Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s) are found anywhere electronics are used, from automotive transmissions to smartphones and everything in between. Due to their relative cost savings, PCB’s can be built en masse yet are exceptionally reliable. CAD programs are generally used to create the design for the PCB’s.
Printed circuit board assembly is the use of layers of non-conductive materials with a laminated panel of conductive material, usually copper, in order to create panels which create conductive tracks for the purpose of building electric circuits. These circuits are connected to other pieces of electronic hardware, such as resistors, microchips, processors, and other components in order to create functioning circuit boards. These boards can be mass-produced quickly, especially since many of these boards are chemically etched. This creates a very resilient, quickly produced board, as opposed to hand-soldered boards of the last century, which were often fragile and subject to human error in their manufacturing process.
The process of soldering electronic components to a PCB is known as PCBA, or printed circuit board assembly, which is just one of the steps towards creating and manufacturing a functioning PCB. Assembly begins by selecting the following materials:
Printed circuit boards
Electronic components: resistors, capacitors, switches, etc.
Soldering materials: solder, wire, paste, preforms, etc.
Flux to allow solder to adhere to the components and eliminate oxidation at the point of contact
Once materials are collected, the process of manufacturing can begin.
The Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing & Assembly Process
The printed circuit boards can be etched in a bath of acid to remove areas of the non-conductive substrate in order to reveal conductive layers, either through-hole or surface contact areas. This can be done very quickly and with quite a few boards done at a time.
Wave soldering utilizes a method of soldering in which a solder bar in a high temperature bath forms a wave of molten material in which the thru-hole components are exposed to on a conveyor system, soldering all prepared points simultaneously. PCB components can also be soldered by hand for work requiring more attention to detail or delicate electronic components which might be damaged otherwise.
The Soldering Steps in the Manufacturing Process:
Components are inserted into the thru-holes
Flux is applied (areas without flux will not fuse to solder)
Cleaning of oxidase and debris
Testing of the components for functionality
Faults are sent to be hand soldered or repaired
Surface Mounting Components
Not all PCB components are soldered onto the board with thru-hole methods. Some components simply attach to the circuit board and meet the exposed elements of the printed board and are soldered or assembled with other adhesives/solder.
There are several ways to approach creating, assembling, and manufacturing printed circuit boards. APSM Systems is an expert in all of these methods from design to finished product. We are able to meet the technical needs of this cutting-edge industry.
PCB Assembly with APSM Systems
APSM Systems is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company—holding the most up-to-date certification currently available in the industry. Our facility is based in Phoenix, AZ and provides products and services to a multitude of clients nationwide. APSM Systems offers both design and manufacturing services, providing our customers with high-quality printed circuit boards through high precision and accuracy for years. Held to international standards of customer service and workmanship, APSM Systems produces mid- to high-production products and prototypes with quick turnaround times. Our team of PCB assembly experts provide a comprehensive offering of competencies allowing them to handle a wide range of services related to metal and electronic manufacturing.
Contact APSM Systems to learn more about our printed circuit board assembly services.
Surface Mount Assembly
Our SMT lines are capable of placing 01005 components up to 45 mm square fine pitch components. Maximum panel/board size is 18" x 17.2". Our lines are equipped with inline AOI machines for real time 100% inspection of the placements and solder joints. If BGA's are being processed then we have in house X-ray capabilities to validate and monitor the process.
Through Hole Assembly
Our through hole capabilities consist of semi automated lead forming and trimming equipment as well as fully automated forming and insertion of axial, radial, and DIP components.
Our wave soldering capabilities consist of a max board width of 18" and a nearly unlimited length. The machines are equipped with both spray and foam flux dispensers, preheaters, and both laminar/dancer waves.
We offer an alternative to wave soldering for those hard to access, through hole, solder joints that need to be automated.
All of our team members that solder, are certified to the IPC standards and we recertify all of them every two years.
Our conformal coating capabilities consist of an automated application line that consists of an unloader, multi head application machine, and an in-line oven.
All of the circuit board assemblies that we manufacture are carefully tested to insure functionality and longevity.