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Miniaturization Drives Surface Mount Assembly Growth

28th March 2014

Demand for miniaturization in the electronics market, as well as the growing complexity of devices, has led to the need to pack a greater component density in any printed circuit board assembly.

So surface mount assembly – a process in which components are soldered on to a circuit board instead of being inserted through existing holes in the board — has become the dominant method of manufacturing electronic devices for applications ranging from medical implants to aerospace electronics and even LED lighting.


The elimination of the need for leads to be inserted through the circuit board has a number of advantages:

  • Small components can be placed closer together
  • The overall packing density of the components increases
  • Both sides of the board can be used for mounting components
  • Smaller printed circuit boards can be used
  • There is no need to drill holes in the circuit board
  • Spurious capacity and induction are eliminated

Overcoming the Disadvantages

However, surface mount assembly (also called SMT assembly) has a number of disadvantages:

  • A human workforce may have difficulty in handling small surface mount assembly components
  • SMT components can be costlier than the leaded variety

Nevertheless, improved manufacturing processes and inspection procedures are reducing costs and eliminating other difficulties. Nowadays SMT equipment is manufactured with the aim of preventing any defects in the first place rather than inspecting the finished device for potential faults.

LED Lights

Much of the demand for SMT equipment has come from the growing popularity of high-performance light emitting diodes (LEDs). This has persuaded manufacturers to ramp up their SMT production capacities to address the consumer demand.

SMT technology improves the intensity of LED lighting and can enhance the lights’ illumination and even the colour uniformity. This also improves the reliability of the LED at high voltages. Miniaturization is another advantage, as the LED can be manufactured at reduced lengths, widening the potential range of future applications.

Smart Vehicles

The demand for all types of SMT equipment is projected to increase as vehicles are equipped with improved safety features, connectivity systems and even top-quality entertainment systems.

Growth in SMT demand has also been buoyed by the need for electronics equipment of high accuracy and versatility and improved speed.

Feel free to contact us if you need more information.