PCBA manufacturing is a complex and ever-evolving field that produces electronic components and devices. Whether you’re an engineer, technician, buyer, or simply interested in electronics, understanding the vocabulary associated with PCBA manufacturing is essential. This article presents a comprehensive vocabulary list to help you navigate the terminology commonly used in this field.

  1. PCB (Printed Circuit Board): A PCB, or Printed Circuit Board, is a flat board made of non-conductive material, such as fiberglass, with conductive pathways or printed onto it. It provides mechanical support and electrical connections for electronic components.
  2. PCBA (Printed cardboard assembled): PCBA refers to the process of assembling electronic components onto a printed circuit board (PCB). It involves placing components, soldering, and testing to create a functional electronic circuit.
  3. Components – Components are individual parts that make up an electronic circuit. These include resistors, capacitors, integrated circuits (ICs), transistors, and various other electronic devices.
  4. EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services): EMS refers to companies that provide contract manufacturing services for electronic components and products. They offer various services, including PCB assembly, testing, and packaging. These companies are numerous in China, as well as companies specializing in designing, developing, and manufacturing automation equipment for PCBA, such as Beijing Torch.
  5. SMT (Surface Mount Technology): SMT is a method of electronic component placement where the components are mounted directly onto the surface of a PCB instead of being inserted through holes. It allows for smaller and more densely populated PCBs.
  6. Sheathing: Sheathing is the process of covering or encapsulating electronic components with protective material. It helps to prevent damage from environmental factors such as moisture, dust, and temperature.
  7. Tin Plating: Tin plating is a process where a thin layer of tin is deposited onto the surface of a metal component or PCB. It provides protection against corrosion and facilitates soldering during the assembly process.
  8. SMD (Surface Mount Device): SMD refers to electronic components that are designed for surface mounting. These components have small, flat contacts or lead directly interacting with the PCB.
  9. Soldering: Soldering is the process of joining two or more metal components by melting a filler metal called solder and forming a permanent bond. It is commonly used to attach electronic components to a PCB.
  10. Bonding Components: Bonding components refers to the process of attaching electronic components to a PCB using adhesives or other bonding methods. It ensures secure mechanical attachment before soldering.
  11. Soldering Wave Oven: A soldering wave oven is a machine used in PCB assembly to melt and flow solder across the solder pads and components on a PCB. It ensures reliable solder connections.
  12. Conveyor Belt: A conveyor belt is a moving belt that carries PCBs through various stages of the manufacturing process, such as component placement, soldering, and testing. It ensures continuous and efficient production.
  13. Heat Exchanger: A heat exchanger is a device used to transfer heat between fluids. It is vital in electronics manufacturing, particularly in cooling electronic components and maintaining optimal operating temperatures.
  14. ICT Control (In-Circuit Test Control): ICT control refers to the use of in-circuit testing techniques to verify the functionality and performance of electronic components and circuits during the manufacturing process.
  15. Electrostatic Discharges (ESD): Electrostatic discharges are sudden electricity flows between two objects with different electric potentials. ESD can damage electronic components, so ESD precautions, such as using grounded workstations and wearing wrist straps, are essential during electronics manufacturing.
  16. Conformal Coating: Conformal coating is a protective coating applied to electronic components and PCBs to protect them from moisture, dust, chemicals, and other environmental factors. It helps enhance reliability and longevity.
  17. Potting: Potting, also known as resin pouring, is a process of encapsulating electronic components or PCBs in a protective resin or potting compound. It provides mechanical support, protection from environmental factors, and insulation.
  18. FR4: FR4 is a widely used flame-retardant grade of fiberglass-reinforced epoxy laminate material used for manufacturing PCBs. It is known for its high mechanical strength, electrical insulation properties, and resistance to heat and chemicals.
  19. Varnish Top Layer: A varnish top layer is a protective coating applied to the surface of a PCB to provide additional insulation and protection against moisture, dust, and contaminants. It helps to ensure the longevity and reliability of the PCB.

Having a solid understanding of the vocabulary used in PCBA manufacturing is crucial for effective communication and collaboration with your electronics suppliers. This vocabulary list is a starting point to familiarize yourself with the key terms. If you want to know more about our capabilities to provide you with PCBA, please check our dedicated page and send us your request.

Other articles about subcontracting: