.
3. Visual quality inspection
A visual quality inspection will take place after soldering, during which unique labels are applied to guarantee traceability.
Selective soldering for PCB with SMD and conventional components
The number of PCBs for which both SMD and conventional components are used is on the rise. Until a few years ago, we soldered the conventional components manually, when they were combined using the SMD technology on both sides of the printed circuit board.
This manual methodology conflicted with our automated approach, because of which we decided to invest in a selective soldering machine. Through our ERSA VERSAFLOW 3, we automated these manual operations as far as possible, which gave us an additional competitive advantage.
This machine guarantees high-quality soldering, particularly for PCBs with a high mass and power planes. In terms of its finish, the soldering is much purer, clean and there are no residues.
Optimal protection of PCBs with coating or encapsulation
Once the PCBs have been assembled, using selective or conformal coating technology, we apply a transparent protective layer to the printed circuit boards. There is a growing demand for this protection technology. In this way, during their lifetime, the PCBs have optimal protection against electrostatic discharge (ESD), corrosion, condensation, moisture, pollution, chemicals, etc.
Another protection technique involves encapsulating the PCBs with various casting resins. This encapsulating service makes the PCBs more robust.