Surface mount technology (SMT) is a design and fabrication process that replaces the through-hole mounting of PCB (printed circuit board) components with direct placement on the printed circuit board surface. It is something that is at work in the vast majority of PCB designs tucked inside modern electronics. The computer, phone, TV, and refrigerator someone uses every day is the end result of both SMT manufacturing and PCB production and assembly.
However, the creation of PCBs with SMT manufacturing is quite complex and demands the use of advanced tools and technologies. DFM, or design for manufacturing, as an example, is the “coupled” process that integrates the basics of the PCB and takes into consideration the SMT manufacturing phases as well as the functionality of those SMT processes.
Will the design work as is or will there be a reworking of the PCB necessary? This is one of the major questions asked at the preliminary or prototyping phase, and often the SMT manufacturing component takes the back seat. However, as a design makes its way through the approval processes, SMT manufacturing has to enter the equation. Not only because it is essential to the actual function of the end product, but because it is such a cost-effective measure when hole-drilling can be eliminated.
The benefits of opting for SMT manufacturing include:
- Cost-cutting – The time and complexity of drilling is eliminated when surface mounting can be used instead
- Capabilities increased – The weight of a PCB that uses SMT manufacturing rather than drilling and soldering pastes means that the capabilities are improved, too. The era of the smaller and smaller device means that this design capability can open many previously closed doors.
- Automation – It makes sense to leverage the ability to mass-produce PCBs that retain performance and quality, and SMT manufacturing is a key approach to consistency when producing in mass quantities.
Of course, when considering SMT manufacturing, it also means being able to simultaneously ensure that the design is easily produced and effective. This is where Advanced Circuits can step in and make all of the difference. We have a nearly flawless system that alleviates design flaws in the pre-production process, and helps to cut down on rework that is often the bane of SMT manufacturing.
PCB and SMT Design Resources Bring Optimal Outcomes
Advanced Circuits is a well-known name in the PCB and Prototype Assembly industries. We can handle PCB manufacturing (fabrication) and assembly, including SMT designs.
We are a full-service provider with more than two decades in the field, and give clients exclusive services that support a project of any complexity or simplicity – whether a one-off prototype or a design with SMT and mass production requirements. The resources we make available for them include:
PCB Artist – Customers of all design levels love the free access we provide to this innovative PCB design software. Unrestricted, it is capable of up to 28 layers and includes more than 500k parts, a controlled auto-router function, multi-page schematics, and more. Easy to use and 100% free, it is also noted throughout the industry as the very best PCB design tool.
FreeDFM– This software enables clients to run a free and fast design assessment. It works easily and simply by using uploaded design files, then the program ensures files feature all essential data, automatically corrects some issues, plus provides an easy to read and use report. Using it also comes with a discount on the work if the designs are submitted through the software. This software uses Gerber format, but it takes only minutes, then a quote, discount code and link to the PDF of the results will appear.
All orders undergo a mandatory engineering file review before the fabrication process is initiated. This guarantees that glitches part of the typical “no-touch” approach will not occur, and that time and money will never be wasted by design flaws or manufacturing problems (i.e. rework issues) that could have been avoided.
End Reworking, Delays, and Clunky Design
Worried that learning the free software will take too long or ask too much before showing you how to integrate SMT into your designs? No need to worry, because the PCB Artist software we offer comes with printable tutorials and video options that walk even a beginner through the complex process of PCB design and manufacturing. And when the files are ready, the PCBs can be ordered directly through the software.
And, while the free PCB design resources made available on our site are enough to make us a premier and preferred provider, there are many other reasons to buy PCBs that incorporate SMT manufacturing from Advanced Circuits, including:
- No minimum orders – There are no minimum lot requirements, meaning that clients are not forced to invest in huge orders with more PCBs than might be needed. Prototyping is an option – even with SMT features.
- 24-hour support – Around the clock customer service features live tech support that allows design teams to speak directly with a CAM engineer at any hour of the day or night.
- No tooling charges – When an order features Standard Specifications, we are glad to waive tooling charges and always cancel such fees on reorders of Standard Spec as Custom Spec items.
- Not a broker – We never sub out our work bt instead count on our top of the line, 62k square foot facility and that guarantee the kinds of quality and speed most want but cannot always receive.
- Best shipping record – Advanced Circuits has the BEST ON-TIME SHIPPING RECORD in the industry, and is now shipping 50% of orders early! In fact, we say we “put our money where our mouth is . . . and we ship Standard Spec orders on time or they’re FREE!”
With so many reasons to choose Advanced Circuits, and with all of our free PCB design tools and resources available, it makes good sense to get in touch with us today. Our instant quotes and easy order tracking mean that a manufacturing or electronics firm of any size can obtain top quality PCBs designed flawlessly and to precise specifications. We also make SMT Solder Paste Stencils available as part of a NEW complete prototyping stencil kit for those who want to do one-off or “by hand” SMT manufacturing and design.