The Latest in PCB Assembly Technology

Mar 13, 2018PCB assembly, Testing

The Latest in PCB Assembly Technology

Assembling the best printed circuit boards (PCBs) requires the most advanced equipment. A variety of machines perform different operations throughout manufacture, from shaping the boards and placing components through to soldering, coating and testing. As the electronics manufacturing industry moves on so quickly, it is vital for contract PCB assembly service providers to have the most up-to-date, modern machinery too.

At MPE Electronics, we are committed to continuous investment in our equipment to ensure we are always able to meet our customers’ requirements – we’ll even consider such an investment just to meet a customer’s requirements.

Pick and Place Machines

These robotic machines do exactly what their name suggests. They pick up PCB components, such as capacitors, resistors and integrated circuits, and place them on to the board. Components are fed into the machine using smart tape or stick feeders and the most advanced machines have the capacity for large numbers of them to feed in. Another feature of the high-end pick and place machines is their ability to deal with a very wide range of components, some very small indeed, and to do everything quickly. Operators use an integrated computer system to programme the machine, whilst high resolution cameras inside ensure components are placed correctly.

Reflow Ovens

The purpose of these machines is reflow soldering, used primarily on surface mount assemblies, although rarely on through-hole assemblies where wave soldering is more commonly used, a process requiring specific areas for heating and cooling to solidify the solder without damaging the delicate components. A conveyor belt carries the boards through the different temperature zones, so the time spent in each can be precisely controlled.

Stencil Printers

Another surface mount machine, this is used earlier in the process than the previous two. It is used to place the solder onto the board before the components are added. Manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic versions are available. The most advanced automatic versions can apply solder very quickly and accurately. Like the pick and place machines, it does what the name suggests, using a stencil to delineate where the solder should be placed on the board. Advanced machines have automatic stencil cleaning to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.

Wave Soldering Machines

Used for both surface mounts and through hole assemblies, these machines are used to solder the components to the boards. For this process, the PCB is passed across a pan of solder, which has been pumped to create a wave effect. The temperature of the solder, the speed of the conveyor and how much the board is warmed before the process starts, can all have a huge impact on the quality and functionality of the final product.

Having the most advanced equipment is essential to fabricating the best quality PCBs. At MPE we only use the best and most advanced technology to create high quality PCBs.

Talk to us now about how we can work with you by calling us on 01825 764822 or emailing

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