Surface-mount technology, commonly known as SMT, is a process of making electronic circuits where the components are placed directly onto the surface of PCBs (printed circuit boards.) Some of the Surface Mount Technology advantages for PCBs are summarized below:
• Instead of connecting through the holes in the board via hole technology, the components are positioned directly on the board surface.
• Some components of SMT, usually called as surface mount devices or SMDs, are lighter and smaller than their counterparts, mostly because of the reduced number or total elimination of leads that are needed in through-hole manufacturing.
• With the help of standardization of components as well as the design tools, the assembling of the parts can be largely automated.
• By reducing the requirement for drilling as well as component holes, SMT enables the engineers to design the boards with components to be placed on both sides of the board.
• SMT also allows for design flexibility. In other words, engineers can combine SMT with through-hole technology that provides greater PCB functionality on the same board reducing the need of multiple boards.
Some more distinct advantages of Surface Mount Technology advantages for PCB are:
• Dual-sided mounting – Since the need to design for drilling is eliminated, the requirement of connecting through the board materials is also reduced. Due to which the components can easily be placed on both the surfaces of the PCB.
• Size – As the size of the components is reduced, more components can be placed on a single board, which in turn has led to fewer boards requirement per product. With the growing demand for lighter weight and miniaturized products, these attributes are very critical.
• Reliability – Surface Mount Technology connections are less likely to face failure due to the impact of shaking or vibration.
• Cost reductions – As the number of drilled holes is reduced, the size of the board also gets reduced. If the functions on the SMT do not get increased, it leads to the increase of inter-package spacing. This further reduces the number of layer counts in the PCB. Due to this the cost of the board also gets reduced.
• Speed of manufacturing – On combining with adherence towards design for manufacturing (DFM), Surface Mount Technology increases its production efficiency due to reduction or total elimination of drilling operations along with lower setup times.
The advantages are many. SMT has now become talk of the day.
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