What is through-hole electronics assembly?

Oct 13, 2020Applications, PCB assembly

What is through-hole electronics assembly?

Is through-hole manufacturing the PCB assembly process that you should use for your application?

This is a very important question because it is critical that you make the right choice when it comes to PCB assembly. Your choice of PCB assembly process has a direct impact on the efficiency and cost of your manufacturing process.

Although surface mount technology is the most common PCB assembly process, through-hole manufacturing is still used, in particular in certain industries. Knowing which process is best suited to your application is critical.

To help you make an informed decision and to help ensure that the quality and performance of your application are of the highest standard, we have put together this short guide to through-hole electronic assembly.

A brief guide to through-hole electronics assembly

While SMT is the most widely used PCB assembly process, through-hole assembly is still popular. It is frequently used to mount larger electronic components, such as transformers, connectors, semi-conductors and electrolytic capacitors, onto circuit boards.

Pre-formed components are threaded through pre-drilled holes and soldered onto circuit boards either by hand or using an automated process. Through-hole assembly is often used when components need to be mounted on both sides of a circuit board.

Which applications is through-hole electronics assembly suitable for?

Through-hole assembly provides a stronger mechanical bond between the circuit board and the application. This is because components which are soldered on the circuit board by either flow solder machine or by hand soldering, allows the solder to flow through the boards creating a stronger joint, which means that it offers an enhanced level of durability and reliability.

This enhanced strength and security make through-hole manufacturing the preferred assembly option for manufacturers in the aerospace and military industries.

When to use through-hole electronics assembly

The use of through-hole electronics assembly offers a number of benefits, which are important to consider when choosing which process to use for your application.

Through-hole PCB assembly is well suited to:

  • Applications that have to endure high levels of stress, either mechanical or environmental
  • Applications that have to operate at high speeds
  • Applications that have to operate at extreme temperatures, both hot and cold
  • Applications that have to operate in high-voltage conditions
  • Fast and straightforward prototyping

Through-hole manufacturing and your PCB assembly partner

This short guide provides a brief insight into through-hole electronics assembly, including what it involves and what applications it is suitable for. However, when making your choice, there may be factors that make your decision less clear.

This is where the expertise of your PCB assembly partner is invaluable. Choose the right partner and they will assess your assembly requirements and guide you towards the correct technology, whether it’s through-hole manufacturing or an alternative.

To find out how MPE Electronics PCB assembly services can benefit your business, contact us on +44 (0)1825 764822 or enquiries@mpe-electronics.co.uk.

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