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PCB Assembly

One-Stop PCB Assembly / PCBA manufacturing

PCB Assembly

One-Stop PCB Assembly / PCBA manufacturing

What is PCBA / PCB Assembly?

PCBA / PCB Assembly is the abbreviation of printed circuit board assembly, that is, the production process of PCB after SMT assembly or dip plug-in process is called PCBA or PCB'A.


What's the difference between PCB vs PCBA?

PCB is a printed circuit board because it is made by electronic printing, so it is called a "printed" circuit board. PCB is an important electronic component in the electronic industry. It is the support of electronic components and the carrier of electrical connection of electronic components. PCB has been widely used in the production of electronic products.

PCBA / PCB Assembly generally refers to a processing flow, which can also be understood as the finished circuit board, that is, PCBA can only be counted after the processes on the PCB are completed. PCB refers to an empty printed circuit board with no parts on it. The above is the difference between PCB and PCBA.


SMT and dip are both ways to integrate parts on the circuit board. The main difference is that SMT does not need to drill holes on PCB, but in dip, it needs to insert the pin pin pin into the drilled hole.

SMT (surface mounted technology) mainly uses the mounting machine to mount some micro and small parts on the circuit board. Its production process is PCB positioning, solder paste printing, mounting by the mounting machine, reflow oven, and inspection.

The dip is a "plug-in", that is to insert parts on the PCB board. It is a kind of plug-in integrated part when some parts are large in size and not suitable for mounting technology. Its main production processes are back glue, plug-in, inspection, wave soldering, plate brushing, and finished inspection.


You should be able to clearly distinguish what is PCB by now? What is PCBA? PCBA can basically be regarded as finished goods, because some factories will produce PCB Assembly for shipment, such as selling computer motherboards alone. PCB can only be regarded as a component. the circuit board is an important component in the whole PCB Assembly, but it can not represent PCB Assembly. Because IC, resistor, capacitor, inductor, connector, and other parts must be welded on the PCB to become a finished product, so PCB should only be regarded as a part.

pcb vs PCBA

PCB vs PCBA

The process of PCBA manufacturing

Electronic Components Procurement - PCB prototype fabrication- SMT Patch - DIP plug-in - Circuit Assembly testing - Finished product assembly

PCB Assembly requires electronic components and consumables

Printed Circuit Board, Electronic Components, Solder Wire, Solder Paste, Welding Rod, Solder Preform (depending on welding type), Scaling Powder, Welding Platform, Wave Soldering Machine, SMT Equipment, Testing Equipment

PCB welding manufacturing

iPCB provides a full set of PCBA manufacturing and part of PCB assembly manufacturing. In the full range of PCB assembly manufacturing, we handle PCB production, material procurement, online order tracking, incoming material certification/quality inspection, and final assembly. In some PCB manufacturing, you can order PCB and some materials by yourself, and we complete other parts.

How to get a one-stop inquiry of PCBA manufacturing?

BOM quotation, please send your BOM to iPCB, tell the number of PCB to be made, we will give you a PCBA quote within 24 hours. BOM must include quantity, tag number, manufacturer name, and manufacturer model.


Before the PCB assembly is delivered, we will carry out various tests on it.

- Visual inspection: general quality inspection

- X-ray test: check whether there is short-circuit cold welding or bubble problem in BGA, QFN, and another welding.

- Automatic optical detection: check whether there are false welding, short circuit, few parts, polarity reversal, etc.

- Online testing

- Function test (according to the test steps you provided)

pcba images

PCBA images

A full set of PCBA is our core business, even in the proofing stage. We use our professional and resources to do PCB proofing, material procurement, PCBA manufacturing one-stop PCB assembly services for you. If you want to solder specific devices, we will also provide such services.

Avoid the trouble of purchasing PCB components, make you focus on your PCBA design. Our purchasing team will purchase more components from the same supplier and use the best method to complete the purchasing task. We will optimize packaging (belt, tube, bulk, etc.) with quantity selection in smaller BOM to reduce cost. We have the ability to handle difficult-to-order materials and obsolete components. We purchase materials according to the material model and manufacturer in your BOM. Don't worry about the danger of any alternative materials. We will not change your design. Alternative materials will also be approved by you before use.

The price of the whole service includes welding cost, smooth plate cost, and material purchase cost. Quotations for electronic components are from Digi key, Mouser, Avnet, arrow, future, Newark, or designated suppliers. We don't charge any purchase fee.

We understand the importance of punctual delivery. In PCB fabrication, material procurement has been carried out at the same time. We will review engineering problems and component problems before welding. If there are no hard-to-order components and documentation errors, a full set of PCBA manufacturing usually takes two weeks.


DFM is very necessary for batch welding. We will review your Gerber files, BOM, assembly files, and circuit diagrams to prevent any engineering problems. As a supplier of electronic outsourcing services, we will reduce costs through reasonable PCB assembly and convenient welding operation. We also recommend that you use a solder mask window to get a high yield and prevent a short circuit bridge. Before we purchase materials, we will make a comprehensive matching check between your component list and PCB file. This can effectively avoid waste of cost and late delivery.

Similarly, even in small batch welding, DFM should also be involved in your circuit design. A variety of probe test models and test limitations are available. You will get our professional guidance on how to distinguish test points. Through your troubleshooting guide, diagnostic test, and related documents, we can make your PCBA board fully tested to meet your test requirements.

We have a variety of ways to make your batch welding risk-free. In our full range of services, all PCBs are electrically tested. Before welding other PCBA boards, we can also send you some PCBA boards to test first. X-ray test is used to detect the welding quality of BGA and components without extended pins. We can solve all welding problems before delivery.

We try our best to reduce the cost of batch PCB assembly manufacturing. There is no NRE and steel mesh cost for repeated orders. We will compare the price of materials among large suppliers and choose the suppliers with good quality and low price, so as to reduce the cost of materials. We have established a solid cooperative relationship with large suppliers to provide competitive prices while ensuring quality. We guarantee that you will get good quality, reasonable price, and punctual delivery service in our full set of PCB Assembly.


PCBA meaning is based on the design documents of PCBA engineers. PCB boards are made by cutting, drilling, exposure development, etching, copper depositing, electroplating, surface treatment of PCB material, and then the electronic components (including SMD patch components, DIP plug-in components) are welded to the PCB to form a complete hardware structure to the PCBA board. Many times, it is necessary to input programs into the IC of the PCBA board so that it has the ability to control circuit interruption and realize the design function of electronic products.

Sometimes the PCBA assembly adopts wave welding technology. Generally speaking, there are some heavy electronic components on the PCBA assembly board that need to be plugged in and out under external force. These components are either technically unable to be made into SMD components, or the price of SMD components does not meet the market expectations. They will be designed as through-hole components, that is, plug-ins (DIP), Then, the components are welded to the PCB through the wave soldering furnace. At the same time, the hybrid bonding (SMT) and wave soldering technology are used to achieve component welding to complete the PCBA board.

PCBA test

PCBA test

PCBA test

PCBA test refers to the test of electrical conductivity and input-output value based on PCBA board with electronic components.

Why PCBA test?

In the design of PCB, there is a numerical relationship between different test points, such as voltage and current. However, the process flow of PCBA production and processing is very complex, including many important processes such as the PCB manufacturing process, component procurement, and inspection, SMT patch assembly, dip plug-in PCBA test. In the process of production and processing, various problems may occur due to improper equipment or operation. Therefore, it is necessary to use professional test equipment or a manual multimeter to test the test points, To verify whether the actual PCBA Board meets the design requirements and ensure that each product will not have quality problems.

PCBA test is a key step to ensure the quality of production and delivery. FCT test fixture is made according to the test point program and test steps designed by customers, and then the PCBA board is placed on the FCT test rack to complete the test.


Principle of PCBA test

Connect the test points on the PCBA board through the FCT test rack to form a complete path, connect the computer and the burner, and upload the MCU program. The MCU program will capture the user's input action (such as long-pressing the switch for 3 seconds), control the on-off of the nearby circuit (such as LED flashing), or drive the motor to rotate through the operation. By observing the voltage and current values between the test points on the FCT test stand and verifying whether these input and output actions are consistent with the design, the test of the whole PCBA board is completed.

Type of PCBA test

PCBA test mainly includes five forms: ICT test, FCT test, aging test, fatigue test, and test in harsh environment.

ICT (in-circuit test) test mainly includes the on-off voltage and current value of the circuit, amplitude noise of fluctuation curve, etc., and does not involve the test of function keys or input and output.

For FCT (functional test) test, first, burn the written MCU program into the program IC through the burner (such as St link tag), and simulate the function of the whole PCBA board. For example, after pressing the key, the LED light is on; Press two keys at the same time to restore factory settings, etc. So as to find the problems in the hardware and software, and equip the necessary patch processing and production fixture and test stand.

Burn-in test mainly simulates user input and output for a long time period for PCBA boards that have been burned and passed FCT, so as to test their durability and welding reliability. After the aging test, electronic products can be sold in batches.

The fatigue test is mainly to sample the PCBA board, operate the function at high frequency for a long time, observe whether there is a failure, and judge the probability of failure in the test, so as to feedback the working performance of the PCBA board in electronic products.

The test in a harsh environment is mainly to expose the PCBA board to the temperature and humidity drop splash vibration of the limit value, and obtain the test results of random samples, so as to infer the reliability of the whole batch of PCBA board products


How to test the PCBA board?

1. PCBA board manual test

Manual testing is to test directly by the vision and confirm the component mounting on PCB through vision and comparison. This technology is widely used. However, the large number and small components make this method more and more unsuitable. Moreover, some functional defects are not easy to be found, and the data is not easy to collect. In this way, more professional testing methods are needed.

2. PCBA board automatic optical inspection (AOI)

Automatic optical testing, also known as automatic visual testing, is carried out by a special tester. It is used before and after reflow and has a good effect on the polarity inspection of components. Easy-to-follow diagnosis is a common method, but this method is poor in short circuit identification.

3. PCBA board flying needle tester

Needle testing has been widely welcomed in the past few years due to advances in mechanical accuracy, speed, and reliability. In addition, the requirements for the test system with fast conversion and fixture-free capability required for prototype manufacturing and low-yield manufacturing make the flying needle test the best choice.

4. PCB Assembly board function test

This is the test method of a specific PCB or a specific unit, which is completed by special equipment. Functional tests mainly include final product tests and hot mock-up.

5. PCB Assembly manufacturing defect analyzer (MDA)

The main advantages of this test method are low initial cost, high output, easy-to-follow diagnosis, fast and complete short circuit, and open-circuit test. The disadvantage is that the function test cannot be carried out, there is usually no test coverage indication, the fixture must be used, and the test cost is high.


How are electronic components placed on PCB to form PCBA?

At present, the mainstream PCBA is assembled as SMT (surface mount technology). It will first print solder paste on the empty board, then paste the electronic components on the PCB, flow it through the reflow furnace, and paste the components on the PCB through solder paste welding.

A few PCBA assemblies requiring dip will adopt wave soldering technology. Generally speaking, there will be some heavy electronic components on the assembly board that need to be inserted and pulled by an external force. These components are not technically unable to be made into SMD components, or the price of SMD components does not meet market expectations or some components that must be inserted and pulled by external force when used by end customers, They will be designed as through-hole components, that is, dip, and then welded to PCB through wave soldering furnace.

At the same time, SMT and wave solving technology are mixed to achieve the design of component welding in PCBA.

One-Stop PCB Assembly / PCBA manufacturing

One-Stop PCB Assembly / PCBA manufacturing

PCBA manufacturing and design process are that ipcb provides practical technical solutions according to the customer's design concept, analyzes the market positioning of the product, and provides functional proposals, various lists, and reports. It can help customers make the product more adapt to the market demand on the basis of meeting the product function.

1. Provide a test scheme. During PCBA manufacturing and design, ipcb will provide users with test schemes for PCBA circuit board design and manufacturing, establish test points on the circuit board, or conduct general function tests, and use professional test racks to check the stability, noise, and path of the circuit board, so as to ensure the quality of the manufacturing process. After the sample is manufactured, it will be tested in terms of function and stability, including waterproof, falling, noise, etc. after the sample design is passed, it will be mass-produced.

2. Provide DFM report. In the process of PCBA manufacturing and design, PCBA engineers will analyze the structure of the PCBA circuit board and put forward constructive suggestions to make it comply with the manufacturing process and improve the quality of products, and then provide a corresponding DFM report according to the requirements of users.

3. Optimize PCBA manufacturing and design. In the actual procurement process of the BOM bill of materials, there is usually a situation that the components can not meet the PCBA process requirements. At this time, PCBA engineers will put forward optimization suggestions and alternative BOM material schemes to ensure that the materials maintain the maximum consistency within the range of technical parameters without affecting the function of the PCBA circuit board.


For your PCBA board design

Our SMT welding process is carefully matched to ensure that it meets your design and your limitations. We will provide some DFT suggestions according to the SMT PCB assembly documents provided by you, but everything is subject to you. In order to complete the SMT assembly, we will be very happy to cooperate with your engineers. We handle SMD components in strict accordance with SMT welding requirements. We have very high production requirements to achieve precise control of reflow soldering.

In order to detect the quality of SMD solder joints, we use X-ray detection. For example, QFN, DFN, BGA, and other leadless packages, a visual inspection can not fully find the welding problems, but with 3D X-ray detection, many SMT welding problems can be found, which is particularly important in BGA welding.


For more detailed PCBA design and manufacturing comments, please click Download - pdfPCBA DFM


How to find a best PCBA manufacturer

Many customers are confused about how to choose a PCBA manufacturer because they don't know where to start to make the right choice Select a PCBA manufacturer with high quality, high efficiency, and high service, then how can we quickly find the best PCBA manufacturer?


1. Looking at the PCBA manufacturer's SMT technical equipment, PCBA processing, and production requires very professional and highly equipped equipment, such as high-speed chip mounter, reflow welding in the multi-temperature zone, etc. if the PCBA manufacturer has many advanced production equipment, it shows that it has a certain production capacity.

2. Looking at the price quoted by PCBA, generally speaking, the price of PCBA manufacturing and production is relatively transparent, including high price and low price, but it is not "the low price wins". Some PCBA manufacturers will purchase the original components through formal channels and implement strict quality control, resulting in an increase in PCBA processing costs; Some PCBA board manufacturers deliberately cut corners to reduce prices. Therefore, we should select PCBA manufacturers with high-cost performance according to our actual needs for quality, efficiency, service, and service.

3. Look at the product placement of PCBA manufacturer, mainly observe whether the placement of incoming materials, semi-finished products, products to be inspected and finished products are reasonable and clear, meet the standards and whether it is possible to use protective measures such as turnover vehicles and electrostatic boxes that help to improve the safety and reliability of products, Through the processing of these details, it can reflect whether the PCBA manufacturer has a strong ability to grasp the details of each process step in the processing link.

4. Look at the service attitude of PCB manufacturers. PCBA processing manufacturers with a good service attitude can take the initiative to take responsibility, quickly respond to enterprise needs and help enterprises solve difficult problems. Only having a good service awareness can enhance the sense of trust of enterprises and better promote order cooperation.

5. PCBA board manufacturer starts from every detail. Only PCBA processing manufacturers can meet the above standard requirements and adhere to the business philosophy of paying close attention to detail, high service, high quality, and high efficiency, which shows that the PCBA patch processing factory is a very suitable choice and has certain comprehensive strength, which is worthy of your trust and trust.


No matter what stage your design is in, we are happy to be able to provide any help in your project. At your request, iPCB is a professional prototype PCB assembly manufacturer, we will provide you with DFM advice in the early stage of your PCBA board design. Once the project has progressed, we will provide you with a PCBA proofing cycle and flexible arrangement of your one-stop PCBA manufacturing.


Please learn more about the products of PCBA manufacturer: PCBA products