With advancements in electronics, applications market segments such as electronic device manufacturing, medical, defense, and many other crucial sectors have evolved tremendously with the implementation of PCBAs in devices. Additionally, new age electronics such as IoT, AR/VR, cloud storage, have also gained huge traction. This has driven the demand for PCB manufacturing and PCBAs in terms of their volume as well as design complexity. Process automation is key to meet the growing demand of maintaining accuracy, implementing testing techniques, and more. This assures high volume production, accuracy, error reduction, consistency, and reduced cost and time. Hence, electronics contract manufacturing service providers implement automation at all levels from the manufacturing of blank boards, layout, component mounting, drilling vias, inspection & testing, packaging, and shipping. This post discusses what goes into automating a PCB manufacturing process, its benefits, and more.


What PCB Assembly Automation Comprises of and How Manufacturers Benefit from It?

Automation in a PCB manufacturing facility is essential for PCB manufacturers to meet large demands on time and without compromising quality, staying ahead in the market. Bots are used for various tasks such as pick and place components, routing boards for testing, and so on. Here is more information about automation in the PCBA process:

  • The whole system comprises advanced software, bots, control systems, and hardware devices & machines. All of this helps ensure end-to-end automation.
  • Automation is implemented at various levels such as using software like CAD enhances the speed and accuracy aspects.
  • AOI or automated optical inspection testing as well as functional testing after basic inspection of the boards are instances of automation in testing and inspection of PCBs.
  • When assembling PCBs, there is a proper flow in which an automation system works. In case of SMT parts, solder paste is applied and reflow soldering is performed. This PCBA then undergoes Solder Paste Inspection which is an automated inspection of solder paste application. Wave soldering is performed if required and components are placed. It then moves for final inspection.
  • With automation systems in place, it is possible to fabricate boards of thin and small dimensions along with the required shape. Also, repetitive tasks can be performed easily with machines with the required consistency, regardless of volume.
  • Simulating the environment and testing PCBAs in it is also a crucial step in PCB process automation.
  • With automation, engineers can now focus on design optimization, cost reduction, and saving time. This has added value in terms of the functionality and reliability of the product. They can also spot the probable points of PCB failure, which can be fixed with the help of maintenance teams.
  • Issues such as signal losses, circuit shorting, electromagnetic interference (EMI), heat generation, and so on are better addressed through automated systems.
  • Automation systems comprise modern tools for analysis, simulation, and report generation, component library and more which are great time savers and value additions.

If you are a manufacturer of complex electromechanical or electronic equipment, you may require huge volumes of complex PCBAs that are multilayered with several components.  This requires expertise, experience, as well as automated processes to meet the exact requirement and fulfill demand in terms of volume. Ensure you partner with a reliable and experienced PCB manufacturing and assembly services provider that fulfils all of the above aspects. Be sure they understand your requirements well and offer customization accordingly. Suntronic Inc. has several years of market presence and a strong experience in PCB assembly of even the most complex PCBAs. Additionally, they have process automation in place and a well-equipped facility to fulfill the most complex demands of PCBAs.