What is the Printed Circuit Board Assembly?
Printed circuit board assembly, also known as PCBA, can be a complicated concept to understand, mainly because it is not the same as printed circuit board manufacturing, also known as PCB. These are two different disciplines with a different set of standards and requirements.
Printed circuit board manufacturing, as the name suggests, deals with the fabrication of the circuit board itself. On the other hand, the PCB assembly refers to assembling or placing components on the fabricated board.
Now without much ado, let’s have a look at some PCB assembly tips: These tips will ensure you get the desired results. The key lies in being careful and preparing in advance.
Pay Special Attention to File Formats
Choose a manufacturer who is experienced in dealing with the format that you plan to use. It is crucial because not all manufacturers may cater to all file formats.
Gerber and CAD are the two most popular options you have. Today’s boards are very complex. There are several layers of components, vias, and traces that need to fit together to provide the required level of precision.
PCB file formats may not be the most exciting part of PCB design, but they are essential. Gerber is the most common and standard format. Hence a large number of assemblers offer it. On the other hand, CAD files are generated by CAD and other such software.
They follow the OBD++ standard, but you may also find some following the less popular IPC-2581 bar. Discuss these requirements with the assembler so that there are no problems later on.
Get in Touch With Your PCB Assembly Provider
It doesn’t matter what kind of a working relationship you have with your PCB assembler; it is still essential to have a conversation before you go ahead with the process. We suggest that you communicate with your assembler at the design stage. It can give you valuable suggestions on design.
A lot of people make the mistake of getting in touch with their assemblers in the end. It can be a big mistake. Speaking in advance with your assembler would help you know more about the industry and available techniques and processes.
They can tell you about the latest PCB assembly trends and help you make the right decision. Plus, working with your assembler in advance would help you build a stable connection that will help you a lot when you finally move to the assembly phase.
Offshore Providers May Be Good, But Not Always
Many people opt for overseas assembly as it’s more affordable. However, there are a lot of risks involved with offshoring.
Assemblers are known to use parts that are not of the right standard. That helps reduce costs but can cause you a lot of damage in the long-run. You may end up spending more money, making offshoring a lousy option.
Other than this, there may be issues, including production delays that may cause interruptions. Even a small delay can impact your timeline of events. Hence, it is essential to be careful when selecting to work with offshore assembly providers.