Everything you need to know about Printed Circuit Board Assemblies

Overview

Printed Circuit Board assembly is the integration of circuit boards, components, and electronic accessories. Integrating the assembly workflow with production and PCB manufacturing processes is crucial to meet the highest quality standards. The Printed Circuit Board Assembly process itself comprises both manual and automated steps. Before addressing step 1, it is important to understand the basic PCBs and associated components involved.

Basic variations of PCBs

  • Single-sided PCBs: Copper layer installed only on one side; the other is earmarked for components
  • Double-sided/Multilayer PCBs: Two or more copper layers installed on their sides with uncompromised circuit integrity

Common types of PCB bases:

  • Rigid PCBs: Inflexible bases made of materials like fiberglass, epoxies or phenolics.
  • Flexible PCBs: Flexible bases made of high-temperature plastic such as Kapton.
  • Metal Core PCBs: Metalcore bases that efficiently spread heat to protect sensitive board components.

Considering the fragile nature of PCBs, they must be heavily safeguarded against rough usage, periodical wear-and-tear, or harsh environmental conditions. Selecting the right mounting technologies can go a long way to ensure a smooth assembly.

Popular mounting technologies

Surface Mount Technology:  At the time of PCB Manufacturing and assembly, resistors or diodes are placed onto the board’s surface for small size components and integrated circuits 

Thru-Hole Technology: Plugs leads and wires through holes on the board; perfect-fit for large components such as capacitors.

Major steps in PCB assembly

Step 1: Solder Paste

The very first step of Printed Circuit Board Assembly is the application of solder paste to the board. Assemblers apply the paste to specific parts where components will eventually be placed. In the case of wave soldering, the solder is provided by the respective machine.

Step 2: Pick and Place

The Pick and Place machine is generally a robotic device that places the surface mount components on the PCB.

Step 3: Reflow Soldering

After the solder paste and components are in place, step 3 is about all solidification which ensures that components remain on the board. 

Step 4: Inspection 

The assembled board must be tested to identify poor connection quality or short circuits so that its functionality can meet stringent quality control standards. 

  • Visual inspection
  • X-ray Inspection
Step 5: Testing

From running simulations to review assembly effectiveness to monitoring performance of individual components, testing must be comprehensively performed.

  • Automated Optical Inspection Testing can amplify the accuracy and consistency of production since they easily overcome the barriers faced by manual practices. It helps in keeping costs as low as possible by detecting faults at an early stage.
  • In-Circuit Testing ensures individual measurement of each component to make sure that it performs as per specifications. They are best suited for high volume production lines.
  • Functional Testing is performed at the final stage of the manufacturing process. It creates a simulated environment to test the whole PCB assembly before the product reaches the market.

Critical failures in PCB assembly

Failure of component design

While assembling, components may be incorrectly placed, which can lead to rising production costs. In other cases, space constraints or improper board thickness can lead to overheating, which can lead to burned-out parts, leakage of fluids, or soldering problems.

Wear and tear

However durable a PCB may be, it has a limited survival timeline. Due to failing PCB components, a lot of rework – including inspection and analysis – may be required. Eventually, there will be a need to replace the system entirely.

Environmental conditions

The delicate nature of PCB components makes them incapable of withstanding varied environmental conditions. From moisture and debris to dust and accidental impact caused by harsh weather, they cause failures such as power surges or thermal stress.

Conclusion

In the PCB Manufacturing and assembly process, there are many individual stages that must seamlessly occur for the final product to be of high quality. The steps involved in each one must be compatible with the next so that the production journey is clear, smooth, and as quick as possible. It is also important to ensure that any manufacturing or production-related problems are immediately identified in order to prevent any failures to the overall output.


What Do You Wish To Manufacture Today?

From prototype builds to full production runs, contact V-J Electronic Assemblies and let us simplify your electronic manufacturing requirements.


CALL TERRY
281.313.6111


EMAIL
sales@vjassemblies.com
tdixon@vjassemblies.com

What is Wire Harness Assembly, and how it can boost your production capabilities

The wire harness assembly is a key catalyst in manufacturing and delivering a wide variety of products. From simple home appliances to complex military equipment, wire harnesses are used to pass electricity and signals from one point to the other. They ensure the maximum performance of the equipment while providing the economy of physical space. In a nutshell, a wire harness assembly is the binding process of wires, terminations, and connectors within insulated materials. It keeps the components organized and provides a layer of protection in case of harsh conditions, abrasions or friction.

Wire harness assemblies are often confused with cable harness assembly. These two are different because the latter has only two endpoints whereas the former can have multiple endpoints that run in different directions.

Steps in the wire harness manufacturing process

Design
Every product has its own unique design. Similarity, wire harness Manufacturers require custom designs. Design is based on the wire harnesses are used for, and the type of materials they are exposed to during integration.
Prototyping
Wire harness prototyping helps in testing the computability of the harness with the equipment. By showcasing first-hand how the product works in real-time, prototyping leads to efficient performance.
Wire Cutting

The wires must be cut to the right length and breadth using a cutting machine. It helps in fitting the wires as per the exact space requirements so that they can coexist with other electrical components for both wire and cable harness assembly.
Wire Stripping

The next step is to expose the wire cores by stripping the ends. Only after this can the terminals or modules be connected.
Assembling
Soldering is used to seal the wire ends, after which they are integrated and routed – using an assembly board. The wire harness assembly is the last stage where the design specifications are met.
Testing
Electricity safety testing must be carried out for each individual wire harness for all relevant specifications. Some of the procedures include resistance testing, continuity testing, and hipot testing.

Benefits of wire harness assembly

Easy installation

In many cases, a lot of wiring is to be integrated within different components for the product to be manufactured. Using a wire harness, they can be bundled or grouped, which saves precious time during the assembly stage. It can also be customized to ensure optimum installation time for your product lines.

Cost efficiency 

Wire harness assemblies boost your production capabilities to undertake costly repairs. Your technicians can easily dismantle the wires and fix the issue before seamlessly putting it back together. You can also cut down operational costs by using preassembled wire harnessing. 

Stronger security measures

Since multiple wires are integrated within a single harness, individual components get safeguarded against dust, intense heat, friction, and other external factors. The assembled structure keeps the wires in place, which insulates them from being affected by moisture. Wire harness assembly also reduces the threat of electrical fires.

Room for customization  

Wire harness assemblies involve flexible molds that can be customized so that you can handpick the features that best suit your product needs. For instance, various routers and clips are available for any extent of durability you may require.

Partnering for operational excellence 

Even in production houses that are equipped to adopt the latest technology advancements, it is near impossible to automate the entire wire harness assembly stage. There are several non-automated steps such as installing wires in specific lengths, running them through conduits and crimping more than one wire at a time. These intricate steps are still carried out either manually or with semi-automatic machinery. Hence, wire harness assembly can be a time-consuming process for some of your larger projects. 

It is why you need an expert like V-J Assemblies wire harness manufacturers by your side. From simple wire assemblies to complex cable harnesses, V-J can guarantee world-class reliability. Read more about our cutting-edge wire harness and cable assembly solutions.


What Do You Wish To Manufacture Today?

From prototype builds to full production runs, contact V-J Electronic Assemblies and let us simplify your electronic manufacturing requirements.


CALL TERRY
281.313.6111


EMAIL
sales@vjassemblies.com
tdixon@vjassemblies.com

Electronics Contract Manufacturing – Overview

Electronics contract manufacturing (ECM) services comprise a wide range of designing, assembling, producing, and testing capabilities for electronic components and printed circuit board assembly. From sourcing world-class electronic components at cost-effective prices to managing repair and refurbishment, ECM services help enterprises to handle the increasing complexities of manufacturing electronic products while reducing costs.In 2018, the global electronic contract manufacturing and design services market size was valued at USD 391.4 billion; it is expected to increase at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2019 to 2025.

What are the major components of ECM

  • Surface Mount Assembly
  • Surface Mount Assembly (BGA)
  • Manual & Automated Thru-Hole Assembly
  • Electromechanical Assembly
  • Cable & Harness Assembly
  • Conformal Coating
  • Potting and Encapsulation
  • Contract Electronics Manufacturing Services Quality Systems
  • Design For Manufacturing (DFM)
  • Order Fulfilment
  • Aftermarket Services 

Why you should opt for ECM services

With electronic manufacturers on the look-out for innovative ways to scale their operations amid budgetary constraints, contract services are a natural fit to ensure a more productive business environment. Some of their unique advantages are: 

  • A one-stop-shop for all PCB manufacturing needs – from l circuit board design to product assembly 
  • Leaner and more agile manufacturing capabilities for increased operational efficiency 
  • Faster production cycles to align high-demand products to tight deadlines 
  • Smoother supply chain management by reducing ownership of delivery and delinking complex internal processes 
  • Improved overall product quality with adherence to the highest testing standards and quality control
  • More significant profit margins powered by the ability to scale production at lower costs
  • A shorter route to eco-friendly and energy-efficient electronics
  • Easier to troubleshoot issues to avoid costly warranty replacements

Questions to ask your ECM partner

Can you support heavy capital investments with adequate funds for any additional requirements?
Do you have relevant certifications required to build the electronic assembly? Do you have a reliable ERP system to manage large sets of data? Can you manage the production of IoT and wireless components?

Current challenges of Electronics Contract Manufacturing

Shortened product lifecycles

With unpredictable customer behavior changing market trends, contract manufacturers in usa must be in a position to introduce new products with quality assurance. Unless their New Product Introduction (NPI) processes are effective, it would be challenging to meet product goals.

Reduced operating margins

With today’s milestone technology advancements, commoditization has lowered the cost of innovation. Along with the worldwide competition, the race is on for ECM vendors to use product differentiation to work with higher margins.

Low on energy – high on green

Considering the recent demand for low energy consumption practices, it has become increasingly relevant (and in some cases – critical) for contract manufacturing PCB aasembly to adopt sustainable strategies. Whether adhering to carbon cap for compliance or attracting eco-conscious customers, the responsibility to conserve energy has never been more important. 

The era of smart devices

Smart products that come equipped with the latest integration capabilities continue to rule the roost as top consumer goods. With the global IoT device market expected to reach around 158,140 million USD in 2024, it can either unlock your potential or leave you behind the competition. 

Complex supply chain dynamics

In today’s global economy, it’s necessary for internal and external resources to stay abreast of different international regulatory standards. Otherwise, it may lead to many compliance and traceability issues that turn into major operational barriers.

 Latest trends in Electronics Contract Manufacturing

A call for going green In a bit to comply with environmental compliance laws, the call for going green is becoming inclusive of the entire product lifecycle – production and assembly to disposal. Taking greener decisions has also taken precedence because of the growing importance of sustainable CSR practices.
Focus on the medical sector The healthcare and life sciences industry has been at the forefront of process innovation. With the digital health market reported to grow to over $90 billion by 2025, contract manufacturing PCB aasembly are looking to offer product design, logistics, and repair, as well.
Flexible PCB design The need for product miniaturization and intelligent terminal electronics has turned flexible PCB manufacturing designs into lightweight and high-density alternatives to traditional ones. Based on a substrate material, they come with inbuilt flexibility that improves overall performance while meeting quick demands.
AI and Automation  On one side, AI-led robotics are reinventing research and development efforts in creating future-proofed products. On the other, process automation is augmenting production and assembly capabilities. Planning the factory of the future is today’s priority.

What V-J offers 

Procurement and Material Management
V-J offers expert guidance, from start to finish, as a single sourcing partner to eliminate risks of material obsolescence or unpredictable costs.  
PCB Manufacturing
V-J provides more scheduling flexibility during the PCB manufacturing process while reducing inventory liability. 
Box Build & System Integration
V-J offers end-to-end Box Build services for rapid test development cycles, customizable delivery models and quicker time-to-market.
Inspection and Testing
V-J incorporates advanced modeling software for error-free assemblies and offers custom-designed tests on individual and fully assembled systems. 

Why V-J is the ECM partner of choice

  • A skilled pool of consulting and engineering experts with domain-rich knowledge 
  • Rapid production methodologies to ensure blazing fast delivery 
  • Flexible to evolving market landscapes and changing customer demands 

Conclusion

Many Contract Manufacturers in USA future-proofed companies outsource their product lines to Electronic Contract Manufacturers for a variety of reasons such as introducing new products faster, enjoying higher margins, eliminating supply chain complexities and freeing internal res. However, they are also relying on ECMs so that they can sharpen their focus on growth strategies instead of worrying about cumbersome production, assembly or testing processes. Whether low-volume or high-volume production requirements, V-J can be your one-stop-shop manufacturing facility.


What Do You Wish To Manufacture Today?

From prototype builds to full production runs, contact V-J Electronic Assemblies and let us simplify your electronic manufacturing requirements.


CALL TERRY
281.313.6111


EMAIL
sales@vjassemblies.com
tdixon@vjassemblies.com