Category Archives: Electronics

PCB Assembly: Typical Order Process

July 4, 2017/ Electronics/

The printed circuit board (PCB) business is a multi-billion dollar industry that has a global reach. In fact, it is forecasted to earn revenues of more than $90 billion in 2017. The North American division of this industry has been consistently showing growth in the first quarter of 2016. The PCB business is expected to produce products that are of high-quality and have more compatibility with a range of products that require electronic components. Here, you can get more information about printed circuit board (PCB) products.

The PCB assembly sector in the United States continues to manufacture boards using state-of-the-art equipment. For the last 27 years, Imagineering, Inc., based in Illinois, has been manufacturing PCBs. They have loyal customers such as Motorola, Whirlpool, Siemens, Lexmark, NASA, etc. which rely on their quality PCBs.

PCBImagineering provides a whole range of services and it is the pioneer in easy online quotations and ordering of Full Turn-Key services. All the client has to do is to upload their Bill of Materials, and they will receive quotes in minutes. Aside from Full Turn-Key transactions, clients can also order Partial Turn-Key and even consignment services.

The team of highly-skilled and trained professionals from Imagineering, combined with their state-of-the art equipment, makes them a leader in PCB Assembly services.

Turn-key service is beneficial for companies because it lessens the need to talk to and organize various vendors and parts. It offers just one bulk purchase order. There are also sourcing experts who look for different parts and are able to correctly order the appropriate number of parts. Ordering the correct number helps prevent production delays.

What typical order process will the company go through when they order?

First, they need to get all the information needed to assemble the PCB. The information submitted by companies to us is treated with utmost confidentiality. It is essential to gather all the important components. All the components should also be precise. This ensures fast turnaround time with the best possible results.

The data that are needed are the following:

Bill of Materials, Gerber Files or Assembly Drawing, and Pick-and-Place file or Centroid Data. Quantity and lead time should also be specified. When the Turn-key quote is finalized, the company has to send the following: Bill of Materials, 274X Format of Gerber Data or Assembly Drawing, Pick-and-Place file or Centroid Data, and an available sample. If the PCB is not ordered through Imagineering, then that should be sent as well. We recommend that the Bill of Materials be in digital format, preferably in an Excel file. The Bill of Materials is another important document that should contain complete information such as reference designator, component descriptor, package or case type, and name of manufacturer. If there are special instructions, they should also be sent with detailed information. For example, sample testing instructions, packing instructions, PCB specifications, and others should be made known by the client.

Why is an assembly drawing needed?

An assembly drawing can be submitted in PDF or JPEG file format. It is prepared by exporting a file of the PCB’s silkscreen layer. The main function of the assembly drawings during the PCB assembly process is to be able to give the machine operator sufficient data to test whether the rotation of each component is right and that every assembled component is on its precise position.

As mentioned earlier, the exact and precise position of each component is a very crucial part of PCB assembly. The automatic machine has to be fed with this information using center coordinates of the PCB components. Companies usually provide an exported CAD file from designated design software. Gerber files, which are images of the various PCB layers, are also needed. The built-in CAM module can export the Gerber files from the software. The stencil layers, the conductor layers, the markings on the PCBs, Vias and Solder resist layers should all be submitted in Gerber files.

During the actual PCB assembly process, the company is capable of using various types of processes such as surface-mount technology, Flip chip, Through-Hole Assembly, Cable Assemblies, Flex Circuit Assembly, and Wire harness assembly. Imagineering, Inc. is also capable of creating 22 layers of PCBs, creating 8 mil plated or 5 mil laser drilled holes, and creating a 6 ounce copper PCB with a maximum thickness of .300 inches.

PCB-AssemblyThe most common assembly usually has both through-hole components and surface-mount devices, so both of these assembly types are used in one board. Through-hole technology is most often used in components that contain wires, while surface-mount technology are placed directly onto the copper pads and do not require holes. Through-hole technology usually has more mechanical integrity, and is still used for switches and important connectors. However, there are some components previously using the through-hole format that were designed again to be soldered directly on the copper PCB surface.

Through-hole components were replaced by surface-mount devices because they are easier to assemble during large productions which use automated equipment. Surface-mount devices also take up smaller spaces compared to through-hole devices.