Printed Circuit Board Assembly Industry – What Are Alternative Manufacturing Services?

Contract manufacturing businesses offer affordable production solutions to the printed circuit board assembly industry. When you hire one of these businesses, you may greatly increase your efficiency and production. However, some manufacturers offer more than standard services, and you can receive alternative manufacturing services too. Here are some of the benefits they offer.

What is Alternative Manufacturing?

Many printed circuit board assembly products today are made with standard methods. For example, “pin through hole” and “surface mount” technologies are quite common. However, some companies use methods and techniques outside the normal range of manufacturing. Alternative methods may include, wave solder, convection reflow, selective soldering, and others. They serve a specific purpose and can help many businesses with customers who have special needs.

Wave Soldering

If you have a large scale printed circuit board assembly operation, you may want to consider wave soldering. By using waves of melted solder, it is possible to solder multiple components on many PC boards quickly and accurately. The system uses a solder tank and is similar to passing items under a waterfall. As the molten solder flows over the PCB, it solders everything unprotected by a masking device. Wave soldering can save hours of production time and requires fewer workers than standard methods.

Convection Reflow

If you use surface mount technology (SMT), you may benefit from convection reflow soldering. Solder paste is first placed on the board over a stencil. This allows soldering to take place in specific areas. The PC boards are then placed into a convection oven where the temperature is above the melting point of the solder. This allows the solder to “reflow” to the terminals and when cooled the connections are solid.

Other Methods

The best printed circuit board assembly manufacturers offer aqueous cleaning and automated repair services. Selective soldering and “no-clean” processes are also available.

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