SMT technology is a slightly redundant term in that “SMT” already stands for surface-mount technology, but for the sake of explaining the method and process, some people refer to it this way. Regardless of what it’s called, it is the main assembly method used on printed circuit boards and it has several benefits for the producer and the end user, alike.
If you’ve been around our site at all or have been following our blog, you’re likely already familiar with some of the basic concepts of PCB manufacturing, including surface-mount technology and how it works. Here, we’re going to dig into the benefits of using this type of manufacturing and what it can do for your brand, as well as the value of working with a reputable, industry-leading brand like Advanced Circuits for all of your PCB prototyping and production needs.
A Quick Refresher
This technology was first developed back in the 1960s, and by the 1990s, almost all high-end PCB components used the surface-mount method of attaching components because it allowed for easier connections and more components on a single board than previous manufacturing and mounting methods. Surface mounting means there is no drilling required, as the components include caps or tabs that can be directly attached to the board.
As you can already see, there are several potential benefits to be found here. Not only is it a more efficient and better use of space, but it offers plenty of other perks.
The mounting of these boards is much more flexible than other types of technology. Since all the components are surface-mounted, there is no need for the through-hole drilling or pesky dual-sided components that could get in the way of how the boards are used or installed. Components can even be placed along both sides of the board at a denser rate, allowing for more connections in a single board for flexible manufacturing needs and designs. Boards can also be mounted in several different ways when this technology is used, allowing for better construction and builds.
Repetition is the key to quality control, and that’s why PCBs with surface mount technology continue to lead the way in terms of quality. The process is done the same, every single time, when SMT technology is used. This means that the results will be better and the quality will be higher. Before, it was an individual process that was much harder to control and quality was always uncertain, at best. Today, however, PCBs are some of the most reliable items in terms of quality when they employ the use of surface mount technology.
Again, being able to replicate a successful product is going to save a lot of time and hassle. This not only benefits quality control, but it helps streamline everything. Once a board has been created and mounted, it can be replicated time and time again, with the same methods, ensuring that there is more efficiency in production, less waste, and fewer errors along the way. It saves time, money, and manpower.
Because more components can be placed near each other on the boards, surface mounting allows for smaller PCB design in the first place. This means that boards, and their corresponding electronics, can be much more compact and portable than ever before. It’s the difference between a desktop computer and carrying a smartphone — being able to mount components is what makes microscopic chip and circuit design possible.
Reduced Expenses and Waste
As mentioned, when employing SMT technology, the amount of waste is reduced significantly. Being able to repeat a process effectively and create high-quality components is going to save on bad boards, errors, and more. Plus, you can test and get a prototype of a single PCB to ensure that everything is working and functioning in the best ways possible before you order thousands of boards for production. This reduces testing and production costs, reduces waste, and helps everyone become more efficient with their PCBs.
Quicker, Easier, and More Efficient
Even the process of SMT is much quicker to set up, saving on initial costs. There is no drilling required, which saves a huge step and expense in the production process. Plus, the boards can be made quickly because they are repeated time and again, with a single process that is streamlined for optimal efficiency. The components are also able to be selectively soldered, with customization for each component available as needed. It’s all about making technology better and making the production process more efficient is the first step.
Stability and Performance
Surface mount technology is also much more stable than drilled and otherwise attached components. SMT allows better mechanical performance and durability, even under high vibrations or shaking conditions. These printed boards are more compact but still feature high-end components, meaning they can also be packed in tighter for more security in any environment. These boards even have lower resistance and induction to reduce the RF signal effects and provide more reliable performance.
The List Goes On
There are so many different benefits to using surface mounting in today’s printed circuit boards. From the improved production process to better performance in application, there are plenty of perks that will keep companies capitalizing on this technology for as long as they can. That is, at least until something better comes along. Any company that is working with PCBs needs to consider the benefits of surface mounted technology if they’re not already using it. It’s leading the way in PCB manufacturing and it’s waiting to help anyone who needs it.
To learn more about the various advantages of SMT technology and what it can do for your circuit board printing needs, contact the team at Advanced Circuits. We’ve been working with PCBs and utilizing the latest technologies and solutions for years, giving you peace of mind that you’ll get the best results when you work with us. From prototyping to full production, we can do it all, so call us today.