Monday, October 26, 2009

The Advantages of Surface-Mount Technology For PCBs

PCB (printed circuit board) technology has come a long way since they were first invented in the 1930's! The construction of electrical circuits via through-hole technology was largely the norm until IBM began to seriously improve the practicality of surface-mount PCBs. Today's surface-mount technology allows for the mass production of electronics and has greatly reduced the cost to the consumer. Here are some of the other advantages of surface-mount technology for PCBs.
-- Surface-mount allows for much smaller components to be used which, in turn, allows for smaller, more portable and lightweight electronic device applications.
-- Because the components can be so much smaller, the complexity of the PCB can be increased over the same or a smaller surface area. There can be many more components and many more connections as well than there could ever be using through-hole techniques.
-- The soldering process involved with surface-mount can be done on a large scale via automation. This expedites production and reduces the need for man-power.
-- Placement of components is much more reliable than it would be if it were done via through-hole or even if humans soldered by hand. The reason for this is that the natural surface tension created when the soldering sheet becomes molten in the oven naturally pulls the components into their exact proper positions.
-- Surface-mount PCBs are much stronger and resistant to external stress than their through-hole counterparts. When an electronic device is dropped or shaken, if the components have been surface-mounted the electrical connection is much more likely to remain intact.
Most PCBs today are manufacturer using surface-mount technologies. Although the processes may vary, the concept remains the same: surface-mount is still the best thing going.

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