Surface mount assembly is a form of surface mount technology (SMT). It is a method of electronic circuit production where components are placed directly on the surface of a printed circuit board. This technology has replaced the earlier method of wiring components to a circuit board through holes in the board.
As a result, the circuit board is smaller than before as it has fewer or no leads. Instead, it connects with other parts of an electronic device through a series of pins, contacts and solder balls.
The equipment used in surface mount assembly consists of robotic machines that are often called pick and place machines. These work at high speed to place resistors, capacitors and other components on the circuit board. The equipment carries out its work according to specific pre-programmed tasks.
The software required to operate these machines has become one of the fastest-growing segments within the surface mount assembly market.
The reason for this market surge lies in attempts over recent years by manufacturing industries to streamline their operations. Rising costs of skilled labor as well as rising energy costs have meant that the manufacturing sector has had to eliminate those operations that were not deemed to have added value, and has had to redefine and optimize other shop-floor processes.
The increasing automation of shop-floor processes has led to a greater demand for surface mount assembly equipment. This has coincided with a drive for efficiency and miniaturisation in the medical, electronic, defense and aerospace industries that has also increase demand for smaller electronic devices and hence surface mount assembly equipment.
The emphasis on product quality has led to a further demand for surface mount technology inspection equipment. This not only reduced repair and reworking costs, but also maintained quality control throughout the production process.
Continuing technological advancement along with burgeoning demand from emerging and developed economies recovering from the 2007-8 financial crisis and recession have contributed to the ongoing growth. The market in Asia has been boosted by a resurgence of demand from China. The health care and automotive industries in particular are likely to boost this market to a global value of US $11.7 billion worldwide by 2017.
The surface mount technology market has become intensely competitive. The problem for new entrants into this market could be financing high upfront research expenditure.
If you have any PCB or PCBA projects, please feel free to contact Joanna via Email：Joanna@raypcb.org