Surface-mount technology, as the name implies, is a method of assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) in which the electrical components are mounted directly onto the surface of the board. This is unlike another PCB assembly method, through-hole technology, where components are inserted through holes in the circuit board and soldered to hold the components in place.
Surface-mount technology has been the industry standard for assembling PCBs since the 1990s and has largely replaced the through-hole method of fitting components today. This has been possible due to its wide array of advantages that can be accessed in both the design and development of the electronic device.
Advantages of Surface-Mount Technology
Smaller footprint: Surface-mount segments, often referred to as surface-mount devices or SMDs, are much smaller in terms of geometric size and volume occupied than that of through-hole assembled components since they do not have long leads that need to be inserted and soldered into holes. In addition, they can be mounted on either side of the PCB and aligned closer together. All of these together permit the designing of highly complex circuit boards into smaller footprints with good repeatability.
Faster economical manufacturing: Assembling a circuit board with surface-mount technology is much faster than assembling it with through-hole technology, as the SMT process is more automated. Automation not only speeds up the manufacturing but also translates to lower
initial costs of manufacturing.
Smarter electronic performance: Because more electrical components can be fitted onto the circuit board, more connections for each component can be created. This means that you end up with shorter signal paths on the board. In other words, high-speed signal transmission. Smaller deliverables with no leads or short leads also reduce your electromagnetic interference (EMI), also called radio-frequency interference (RFI), to give you much better electromagnetic compatibility.
Automation: With an automated pick-and-place machine, the surface-mount segments can be placed on the board quickly and with precision, thereby optimising manufacturing output and the PCB quality.
Placement precision: One of the most important parts of the surface-mount assembly is the application of solder paste (a mix of solder metal and flux) on all solder pads on which electrical components are to be fitted. With an automated system in place to check the accurate alignment of solder paste placement onto circuit boards, solder paste can be deposited onto the pads with maximum precision.
Surface-Mount Assembly Services from Advanced Technology & Manufacturing
At Advanced Technology & Manufacturing (AT&M), we offer expert surface-mount technology services in both leaded or RoHS specifications to electronic manufacturers throughout Australia. We have modern surface mount equipment for accurate solder paste printing, precise component placement and correct oven profiling to meet all of your PCB assembly needs in a reliable and cost effective way.
Call AT&M today and let us become your Australia PCB assembly service of choice.