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Surface Mount Technology (SMT) stencils are made of thin pliable material with openings corresponding to the pads of the component and holes in a PCB. The openings in the stencil allow the conductive ink to flow during the PCB etching process. They are a great way to quickly and accurately apply solder paste to the pad on a circuit board. The PCB stencils help save money, enhance quality, and speed up the manufacturing process. Stencils can be made for single- or multi-layered boards, as well as large boards with many layers. At Suntronic, we design several types of sturdy and durable SMT stencils that are suited to your specific manufacturing needs, manufacturing methods, and components used in the board, among others.
Types of Stencils We Offer at Suntronic
The SMT stencils helps you to make the PCB assembly smooth and hassle-free. The stencil is used as a template for etching, which forms the basic structure of your PCB. It is important to design the stencil with great care and precision to ensure the finest quality finish. Our people own the experience, skill, and expertise, which enable us in designing the following types of PCB SMT stencils in quick turn-around time.
- Framed SMT Stencils: Framed SMT stencils are easy to use and will help you immensely when it comes to soldering SMT parts. These laser-cut stencils are permanently mounted on a frame and ideal for high-volume screen printing. They are double bonded to avoid extreme wear and offer excellent print performance.
- Frameless SMT Stencils: A frameless PCB stencil is a type of stencil that is not attached to a frame. It has no rails in the design and can be used for more flexible PCBA manufacturing. Frameless PCB stencils are commonly used for small orders, or prototypes.
- Prototype SMT Stencils: These cost-effective and efficient stencils are custom-made for prototype printed circuit boards using your Gerber or CAD files. Designed for manual printing, these types of stencils allow for quick printing right on your desk.
- Electroformed SMT Stencils: Electroformed stencils offer the best paste release characteristics available and hence are ideal for the most precise application. Made with electroformed sheets or foils, these stencils are ideal for jobs with large aperture count.
Benefits of SMT Stencils
PCB SMT stencils help you to produce a large number of PCBs with the same setup in the shortest time possible. The other benefits of using our stencils include;
- Stencils can be used for nearly all PCB fabrication processes, and their applicability is not limited to a particular manufacturing technique.
- Stencils are highly repeatable, resulting in precise print results.
- They allow the application of the paste all at once to the entire PCB, which in turn cuts down on the amount of time and effort required to assemble PCBs.
- They ensure precision and consistency, whilst avoiding flaws and errors.
- The stencil keeps the etchant and other chemicals in place and prevents them from wandering around on your board.
- Using a stencil is especially useful when you’re working with small boards, since you can just hold the whole thing in your hand while etching it.
- Stencils can be easily cleaned up using abrasives and proper chemicals to get rid of any impurities.
- Using the right type of stencil will avoid the following problems, which are otherwise common when applying solder paste by hand.
- Short circuits
- Voids in the soldering process
- Burred side walls
- Inconsistent aperture
- Inaccurate position of pads
SMT Stencil is the most popular tool used in the PCB design. Using stencils can help make a difference to the quality of your finished PCBs. Boards made with stencils look better and have better electrical properties. Stencils are critical for PCB assembly as they make it easier to produce boards that are consistent and reliable. They make sure every component is in its correct place during the soldering process, which is not easy to do manually.