The Advantages of SMT Assembly In Electronics Manufacturing

Surface mount technology (SMT) has largely replaced older through-hole (TH) methods in printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. In fact, pretty much all modern day equipment and devices rely on SMT rather than through-hole methods.

That is because this technology enables manufacturers to produce devices that are far smaller and simpler than the older counterparts.

But this is not the only benefit of choosing SMT. In the guide below, we’re going to take a look at the advantages of using SMT assembly when manufacturing electronics, so you can make the right choice for your business.

1. Increasing efficiency in the assembly process

One of the biggest advantages of SMT assembly is that the automated PCB construction process is far more efficient than the alternative. This means that it is quicker to create these circuit boards than it is with through-hole assembly.

Not only that, but the process has nearly totally eliminated the need to drill holes in the board. Which again, increases the production speed, enabling manufacturers to produce larger quantities of these electronic devices in a shorter space of time.

2. Cutting costs

As a result of this increased efficiency and the ability to produce more PCB devices in a shorter space for time, the cost of producing each unit is lowered. Not only that, but as accuracy is increased, the need to fix weak or faulty boards decreases.

Therefore, this is a great way for manufacturers to save time and cut costs on the production of their electrical goods.

3. Maximising space on circuit boards

As SMT components and boards are much smaller than traditional methods, you can pack more of these parts onto the smaller board.

This ability to add more components onto this smaller space increases its density, which leads to increased performances and advanced functionality. All of which is good news for businesses and users.

4. Improving reliability and performance

Following on from the last point, as a result of the smaller components, the signal paths are shorter. As well as reducing lead inductance and increasing frequency capabilities, these shorter pathways can massively help to improve electrical performance.

This means that these devices will be more reliable and less likely to break at a later stage. The automated production process also helps to ensure better results. This is because it reduces the need for manual intervention for component placement, leading to more reliable PCBs, but we’ll look at this in more detail later in the guide.

5. Producing smaller boards

As we’ve mentioned already, the production process and smaller components lead to smaller circuit boards overall. This means they can be used in more compact and mobile devices than every before, making it perfect for the technological wave we are currently riding.

These smaller boards can be used for a whole range of lightweight devices, whilst still providing reliable technology. This is perhaps why they have become the preferred method of manufacturers and businesses alike.

6. The ability to co-exist with through-hole circuit boards

The easy assembly and smaller parts of these devices mean that both sides of the board can be used without the hole limitations that currently hamper through-hole construction methods.

But more than this, these components can actually be attached alongside TH components where required, on the same board. The two have the ability to co-exist.

7. The possibility of full automation

Finally, we have one more advantage of SMT assembly as mentioned earlier and that is the possibility to fully automate the process. From assembly through to inspection and testing, it is now possible to automate the process from start to finish.

This offers the perfect opportunity to optimise production and tackle time-consuming and labour-intensive task, whilst still ensuring high-quality goods.

The many advantages of SMT assembly in electronics manufacturing

It’s easy to see that SMT assembly can have a huge range of benefits for businesses and manufacturers. The ability to automate the process can increase efficiency and output, whilst simultaneously cutting costs.

Not only that, but SMT assembly allows for small, lightweight devices that don’t require drilling or too much human intervention, and are therefore, more reliable.

While through-hole elements may still be required in some cases, it looks increasingly like SMT will become the norm.