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What Are PCBs and SMT and PTH Assembly?

12th February 2014

What Are PCBs?

PCBs are important components in electronic devices. They are used in the manufacturing of most electronic gadgets and are also used in the automobile industry, military applications, aerospace technology and medical science.

The vast majority of the billions of electronic devices on the planet will have at least one printed circuit board inside. So what is a PCB?

Basically, a PCB is a sheet of non-conducting material which has had some copper tracks fixed to it. The main function of a PCB is to allow the convenient connection of electronic components via the conducting copper tracks on its surface.

PCB assembly is usually categorised into two types. The oldest type is PTH assembly, which involves the drilling of very small holes into the board so that components can be mounted on it. The main advantage of PTH assembly is that electrical components can be mounted on both sides of the board, which saves space and money. These days, PTH assembly is generally considered to be a little out-dated but it is still widely used, particularly in applications where budget is important.

The second category of PCB assembly is known as SMT assembly (surface mount technology). SMT doesn't require the drilling of any holes because the circuit boards are designed with conducting beds on to which the components are mounted using more advanced tools and equipment. SMT is a more robust form of PSB assembly compared to PTH because there aren't any holes to form weak points.

For those looking for a PCB solution, it is very important to consider both SMT and PTH assembly and to make a decision based on the circuit and device requirement.

What Are Printed Circuit Board Assembly Services?

Designing a circuit board requires much expertise, skill and a lot of research and testing in order to ensure that a particular board functions reliably.

For this reason, the majority of electronic device manufacturers outsource their circuitry needs to expert companies. These experts manufacture and test boards according to the exact specification they are provided with. They also work with their customer to improve the design and performance of the PCB in question.

Another advantage of using experts is that they can provide large numbers of identical boards relatively inexpensively whilst guaranteeing quality.

So if you are looking for a specific PCB solution or would like to discuss which solution is best for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.