PCB assembly machines and Tools

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Belonging to the electronics industry, PCB assembly machines and Tools assures the assembly of the various components on printed circuit boards.  Very elaborate, they are often organized in the form of integrated and automated production lines.  These commonly consist of a “pick and place” machine for placing parts, a welding system, a reflow oven and an optical inspection device.

PCB assembly machines and Tools use for conventional welding with tin or aluminum ensures an integral fixing, then reinforced by a passage in a reflow oven, which achieves a very precise heating by emission of radiation.  An optical viewer compares the final realization of the card with a photograph of the model to validate or not the manufacture.  A test step simulating the different conditions of use of the circuits is often associated with this process.

1. Automated PCB assembly machines for through-hole Mounting

THM Automated PCB assembly machines use for hole soldering process within PCB assembly machines and Tools. Because there is a much stronger connection between the components and the PCB, through-hole mounted machines is much most reliable than others.  For that reason, most connectors are still using THM.  It is also the reason that this machines is still used a lot of applications that cause a lot of stress or fast acceleration on a PCB.

 Because through-hole mounted components are a lot easier to replace, it is much easier to test or prototype with through-hole components instead of surface mounted components.  Using a breadboard in combination with through-hole components is also an ideal combination for prototyping an application.

Through-Hole Mounting (THM)

 Through-hole mounting is kind of the predecessor of Surface Mount Technology.  The through-hole technology is being used since the introduction of the second-generation computers. 

 Back in the 1950’s, PCBs only had tracks printed on one side of the board.  Drills were added to the board in which the leads of a component where inserted.  In that way, the components are placed on the empty side of the board and soldered to the copper on the tracked side of the board.  In a later stage boards with tracks on both sides, as well as tracks on inner layers of a PCB, were introduced.  With that introduction, the introduction of the plated-through holes (PTH) also became a reality.  This technology made it possible to connect components to tracks on the inner layer of a PCB use in pcba manufacturing.

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2. Automated PCB assembly machines for SMT:

SMT Automated PCB assembly machines use for the surface mount technology process.

These machine components are much smaller than THM components.  This will increase the overall density of the board tremendously. These machine components can be placed on both sides of a PCB.

 Using a Pick and Place machine for placing the components will reduce production time.

 SMD components are mostly cheaper compared to THM components.

If it is necessary to increase the production quantity, it is only necessary to increase the SMT process, the other device does not need to increase the cost saving.

 Surface Mounting (SMT)

 Surface Mount technology was introduced around 1960 and became widely used in the mid-80s.  The technology is originally called “Planar Mounting”.  The components that are used for surface mount technology have so-called Surface Mount Packages (SMD).  These components have leads beneath or around the package.  The big difference in comparison to through-hole mounting is that there is no need to drill holes in the PCB to create a connection between the tracks on the PCB and the components.  The leads of the component will make direct contact with the so-called PADs on a PCB.  Firgure 3 shows an image of those PADs for SMD components.  With the use of a stencil solder paste will be placed on the empty PADs.  A Pick and Place Machine will place the components on the PADs covered with solder paste.  When all components are placed, the PCB and components will go through a Reflow Oven or, in our case, a Vapor Phase to be solderd on the PCB.

 The packages mentioned above are just some examples of the SMD packages that are available.  There are many more types of packages with different variants available on the market.

 Automatic screen printing machine:

 After a possible screen printing, the printed circuit boards are introduced into a component positioning machine, also called “pick and place”.  This uses a numerically guided control and a rack chain to run through the entire electronic track, successively inserting all the necessary parts.

SMT machine:

 The new automatic plug-in machines, horizontal, vertical, the plug, the thick LED plug, reflow oven, wave soldering, domestic, have led to the import of lead-free, reflow soldering;  Wave soldering,

 Other SMT-related equipment: AOI;  X-ray testing equipment;  Semi-automatic and fully automatic printing machine.

5. Reflow Soldering machine

Manufacturer Main Products: Smt, Reflow Oven, Reflow Soldering Machine, Lead Free Reflow Oven, Chip Assembler, Pick and Place Machine, Chip Shooter Machine, Juki Chip Assembler, Machine SMT, Smt Team

Other Machines and Tools

6. Wave Soldering machine

4. Pick-and-Place machine

7. Automated Optical Inspection (AOI)

 SEMI-AUTO Gallery Printer Machine

8. In-Circuit Testing (ICT) – The Bed of Nails

9. Functional Validation Test (FVT)

Conclusion: 

 Very complex, these machines are marketed by a relatively small number of stakeholders, who have advanced skills in electronics, automation and industrial integration.  The most famous and often general players in this market are JUKI, TOSHIBA, MENSI, SMT, LPKF, DEK, TE CONNECTIVITY, MANNCORP or INFINEON.  For their part, REHM and HELLER specialize in the design of reflow ovens. For more information about this, you can visit pcbasic.com

The operating mode of PCB assembly tools

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