16+ Years Experience in PCB Assembly
Our PCB Assembly Capabilities
- Partial Turnkey
- Turnkey PCB Components sourcing
- Passive Components as small as 0201
- Ball Grid Arrays (BGA) as small as .35mm pitch
- BGA, uBGA, QFN, DFN, SOP, PLCC, POP, CGA, CSP and Leadless chips
- All kinds of passive and active components
- Cut tape
- Tube and tray
- Loose parts and bulk
- AOI (Automated Optical Inspection)
- X-ray for BGA
- ICT (In-circuit Test)
- FCT (Functional Test)
- Manual visual inspection
- Burn-in test
- AOI (Automated Optical Inspection)
- X-ray for BGA
- ICT (In-circuit Test)
- FCT (Functional Test)
- Manual visual inspection
- Burn-in test
- Box Build Assembly
- IC Programming, System Integration
- Conformal coating
- Mechanical Assembly
- Electromechanical Assembly
- Cable and Wire Harness Assembly
- Repair/Rework services
- DFM Analysis
- No minimum order quantity
- Engineering prototypes
- Low-cost first article
- Small series production
- Mass production
- 1 week for Consignment PCB assembly
- 2-4 weeks for turnkey PCB assembly
- Low-cost first article
- 4-10 weeks for full turnkey box build assembly
- Quick turn available
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Viasion- One of the Best PCB Assembly Manufacturers
Viasion Technology is one of the best PCB & PCBA manufacturers in China with leading advantages. For example, our one-stop solution for PCB assembly and high-quality products at an affordable price are the reasons why Viasion has gained the recognition and trust of many customers.
What is PCB Assembly?
PCB assembly means soldering electronic components on the printed circuit board. Usually, both SMT assembly and PTH assembly are used in a completed electronic PCB assembly. Here, we would like to introduce a little about SMT and PTH assemblies.
SMT assembly is short for surface mount technology assembly which means assembling electronic components on the PCB by surface mount technology. The normal processes of SMT assembly are printing solder paste on the printed circuit board by solder stencil first; then placing the relative components on the surface of the PCB; and lastly, passing the PCB with components through a reflow soldering oven, so the solder paste will be melted and the components will be soldered.
PTH assembly is short for plated through hole assembly which means soldering the electronic components on the PCB by soldering their pins in the PTH holes. Both wave soldering and manually soldering can be used. The normal processes for PTH assembly are: plugging the pins of the PCB components into the through holes of the PTH firstly and then passing the PCBs through the wave soldering equipment with hot liquid solder; lastly the components are soldered in the PTH holes when the solder is cooled down.
Of course, we can also just solder the PTH components on the PCB manually with a soldering iron, but it is impossible for mass production since the efficiency of manual assembly is very low.
Viasion is a custom PCB assembly manufacturer in China. We focus on small to medium volume PCB manufacturing and assembly with 16 years of experience. Our factory is ISO9001 certified.
Benefits of PCB Assemblies
The core part of all electronic products is composed of PCBA; all the functions can not be realized without PCBA. Therefore, PCBA is the basic unit of all functions in the electronics industry. In other words, PCBA is the most important component of all electronic product components, similar to the human body’s neural network. The life span, operating speed, reliability, and stability of general consumer electronics are most directly related to PCBA. It is no exaggeration to say that the quality of PCBA is also the most direct determinant of the overall quality of electronic products.
Stated roughly, the important functions of PCBA are described below.
How to Order PCB Assembly Service on Viasion?
If you need to order PCBA service on Viasion, please contact our salesmen, whose contact information (phone number&email address) is listed on our official website: Contact Us- Viasion Technology Co. Ltd. Our sales personnel will communicate with you kindly to deal with your order. After you place an order and send the files we need including Gerber files, BOM (bill of material) lists, Pick & Place files with the X/Y coordinates, drawings of the assembled PCBs, etc., our salespersons will properly keep the documents you send and then forward them to our engineers for processing. They will ensure that your order goes smoothly, as well as keep you informed of the various details of our cooperation. After the order is placed, our sales staff will also keep in close contact with you to give feedback on the order. In short, we will try our best to provide you with attentive and considerate services so that you can be free from worries. And we are looking forward to serving you.
PCB Assembly Process--8 main steps
Step 1: Prepare files needed in PCB assembly
Firstly, we need to prepare the files needed for PCB assembly, including DFA check about Gerber, BOM files, and general production files which our equipment and personnel can use.
Generally speaking, PCB files(usually Gerber format) and BOM (bill of material) lists are needed in PCB assembly services.
Firstly we need Gerber files. Gerber files contain the pattern of each copper layer, solder mask layers, and components notation layers. We need Gerber files to produce SMT stencil, and also our CAM engineer needs to check the Gerber files to compare the details when doing DFA (design for assembly). For example, sometimes the component size is bigger or smaller than the actual PAD in the PCB, then our engineer can notice the problem and ask customer’s advice in advance.
BOM and Pick & Place file with the X/Y coordinates are extremely important for printed circuit board assembly. BOM means bill of material. All the parameters of the electronics components will be listed in the BOM, including manufacturer, part number, detailed parameters, quantity used on one PCB, or remaking like substitution, formation details for the pins of PTH component, etc. Pick & Place file is the coordinator of every component. Pick & Place machine can identify where the components should be placed.
Sometimes customers may also supply assembly drawings and 3D drawings of the assembled PCBs, which is very helpful to us as well. Schematics are also helpful for problems shooting. But all these files are helpful supplementary files, they are not what we must have for PCB assembly services. If you are not sure which files should be sent to us for quote and production, just simply send all the design packages for PCB fabrication and assembly.
Step 2: SMT assembly
Prepare SMT stencil
Before SMT assembly, we must get a SMT stencil first. SMT stencil can be etched and laser cut and polished. We always use laser cutting and polished stencil to get the best result in solder paste printing. Usually, the steel sheet is 0.15mm, but it can also be thinner or thicker depending on the requirement for certain PCBs and components. The stencil opening is also a little smaller than the pads on the PCBs, but it always varies depending on the design of the PCB and the components used. So an experienced engineer needs to get the most proper stencil for a certain circuit card assembly project, which is very helpful to get good soldering quality the first time.
Step 3: PTH assembly
PTH assembly means plated through hole assembly. The components are soldered on the PCB by soldering the components pins in the PTH of the PCB. Normally there are 4 steps:
Stemp 4: Manual assembly
Manual assembly means that the electronic components are soldered by hand. First, we turn on the soldering iron and let the iron head temperature reach 300-400 Celsius degrees, and then place the component in the correct place. Lastly, melt the tin wire and solder the component on the PCB. The quality of manual assembly highly depends on the skill and experience of the worker, and the deficiency is also low compared with PCBA manufacturing by machine.
Manual assembly is not a must in circuit board assembly services. Most PCBs will be finished after SMT assembly and PTH assembly. Because there are some disadvantages as follows:
The disadvantages for manual assembly
Why manual assembly is needed
Although manual assembly has many disadvantages, and we can assemble our PCBs and components by reflow soldering and wave soldering, why is manual assembly still needed in printed circuit board assembly? The main reasons are as follows:
Some special components cannot be done by reflow soldering and wave soldering equipment. For example, sometimes cables or wires need to be soldered on the pads of the PCB. The best way is to solder them one by one by a human.
In PTH assembly, we always need to prepare the tooling fixture first, it may take more than one day. Besides, adjustment of wave soldering machines will also take a lot of time. But every day counts for a quick turn prototype. Using manual soldering, we can finish the assembly faster than waving soldering and deliver goods to the customer earlier to meet the quick turn PCBA manufacturing requirement.
Step 5: Functional Testing
When all the components are assembled on the PCB, we can do functional testing (FCT) if required by customers. A testing fixture is always needed, and it can be supplied by customers or we can produce it according to the customer’s testing process and instructions.
Sometimes, a program or firmware needs to be written in the memory chips before functional testing. If the PCBs pass the functional testing, we are sure the printed circuit assembly is functionally acceptable.
We should know that some functions can only be best tested by when loading the assembled PCB in the equipment.
Step 6: FQC
FQC means final quality control which is the last process for quality control. In this process, our quality inspector will check if there is any defect in all aspects. When the electronic PCB assembly passes FQC, it means the product is perfect and ready to ship out.
Viasion is one of the best PCB assembly manufacturers in China that focus on small to medium volume production. And we have very experienced workers to do final quality control ensuring the delivery of high-quality pcba assembly services to our customers.
Step 7: Labeling
Sometimes, customers need us to print and stick labels on the PCB as their requirements, such as part number, and QR code. Or the mark needs to be engraved on the PCB by laser. We can do all of these as per customers’ requirements.
These labels are always used to trace each product. Then the customer can use them directly in their devices after receiving the PCBs.
Step 8: Packaging
Since we started supplying PCBs to overseas customers in 2007, we understand how important it is to pack the PCBs in good condition to avoid damage during transportation.
Usually, we will seal the single PCBs in individual ESD bags, and then surround them with bubble tapes as buffers. Only robust cartons will be used, and all 6 sides will be filled with thick foam.
With such robust packages, our PCBs can always be protected in good condition, no matter if it is a one week delivery by air, or one month delivery by sea.
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Differences between Reflow Soldering and Wave Soldering
Different types of components
Different equipment and processes
Different types of solder are used
Differences between PCB and PCB Assembly
Consigned PCB Assembly & Turnkey PCB Assembly
Normally Used Components in PCB Assembly
When the currency runs through the conduct, there will be resistance. The resistor is specially designed to increase the resistance, it is used to limit the current in the circuit, to make sure other components can work stably with the required currency.
In the BOM list, resistors always start with an “R”, so we can easily recognize where one re resistors. Most of the resistors are very cheap, except for some special types or the ones with an extremely small tolerance.
We can simply regard capacitors as electricity containers. Capacitors are widely used in electronics, and there are many types of capacitors, such as ceramic capacitors, aluminum electrolytic capacitors, tantalum electrolytic capacitors, film capacitors, polymer capacitors, silver mica capacitors, glass capacitors, supercapacitors etc.
In the BOM list, capacitors always start with a “C”, it is also easy to recognize in the BOM. Most ceramic capacitors and aluminum electrolytic capacitors are not expensive, but some special capacitors are very expensive. So we need to pay attention.
The diode has two electrodes but only allows the currency to pass through from one direction. There are many different types of diodes, such as crystal diodes, zener diodes, varactor diodes, light-emitting diodes, rectifier diodes, schottky Diodes, etc.
The diode is also one of the three most widely used components, together with Resistors and capacitors.
Generally speaking, an inductor is a coil. The coil is made of insulated wire (used copper) wound on a frame. The inductor can form magnetic field induction when electricity runs through the coil.
Inductors can be classified according to if it is fixed value or variable value, Core material, the method in wire wounding, usage, etc. Field Effect Transistor (FET) is the most widely used type among them.
Transistor is used as a switch and amplifier, it can control and adjust the signal of electronic devices.
There are many different types of transistors according to their structure, function, power, frequency, and package.
A sensor is a device used to detect information, such as pressure, color, sound, temperature, humidity, speed, heat, etc, and then pass such information to the processor as electronic signals. The sensor works just like the organs of the human body.
There are many different types of sensors to meet the demand of different applications, such as pressure sensors, thermal sensors, position sensors, speed sensors, acceleration sensors, temperature sensors, humidity, speed, heat sensor, radiation sensor, etc.
Connectors are used to connect with wires or cables. Normally female connectors will be soldered on the PCB, and male connectors with cables can be plugged in on the connector easily in usage.
Small connectors can be designed and soldered as surface mount technology. But for the big connectors which need to be plugged in and pulled out frequently, it is better to be designed as a PTH assembly, which is more robust.
The transformer is mainly used to change the currency and voltage, but it also has other functions such as isolation, voltage stabilization, or impedance adjustment.
Transformers are widely used in power printed circuit board assembly. Normally we can raise or reduce the voltage to fit the demands of electronic devices.
A relay is a device used to control the electricity connection in the circuit, such as the connection or disconnection, switch, adjustment, etc. The process is automatic and will occur in certain situations. Relay is normally used for circuit production, automatic adjustment, and circuit switching.
Relay can be classified according to the technology, dimensions, power, and working principle.
IC is a very special component since it combines the functions of several types of components in a small device which is very easy to assemble.
Basic Glossary in PCB Assembly
We can find many glossaries about PCB assembly easily on the internet. Here we would like to share only the very basic ones, with easy-to-understand explanation.
Printed circuit board is the carrier for assembly of the electronic components, then to achieve the electronic functions.
Printed circuit board assembly, is alternatively known as PCB assembly. It means the process of assembling the electronic components on the PCB bare board. Normally there are SMT assembly, PTH assembly, and manual assembly.
It is a mixture of tin, flux, and water used to be printed on the pads of PCB when doing SMT assembly. In the SMT assembly process, we need to print the solder paste on the PCB surface first, and then let it run through the reflow oven. Then the solder paste will melt and the components will be soldered on the PCB.
Pick & Place machine
It is the machine used to pick out the small SMT components and then place the components in the right place. High speed and high accuracy are needed, which is why Pick & Place machine is always expensive. The most famous brands of Pick & Place machines are Panasonic, FUJI, SIEMENS, MYDATA, YAMAHA, ASM, Samsung, JUKI, and Universal.
BOM is short for bill of material. It is the document to list the components, such as component brand, type, parameters, the quality needed, etc. We can know where components need to be placed from the component notation in the BOM.
It is the most common type of file for PCB fabrication and assembly. We can see the pattern in all the layers. Together with BOM, these are the two most important files to get PCB fabrication and assembly done.
It is the process to solder the SMT components on the PCB bare boards. After solder paste printing and components placement, the PCB will run trough a reflow soldering oven to melt the tin. Components will be soldered when the tin is melted and cooled down.
It is the process of PTH components soldering. The tin bar will melt in the solder stove. And the liquid tin will spray up like a wave. Then the pins will be soldered on the PCB when the PCB runs over the tin wave.
AOI is short for automatically optical inspections, and optical methods. And relative software will detect solder SMT defects, such as wrong components, fake soldering, and failure soldering. It is used as a substitution for manual inspection since the human will tend to get tired for long hours concentrating and using of eyes. The most outstanding advantage is the high efficiency.
ICT is short for the in-circuit test. It is useful to test failure circuit board assembly by electric connections, such as open, short, wrong components, fake soldering, etc. A testing fixture is always needed in the ICT test.
FCT means functional test. It works to test the electronic functions of the PCB assembly to check if the PCB will perform as designed intentions. A testing fixture is always in functional test.
We can see the soldering condition for most components with our eyes after PCB assembly. But for BGA assembly, the solder joints are hidden under the BGA, which is impossible to see by the naked eye. Then we use x-ray equipment to defect the possible soldering defects, such as short, open, voids, connectors, solder balls, etc.
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Viasion Technology is your trusted partner & one-stop shop for PCB fabrication, components sourcing, PCB assembly and electronic manufacturing. With more than 16 years of experience, we have been supplying high-quality PCBs with competitive pricing for 1000+ customers worldwide. Our company is ISO9001:2015 Certified & UL Listed, and all our products are 100% E-tested and inspected by AOI & X-RAY to meet the highest industry standards. So please get an instant quote from our sales team now, and we will take care of the rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely“Yes”. We strive to offer our customers quick turnaround PCBA service by all means so that your needs for quick turn PCBA will be satisfied.
Standard turnaround time varies from the types and the quantity of the PCB assembly. The following are some examples.
1) Quick turn PCBA service takes 1-5 days.
2) It takes 1 week for only PCB assembly.
3) Two to four weeks are taken for turnkey PCB assembly or mass production.
4) Four to ten weeks are spent on Turnkey box build assembly.
The following is a brief overview of some of the factors that affect PCB assembly costs.
1) Technology used: The assembly process may use either surface mount or through-hole technology. Sometimes, certain assemblies may require the use of both technologies, but this can add to the cost.
2) The number of layers of the board: The cost of a single-sided PCB assembly will usually be lower than the cost of a double-sided or multi-layer PCBA.
3) The size of the component: Typically, the use of smaller components and the fabrication of densely assembled boards will increase the cost.
4) The total number of components
5) Compliance: Multiple tests which are often performed to ensure assembly compliance also add to the cost.
6) Processes required: Some PCB assemblies may require a series of processes, such as wave soldering, X-ray inspection, automated optical inspection, manual soldering, and other processes. These may significantly increase the cost.
7) Flexible or rigid PCB assembly: Usually, the cost of flexible PCB assembly is higher than the cost of rigid PCB assembly.
8) Conformal coating: Costs are also affected by conformal coating requirements. The number of layers of the conformal coating can affect the cost.
9) Testing: From thermal cycling to circuit testing, many tests are required before shipping the products.
10) Packaging requirements: Special packaging requirements may result in increased costs.
Delivery: Costs may increase if expedited delivery times are required.
Yes, all you need to do is just contact our sales representatives and tell them your requirements. We will deal with your order and answer your questions quickly. Above all, if you have any requests or concerns, please contact our sales staff and we are looking forward to serving you.
Viasion was established in 2007. We have been in the industry of PCB manufacturing for 16 years.
There are many steps involved in the PCBA manufacturing process. In brief, the main steps are as follows.
Step 1: Adding solder paste: This is the initial stage of the assembly process. In this stage, the solder paste is added to the component pads in all the places where soldering is required. The solder paste is placed on the pads and pasted in the correct position with the help of a solder screen.
Step 2: Placing components: After adding the solder paste to the component pads, it is time to place the components. The PCB passes through a machine that places these components precisely on the pads. The tension provided by the solder paste holds the components in place.
Step 3: Reflow soldering: This step is aimed at permanently fixing the components on the board. After placing the components on the board, the PCB passes through the reflow oven conveyor. The controlled heat of the oven melts the solder added in the first step, thus permanently attaching the components to the boards.
Step 4: Wave Soldering: In this step, the PCB is made to pass through waves of melted solder. This creates an electrical connection between the solder, PCB pads, and component leads.
Step 5: Cleaning: By this step, all soldering processes are complete. During the soldering process, a large amount of flux residue is formed around the solder joint. As the name implies, this step involves cleaning the flux residue. Flux residue is cleaned with deionized water and solvent. With this step, the PCB assembly is completed. Subsequent steps will ensure that the assembly is completed correctly.
Step 6: Test: In this stage, the PCB assembly is completed and inspection begins to test the position of the components. This can be performed in two ways.
1) Manual: This check is usually performed for smaller components. The number of smaller components does not exceed one hundred.
2) Automatic: This check is performed to check for bad connectors, incorrect components, misplaced components, etc.
Viasion is located in Shenzhen, China. Shenzhen has outstanding location advantages such as a prosperous economy, a complete manufacturing industry chain, high level of scientific and technological innovation, which means that we can provide you with an efficient one-stop solution for PCB & PCBA relying on the city’s resources.
As mentioned above, PCB is short for printed circuit board. It is the carrier of electronic components. All the components will be connected by PCB and then achieve electronic functions. PCB assembly is short for printed circuit board assembly. It refers to the process of soldering the components on the PCB. PCBs and components have their functions, but they can only work as fully functional products after soldering all of them together.
Inspection and testing services offered by Viasion include:
1) First Article Inspection
2) Solder Paste Inspection
3) AOI (Automated Optical Inspection)
4) Visual Inspection
5) X-ray Inspection for BGA
6) Incoming Quality Control
7) In-Process Quality Control
8) Quality Assurance
9) ICT (In-circuit Testing)
10) FCT (Functional Testing)
11) Open/short Testing for PCB
12) Flying Probe Testing
Viasion follows IPC guidelines, ISO9001:2015, and RoHS/REACH standards, demonstrating that our company is trustworthy. Undoubtedly, we can offer high-quality products to our customers.
Honestly speaking, there are many devices used to make PCBA and fabricate PCB. The main equipment is listed here.
In the process of assembling PCBs, the following production equipment is required.
1) PCB cleaning machine
2) Solder paste automatic printing machine
3) Solder paste inspection (SPI) machine
4) SMT machine
5) Reflow soldering machine
6) Wave soldering machine
7) AOI tester
The following production equipment is required in the PCB production process.
1) Film exposure machine
2) Drilling machine
3) Laminating machine
4) Grinding machine
5) Lamination machine
6) LDI exposure machine
7) Etching machine
8) Silkscreen printing machine
9) Equipment for surface finish
10) Punching machine
11) Electrical measuring machine
12) V – CUT machine
13) Flying probe tester
14) Impedance tester