16 January, 2023Posted by Sivaranjith Sivaraman
PCB assembly (PCBA) is an essential part of electronic manufacturing services as it involves the final stages of PCB manufacturing, testing, and inspection. After the assembling process, the PCB should work as expected per the design. To do so, the OEM should provide assembly documents alongside the Gerber.
The PCB assembly process is a combination of several automated and manual steps. Hence, there should be machine-readable and manual documents for a flawless assembly process. The list of necessary documents is listed below.
The PCB assembly process consists of solder pasting, pick and place, quality control, component insertion, inspection, and testing. The document files should mention all these processes and manufacturing methods for a flawless assembly process. Check the list below:
It is the most crucial document for the assembly procedure. It communicates the board's and components' shape, component placement, size, and shape. The drawing shows the location of components, their orientation, polarity, and the necessary markings on the board.
The drawing should be easy to read and convey all the required messages. And it should include all necessary information, such as:
Component size and shape
Board structure (circles/lines)
Reference designation for all parts
Specific comments from the designer's side are to be mentioned.
Schematic prints outline your intended board component connections and are necessary to define and establish your required test points.
Testers may find the testing points easily identifiable on the schematic prints. Boards can be made with multiple layers of materials to achieve various functionalities and aesthetics. To ensure connectivity, designers must provide the schematic for all layers.
A bill of materials (BOM) is a list of all the parts required to manufacture a product. The BOM can be created manually or automatically with the help of a database designed for this purpose.
The benefit of employing an automated BOM is that it relieves some of the work from your manufacturing team and ensures that all components are included in the bill of material. It comprises a list of all components, specifications, prices, quantities, and so on.
PCB boards come in different grades and for various applications. Depending on the grade of the application, the designer may need to provide dos, don'ts, and safe handling procedures.
In addition, caution needs to include the electrostatic discharge markings. The PCB manufacturer will use these markings to guarantee that all components are adequately protected from electrostatic discharge during the assembly process.
The notes section of your quote is where you can list any information that you might need your manufacturer to know.
It’s also a good idea to make notes about anything you think should be discussed during the design process or afterward. If there is something that could affect the quality of your design and manufacturing, it’s wise to include it in your notes so that everyone involved knows about it.
The necessary documentation helps the manufacturer assemble PCBs as per your design. The kind of support you need to provide should always have a bearing on what type and how many files you will send to the manufacturer. Each manufacturer has its requirements, so it is advisable to check if yours has any additional requirements from their end before submitting your documents for a quotation. You can use software to generate design documents, to ensure all contents are orderly and arranged in the documents.