PCB assembly process A complete step-by-step guide

Ayush
5 min readApr 26, 2023

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Being the important factor in the PCB designing process, PCB assembly should have steps that ensure the PCB is produced in quality and adheres to the standards. Are you interested in assembling your own printed circuit board (PCB)? You might be wondering where to start and what steps to follow. It is not rocket science still not very easy to carry out. We have covered the complete steps involved in the assembly process of printed circuit board. The steps are general for all kinds of PCB, but the importance of each step depends on the type of PCB and the industry it serves.

We prefer you create your own PCB assembly guide before going into the actual custom assembly process.

PCB assembly process

Step 1: Design Your PCB board & PCB assembly process

Designing your PCB is the initial stage of PCB development. To design your PCB, you can use a software program like Eagle, Altium, or KiCad. Create a schematic of your circuit first, then convert it to a PCB layout. Check for any design rule breaches and ensure that your design is error-free. You can go to the following stage once your PCB design is complete.

Step 2: Print the PCB Layout

The PCB layout is then printed onto special transfer paper. For the image to be placed appropriately on the board after the transfer, make sure to mirror the image before printing. You can use an inkjet or laser printer to print the layout.

Step 3: Transfer the PCB Layout to the Board

It’s time to transfer the PCB assembly layout to the board after printing it. Place the transfer paper on the copper side of the board with the picture facing down. Toner from the paper should be transferred to the board by applying pressure and heat. To apply the heat and pressure, you can use a laminator or a clothes iron.

Step 4: Etch the Board

The board needs to be etched after the toner has been transferred to it. The removal of extra copper from the circuit board by the process of etching. To etch the board, you can use an etchant like ferric chloride or ammonium persulfate. When handling the etchant, be sure to carefully follow the instructions and put on safety gear such as gloves and goggles.

Step 5: Drill the Holes

Drill holes where you want the components to go after etching. Use a drill bit with the same diameter as the component leads. Ensure that the holes are properly spaced and are not too close to one another.

Step 6: Mount the Components

It’s time to mount the components to the board at this point. Make sure that each component is positioned correctly and that the proper polarity is followed. Create placement guidelines that ensure the comp A soldering iron and solder are used for connecting the components to the board.
You will need to place all of the components that make up your circuit physically inside. We’ll go over a step-by-step procedure for PCB assemblies’ component placement in this post so you may design a working circuit that satisfies your requirements.

Procure your Components as per the BOM

Make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand before you start. Included in this are your PCB board, the components, a soldering iron, and any further tools you might require. To know where each component should go, it’s also a good idea to have a schematic or diagram of your circuit available.

Smallest components first

The smallest components should be placed first because they can be the trickiest to place precisely. This covers components like diodes, capacitors, and resistors. Put each component precisely where it belongs on the board using a pair of tweezers.

Move on to Larger Components

It’s now time to move on to the larger components after you’ve assembled all of the smaller ones. This can contain components like connections, IC chips, and other intricate pieces. Follow your schematic exactly, and verify that each component is placed where it should be.

Check Your Placement

Double-checking your component arrangement is crucial before you begin soldering. Examine each component closely to ensure that it is positioned properly and is orientated correctly. Now is the moment to make any adjustments you may need.

Solder Your Components

It’s time to solder your components to the board now that they are in position. Each part will be firmly fastened to the PCB at this point. To make a solid, secure connection, be sure to use safe soldering techniques and take your time. This is due to the high setup costs associated with the production of circuit boards and component manufacturing.

Test the Circuit

It’s time to test the circuit after all the components have been placed. Connect the power source, then use a multimeter to test the circuit. Check for any open or short circuits. Verify that the circuit is operating as expected.

Step 7: Mount it on the device

Mount the PCB on the device frame safely without any harm to the components of traces. Either you can depend on automatic machines or experts.

What Are The Basic Requirements For PCB Assembly?

The following supplies and equipment are commonly required to manufacture a printed circuit board (PCB):

1. PCB: The base board on which the circuit’s electrical connections and components are located.

2. Components: These are the electronic parts, such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, and integrated circuits, that will be mounted to the printed circuit board (PCB).

3. Solder: Solder is the substance used to create the electrical connections between the PCB and the components.

4. Soldering iron: The device used to heat solder and create electrical connections is a soldering iron.

5. Flux: Flux is a substance that facilitates the solder’s flow and adhesion to the PCB and component surfaces.

6. Tweezers: Using tweezers, small components can be positioned and placed on the PCB.

7. Wire cutters: Using wire cutters, leads or wires can be cut to the right length.

8. Multimeter: This is used to check the circuit’s functionality after pcb assembly.

To avoid harming the components or the PCB, it’s crucial to carefully follow the assembly instructions and operate in a tidy, static-free environment. Having a schematic diagram or layout of the circuit to refer to during assembly may also be useful.

Additional Tips and Tricks
Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you with PCB assembly:

  • Prior to printing your design onto the transfer paper, always double-check it.
  • For improved toner transfer onto the board, use a laminator rather than an iron.
  • After the etching, wipe the board with a fiberglass brush.
  • To keep the board steady when soldering the components, use a PCB holder.
  • While soldering, use a fume extractor or work in a well-ventilated location.

Final Thoughts
Component placement on the custom PCB assembly process is a cautious and precise process. These steps will help you build a useful circuit that suits your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced designer, the success of your project depends on how carefully you put each component. You’ll be shocked at what you can do, so grab your tools and get started!

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Ayush

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