Through Hole Assembly vs Surface Mount Assembly
Surface Mount and Through Hole are both common styles of circuit board assembly as well as common styles of soldering. Both offer many advantages. Also, both have specific applications that can be useful to different companies. Some businesses prefer one type of assembly process over the other. Both have their place in the electronics industry.
Through Hole Technology
Through Hole placement and soldering is when the components of a PCB have lead wires that physically have to pierce through the board. Those lead wires are then soldered into place. The leads get soldered to the opposite side of the board. This type of soldiering is very reliable. On this opposite side pads are directly attached to the leads and board simultaneously.
Some Through Hole PCB assemblies have plated through holes. These allow for circuitry on both sides of a board as well as more secure soldering of leads. This is due to the solder being located both on top and bottom as well as through the PCB.
Through Hole Circuit Board Needs
However, there is a need for drilled holes for these types of boards. The drilling these holes adds additional labor. Therefore, this may increase costs.
There is an increase in offerings as well as uses of Surface Mount style components. Therefore, Through Hole components may someday become antiquated. They may also be in such low demand they may no longer be a viable assembly method.
If there is a need for bulkier components or for boards requiring high-power and high-voltage parts Through Hole technology is the more reliable choice over Surface Mount. Often, when a business is creating a prototype they will use Through Hole Soldering. This is because it is easier to solder. Also, it is easier to de-solder components. This is especially helpful as you see the changing needs of a product.
Surface Mount components are not easy to change. Also, they are not easily maneuverable. Through Hole Soldering does make it easier to replace burnt out or non-functioning components. Meanwhile, you are still able to use the existing board.
Surface Mount Advantages
Usage of Surface Mount Placement and Soldering has increased the available pin count. This increase helps with the “space” or “real estate” issues from the past. These issues occur with other methods of placing components and soldering. Surface Mount assembly is the more suitable choice for high volume production over other assembly types. Utilizing Surface Mount components in new designs have benefits. Such as reducing circuit board size as well as being able to achieve more design features in a compact package.
The pin count is higher for Surface Mount assembly than that of the Through Hole. Surface Mount components are much more compact than those of Through Hole. Therefore, they have a higher packing density. Also, Surface Mount components are often lower in cost per volume. Surface Mount assembly is easier to automate. Therefore, it is easier to convert to a higher volume of production.
As with Through Hole assembly, Surface Mount assembly provides the ability to utilize both sides of the circuit board. By placing Surface Mount components directly on the board there is an increase in available space. This increases the design features. Also, it increases possible uses of the technology. Surface Mount components are more difficult to manually solder. This is due to the smaller sizes. Also, the placement of these parts must be precise on a board. Specialized machinery is necessary. Machinery such as wave soldering. This is instead of hand placing and soldering components.
Wrapping It Up
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- Wiring Harness Assembly: The Official Resource Guide
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