Why Additive Manufacturing is the Right for your PCB Electronics Assembly?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 8, 2021
PCB Electronics Assembly

Additive manufacturing is fast emerging as a buzzword. You sure have heard how it is revolutionizing the way in which organizations are able to design and manufacture their products. However, what exactly is additive manufacturing and is it right for your electronics PCB assembly? If these are some of the questions in your mind, here are all the details you need to know.

Simply put, Additive manufacturing is the process of using 3D data to make objects. This is as opposed to the traditional subtractive process where the entire surface of PCB is plated with copper and is etched away from the areas where it is not needed. In PCB electronics manufacturing, the importance of additive manufacturing especially lies in creating complex parts. Little surprise then that it with many advantages including but not limited to:

  • Flexibility of design
  • Improved speed
  • Waste reduction, and more.

Advantages of PCB Electronics Assembly in some degree of detail:

Flexible Printed Circuit Board Design

When it comes to traditional manufacturing, you tend to face a whole lot of roadblocks especially with complicated and intricate designs. With miniaturization on the rise, this issue is only going to go up. 3D printing frees you from these hassles, as it offers ease even with complicated designs.

High Speed PCB Design

With prototypes, speed is of essence. After all, improved time to market can be a major competitive advantage. Besides with prototypes, you also need to have the ability to make design modifications quickly so that you do not have to face costly errors at a later date. 3D printing offers these exact advantages. It allows you to make quick prototypes, as also make quick modifications.

Reduced need to stock inventory

With additive technology you could print on demand. What it means is that you need not stock products. This not only takes away many logistical hassles it also significantly lowers cost as you do not have to incur warehousing costs

Reduced waste

It follows from the above that you have reduced material cost as well as reduced wastage, both of which add to the product efficiency significantly.

Low on weight

The added advantage with additive manufacturing is that it relies on usage of thermoplastics or polymer. Check out the guide How to enhance the efficiency of PCB Assembly Manufacturing.

While 3D printing comes with the above advantages, any change needs to be undertaken for the right reasons. It is, therefore, imperative that you keep the following issues in mind when opting for it:

  • With 3D printing, you will have to make provision for some amount of post processing essentially to clean up the surface finish.
  • Since additive manufacturing involves printing in layers, one has to be prepared for some amount of risk of breakage as there is fear of the layers coming apart.
  • Ideally additive manufacturing is better suited to manufacturing with complex and intricate parts
  • If your requirement is to produce in low volumes, 3D manufacturing offers a good alternative as opposed to traditional manufacturing.
  • If you deal with high value items where smooth performance is an absolute non-compromisable, 3D printing works well
  • 3D printing also reduces lead times considerably and hence is well suited for production where time-to-market is critical.
  • If you require the product to be customized to your bespoke needs, once again you could benefit from 3D printing. Traditional manufacturing may not be in a position to offer you a whole lot of customization.
  • Another major advantage with 3D printing is that it allows you to consolidate the number of parts. What this, in turn, means is that you stand to benefit in terms of cost. The added advantage also is that with fewer parts, the possibility of errors is that much less.

To sum up, while 3D printing offers a whole host of advantages, you need to evaluate your distinct requirements before you make the decision of opting for it. Your electronics manufacturing partner, on account of experience in dealing with such requirements will be in the best position to guide you through your decision-making process.

Technotronix is one of the leading printed circuit board manufacturers based in the USA. We have over 4 decades of experience in providing innovative PCB Assembly services using modern technologies and latest machinery. We are adhering to strict high-quality standards and compliant with the RoHS quality management system. We capable to fulfill the varied need of our customer from the simple board to the most complex board for PCB prototype to production.

Top Factors to Consider While Outsourcing the Box Build PCB Assembly!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 23, 2021
Box Build PCB Assembly

Box build, also sometimes referred to as systems integration, can mean a whole range of things – from a PCBA in a small enclosure to a complex electro-mechanical system that includes enclosure fabrication, installation and routing of cables or wire harnesses, and installation of sub-assemblies and components.

Today, it has become a fairly common practice among Original Equipment Manufacturers to outsource box build assembly services to a contract manufacturer. Not without reason. The advantages of outsourcing Box Build Assembly to a partner well-versed with the process, are many. From having experts with the right know-how and experience to getting custom products at cost-effective prices, you tend to benefit on all counts. However, while outsourcing Box Build PCB Assembly, there are a number of factors that you need to keep in mind to get desirable results. Here are some of them:

Bill of Material (BOM)

Bill of Material (BOM) – In outsourcing your assembly, the one thing that is critical to put together, is the bill of material. Simply put, a BOM is a list of components that are required to manufacture the product. It is important, therefore, to put together this list meticulously, ensuring that the parts mentioned aren’t obsolete or not recommended for new designs. It is also important for you to mention which parts are to be sourced by the provider and which will be provided by you, so that there is no ambiguity. In turn, this ensures there are no production delays at a later stage.

Assembly

Assembly – It is prudent to provide 3D models that helps the outsourcing PCB Assembly to come up with a proper visualization. CAD Models help the EMS provider to get a proper understanding of the placement and positioning of components.

Schematics

Schematics – Circuit Diagrams are yet another requirement which help the EMS provider to put together an error-free assembly.

Sample Units

Sample Units – Particularly if your drawings or schematics are unclear, the need for sample units becomes even more pronounced. By way of sample units the EMS provider can get a fair understanding of your exact requirements and ensure consistent builds.

Dimensions

Dimensions – It is important for the Box Build PCB Assembly provider to have the exact details of the size and weight of the product. It not only helps the Box Build Assembly Process, the information is crucial for the provider to make necessary arrangements for storage, handling and shipping.

Testing

Testing – When you outsource the box build pcb assembly, you also need to clearly state the safety testing that you require. Whether you require a flash test or earth bond test, it should be specified in advance. In fact the provider with his vast experience can also come in handy to indicate to you what testing processes should be used.

The other factors to keep in mind in choosing the outsourcing PCB Assembly partner, is to check for their credentials related to:

  • Industry-specific needs – It is important to see if the company meets industry regulations and standards
  • On-time delivery – This will significantly impact your time-to-market, which is a great source of competitive advantage.
  • Support – Checking to see if the EMS partner has 24 X 7 support and can respond to your queries promptly is essential.
  • Volume requirement – It will also be prudent to check whether the partner is capable of handling the volumes required by you.
  • Custom requirements – It is judicious to ensure that the PCB Assembly partner is able to offer bespoke products as per your unique requirements
  • Ethical practices – It will be worthwhile to ensure that the partner follows ethical practices.

The key to success when working with a PCB Assembly USA, partner is to work in close co-ordination. Not only should all necessary information be shared, all communication lines should be open so that there are no gaps and therefore no scope of ambiguity at a later date.

Turnkey Solutions

Supporting a wide range of industries, a Box build PCB Assembly provider can offer turnkey solutions including but not limited to:

Product assembly

System level assembly

Testing

Product configuration

Packaging and warehousing

After sales service

  • Product assembly
  • System level assembly
  • Testing
  • Product configuration
  • Packaging and warehousing
  • After sales service

The right partner will have the necessary experience, capabilities and certifications to not just meet but also exceed your requirements, allowing you to ensure that your internal resources can focus on core strategic tasks.

Our strategic alliance and multiple vendor partnerships in the United States and overseas have made it possible to assemble PCB’s overseas when the parameter of a project requires it. We have many strong, long-standing partnerships with experts in a wide range of countries to assure that your project gets the same high level of quality and attention as projects done on-site at our facility. Our overseas vendors have been specially chosen because they are committed to meeting the exact standards of every project we take on.

Technotronix Inc is a California based PCB Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Company offering Box Build PCB, PCB Prototyping, PCB Fabrication, Turn Key PCB Assembly, PCB Material Management, SMT PCB Assembly, Flexible PCB Production and many more Services as per custom requirements and specification. Get a Quick Quote for PCB Box Build!

8 Things to Help in PCB Assembly That You Must Know

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 28, 2021
Things That Helps in PCB Assembly

So you are working on your prototype and are keen that it goes into production? Here are some things that you absolutely must keep in mind so that the subsequent phases are not full of overwhelm and costly mistakes can be avoided. Read on:

8 Things that Help in Electronic PCB Assembly

Communication

There is nothing quite like communicating clearly with your PCB Assembly manufacturer. In fact, they can be a huge resource for you when it comes to apprising you of new product techniques, industry best practices and more.  As for communication from your end, ensure that everything is laid out clearly. The designators that go into each part, polarity markings and the like deserve your attention. Similarly ensure that polarity markings especially with LEDs aren’t swapped between the cathode and anode. Also ensure that reference designators are kept off vias and other such spots where the text might be broken and therefore hard to read.

Structure 

To ensure that issues aren’t faced during PCB assembly, it is important that you stick to tried and tested standards. For example what kind of PCB finish that you are looking at or what is the heaviness of copper. It is advisable to stick to 3 fiduciaries with a common component orientation.

PCB Production Cost

It is best to look for ways to optimize production costs early on. However it is important to gauge the pros and cons associated with every decision. For example, offshoring PCB assembly may look like a probable way to reduce costs. What you need to keep in mind there are the risks associated with below-par parts as that can offset not just the cost advantage but also prove to be risky when it comes to company reputation. The other aspect to watch out for is to do with delays when it comes to timely delivery as that too can have costly consequences. Check out the some of the biggest influences that affect PCB Manufacturing Cost.

Naming

Another very important thing to pay attention to is to do with markings of components in your design. Ensure that there is proper labeling of all components in the design and they are numbered as well. This will take care of any issues that can arise out of any differences in nomenclature.

Low availability parts

You definitely do not want a situation where you are ready with the design but cannot move ahead on account of the fact that a particular part isn’t available or that it is a sole-sourced part. It is better to go with parts that are widely available so that you do not lose precious time.

PCB Board Efficiency

Improved board efficiency demands that as far as possible you stick to standard board sizes. For example, 406mm x 508mm and 305mm x 457mm are ideal.  Bigger doesn’t always mean better. While a large board will be easier to route, but may mean increased costs. On the other hand while a small board may lend itself to easier inspections, it may cost more on account of extra layers. It is best to go with standard sizes, therefore. Similarly well-designed component footprints are another must-have.

Watch out for PCB manufacturing issues

There could be thermal issues with placing large parts next to smaller ones.  For example a large part may not allow the solder for the small part to melt fully. Similarly internal copper planes could overlap only on half the part. Being mindful of these thermal manufacturing issues will ensure that there aren’t errors later than could bring the entire project to halt.

Double check all files

Last but definitely not the least, double check all files before they are sent out. Ensure that the bills of materials are updated. In case you are sending the parts kit, it will help to cross check that all the parts are in order and that the part numbers are suitably marked.

The above will ensure that the assembly process does not brim with issues that cost you money and effort and delay your time to market.

Technotronix offers professional Electronic PCB Assembly with 40 years of expertise. Our accurate PCB assembly process meets the quality standards, including ISO-9001:2015, RoHS, and more. You can rely on our PCB design tools that, in turn, lead to that perfect PCB Assembly. Our superior engineering capabilities mean that each board matches your exact requirements and technical specifications. If you have any questions or any requirements related to PCB assembly service, please feel free to contact us via email at sales@technotronix.us or call at 714/630-9200.

6 Common PCB Assembly Mistakes and Their Corrective Actions

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 14, 2021
PCB Assembly Mistakes

When it comes to reliability of the final product, high-quality PCB fabrication and assembly plays a key role. With PCB designs becoming more and more complex, lack of proper planning can lead to high failure rates. Read on to ensure that you understand these common faults, what causes them and most importantly how they can be prevented.

Top 6 common PCB manufacturing defects that a little prudence can be avoided

#1 No Design for Manufacturability Checks

The most common mistake made is that early design for manufacturability checks are not conducted. These significantly reduce the risk of common PCB faults that are known to occur. These checks, when conducted, at the design stage itself ensure that any corrections that may be necessary are made so that costly errors can be avoided in the manufacturability stage. DFM enables manufacturers to look at the design of the product in terms of aspects such as dimensions, materials, functionality and more. DFM also makes it possible to find alternate, optimal manufacturing methods. Therefore, it helps to save both time and money as design flaws if any, are caught well before manufacturing begins. The lack of these checks, on the other hand, leads to costly halts in production and wasted runs.

 #2 Solder Bridges

This is one of the most common defects in PCB Assembly. As its name suggests, it takes place when two or more pads become connected creating a bridge. The added issue with solder bridges is that they are very hard to detect on account of their size. Solder bridges are known to happen primarily on account of:

  • Insufficient solder layer between pads
  • Insufficient gap between pads
  • Incorrectly placed components
  • Improper seal between the stencil and bare board during the printing process.

An undetected solder bridge can lead to PCB damage on account of burning of components. It is therefore important to take note of the above factors to prevent solder bridges.

#3 Plating Voids

Uneven copper coating on the inside walls of holes on the PCB leads to a situation where the passage of electricity from through holes is impacted. This can be on account of several factors such as:

  • Material contamination
  • Contaminated holes
  • Air bubbles in the material

To ensure that plating voids are avoided, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions thoroughly during use. This could be in terms of the correct speed of the drill or recommended number of drill hits. A drill that is too fast can create issues with rough surfaces being created. While a drill that is too slow can lead to drill smear.

#4 De-Wetting/Non-Wetting

Another aspect to avoid is de-wetting as well as non-wetting. De-wetting is a condition that results when molten solder coats a surface and then recedes. This leaves irregularly shaped mounds of solder. Non-wetting, on the other hand, is a condition in which there is partial adherence of molten solder to the surface and the metal remains partially exposed.

To avoid these, it is important to ensure that the components have not expired and that the flux hasn’t been overused.

#5 Electromagnetic Issues

Design flaws can often lead to a situation where the PCB suffers on account of the damaging effect of electromagnetic interference. It is therefore very important to keep this aspect in mind and work on areas such as increasing PCB ground area so that electromagnetic interference is reduced and PCB can work effectively.

#6 Physical Damage

Oftentimes physical damage that results from environmental stresses during manufacturing also leads to PCB failure. For example, dropping of the PCB during prototyping. This could result in damage to components. The factor that adds to the complexity is that sometimes the damage may not be physically visible. The only option in such cases is to replace the PCB so that you do not have to incur costlier errors once the product is ready or worse still if you have gone to market with the product.

While the above list is by no means comprehensive and there can be a whole lot of factors that can result in PCB issues, these are the most common ones that can be easily avoided with some planning. In fact, with PCBs becoming smaller in size and more complex, there are many aspects need a close watch on, to ensure success. It is imperative, therefore, that you partner with experts who can preempt many of these issues, which if not stymied early can have far-reaching consequences.

Technotronix offers PCB Assembly service with 40 years of expertise. Our accurate PCB assembly process meets the quality standards, including ISO 9001:2015, RoHS, and more. Our superior engineering capabilities mean that each board matches your exact requirements and technical specifications. In case if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at sales@technotronix.us