SMT technology was introduced for the automatic and fast production of electronic devices. It is a process consisting of four stages: applying paste, arranging components, soldering and quality control. With the help of appropriate equipment and a configured production line, SMT surface assembly can be fully automated. What is worth knowing about the most popular method of electronic production?
SMT surface mount step by step
As we noted in the introduction, SMT technology covers four stages of PCB production. Each of them can be fully automated. Here are the stages of assembly:
1. Applying paste. A very responsible process that prepares the board for soldering. It is done by automatic or manual application of special solder paste, which includes tin and flux. Thick paste thoroughly fills the soldering pads.
2. Element arrangements. The board goes to the next section of the production line, which is responsible for the precise arrangement of all electronic components in accordance with the template provided. The most modern production lines allow you to arrange even tens of thousands of elements in one hour.
3. Soldering. In a special reflow oven, solder paste melts under the influence of high temperature, which leads to soldering of all elements on the board.
4. Quality control. There are many control methods, of which the most popular is AOI technology, i.e. optical control. The configured automaton thoroughly checks the finished product and decides whether all components have been correctly positioned, soldered and if the offsets are within the tolerance limit.
Surface mounting can be fully adapted to the needs of each manufacturer. We distinguish fully automated and semi-automatic lines in which individual stages, e.g. paste application or quality control are carried out with the participation of employees.
What advantages does SMT technology offer?
This is by far the fastest and most convenient way of installing PCBs. Modern machines guarantee high precision and minimize the risk of errors. In this way, the manufacturer can count on minimizing production costs. Proper quality control guarantees trouble-free functionality of the most complex systems, and thus ensures the manufacturer's due reputation. Today, mass production of electronic devices cannot do without the use of SMT technology.
Does the SMT surface mount have limitations?
Each element mounted on a PCB with the help of SMT technology must have a flat surface, so that a special nozzle can lift and place individual parts. However, there are other methods, for example, foil can be used on uneven elements. This slightly increases the production time, however, it does not pose any additional difficulties for producers. SMD surface mounting has been developing for years and has reached a very high level of sophistication.