Today, without printed circuit boards, it is almost impossible to imagine life functioning. All electronic appliances have this small element that is so important for the functioning of modern devices. You can find them everywhere – from TVs and computers, small home appliances, to remote controls. A printed circuit board is a small piece of an electronic device – that plays a big role in its functioning. Decades before, PCBs were made by hand – and even today some hobbyists do it that way. However, now it is completely unnecessary and unprofitable. Here are 5 reasons never to assemble a printed circuit board by yourself.
Design And Production Of Printed Circuit Boards
The design and production of printed circuit boards – is something extremely important for the construction of electronic devices. The printed circuit board connects the components of the device into a functional circuit – bringing its electrical properties into it. However, it also forms a mechanical carrier that keeps the entire construction structure connected. Although fans of electrical engineering are still inclined to construct and make them themselves – we can say that this is an outdated method.
This is not surprising because, with the development of technology, their automated machine production began – which can better meet the great needs of the market. We can say that the printed circuit board is the physical and electrical basis of almost every electronic device. Certainly, just like all other components of electronics, it is subjected to a key criterion – and that is the production cost.
Why Shouldn’t We Assemble PCBs By Ourselves?
Nowadays, machine assembly of PCBs has become the standard. Market demands are too high in terms of production volume – for PCBs to continue to be assembled manually. According to pcbonline.com, certain standards have been achieved in production today, primarily in technical precision – which manufacturers must adhere to.
The price of production itself is not high – and that is, in addition to quantity and quality, the most important reason why we switched to machine production. There are certainly other reasons why you don’t need to assemble a PCB yourself.
1. You Won’t Have Troubles With Manual Assembly And Installation
First, we must point out that manually assembling PCBs is a very complex and slow job. It requires a lot of knowledge and time from you. And not only that. You also need enviable precision in your work. Namely, today, electronic components and boards are becoming smaller and smaller – but regardless of their size, each part must be precisely positioned and perfectly soldered.
When it comes to machine production, they do it according to a predetermined prototype – whose data and dimensions are entered into a computer. Then it starts mass production with the help of modern machines – and this affects the speed of work, which is important for respecting deadlines for customers.
2. You’ll Reduce The Costs And Risks Of Errors
Certainly not the same thing whether you need one printed circuit board or more. When assembling yourself, you should keep in mind the material you need- as well as cutting a board to size, use of copper, etc. Also, accuracy and time spent are of great importance. We have already pointed out that this is a complex – and somewhat slow job when you do it manually.
When you need more PCBs – then it is a completely unprofitable option. When you take into account the cost of materials, as well as the time spent – you will hardly be able to place a larger order yourself if you do everything by hand. Of course, when you’re in a hurry – mistakes are more certain. An error in the construction of the PCB board can lead to a malfunction of the device in which it is installed. There may be a short circuit – and in the end, you will do more harm than good. On the other hand, in machine production, this is a rare case – and everything is done much faster and easier.
3. Shortened Production Cycle
If you are an electronics specialist – you will need at least 5 hours to manually assemble a PCB board. Consider that each printed circuit board has a certain price. Now multiply that price by 5 and you will see how much loss you actually have. Let’s be realistic – for manual design and assembly of a printed circuit board, you will need from one to seven days – depending on what type of PCB board and how complicated it is.
Not to mention that small parts can crack, or a short circuit can occur – so the whole process will take even longer. In machine production, everything is different because you know that you can do several steps at the same time – which significantly saves you costs and precision manufacturing.
4. Consistency And Precision In Production
When you make PCBs by hand, and you need more of them in a series – you will hardly always do each one with the same precision, even if you are quick when making them. When we work according to the principles of automation, then the machine assembly – and the computer “remember” every similarity in each manufactured PCB.
That will prevent even minimal differences or variations in design. Certainly, this consistency and precision in production should make the job easier – but also provide the possibility of creating working copies that you can use later if you have the need.
5. Professional Appearance Also Applies To Prototypes
Whether the prototype is made to present an idea, look for a financier for a project, going to a fair, etc. – you don’t want even your prototype to look amateur. You do not want to see joints on soldered parts – or uneven marks on a board that has not been properly sanded.
This does not leave a good impression on those to whom you intend to offer your project. Therefore, automated assembly of PCB boards has a far advantage over manual ones. The complete PCB looks representative in terms of construction – and most importantly, they are functional. Then you can present your project without fear that something will go wrong.
The Bottom Line
We hope we have been able to explain to you the advantages of automated PCBs over manual ones. It is not just about the speed of production or its quantity. It is primarily a question of quality that pays off financially when you need serial production.