An assembly line is one of the vital sections of any manufacturing process. Almost all electrical and mechanical components pass through this section before the final product is released.
Over the years, the PCB assembly service has gone through massive revolutions, leading to the creation of automated and manual systems. However, computerized assemblies seem to gain more traction since they are faster and more efficient.
So, does it mean the manual assembly systems are no longer relevant in the manufacturing sector?
Benefits of Automated Assembly
Like other manufacturing processes, automated assembly is undoubtedly the best option. Some of the benefits it offers include:
The whole process of assembling printed circuit boards requires high accuracy, especially when using smaller circuit boards.
An automated PCB assembly service relies on computer programs to execute most processes. As a result, it reduces errors and ensures all products meet the set industry standards.
PCB assemblers employ a unique program to develop the concept before actual implementation. Therefore, they can spot any design errors beforehand and correct them before delivering the final product. A significant reduction in errors means an equal reduction in production cost.
Miniaturization in the manufacturing sector allows for the production and assembling of smaller equipment parts.
Through automation, you can use computer programs to design and produce smaller components that fit within the smallest spaces of the product.
Speedy and Efficient Production
Unlike humans, computer programs work faster and can meet tight deadlines. As such, it can help you handle mass production.
Benefits of Manual Assembly
Although automated assembly has numerous perks, there are times when the PCB assembly service requires a human touch. It often boils down to following a defined process to manufacture specific circuit components.
Manual assembly offers the following benefits:
Cost-effective for Smaller Productions
Manual PCB assembly service is particularly cost-effective when working on low-volume projects. Examples of low volume production runs include thru-hole components, stand-offs, press-fit connectors, custom parts, and PCB sub-assemblies.
Enables Unusual Component Placement
Manual PCB assembly is the best alternative for fixing unusual equipment parts on circuit boards. Prototype projects mainly work well on a manual PCB assembly service. You can also use manual assembly for last-minute electronic components that didn’t arrive on time.
Allows for Efficient Clean Up of the Process
The quality of your final product depends on thorough inspection and cleaning of hidden parts after assembling. However, sometimes it isn’t easy to inspect every component through automated optical systems.
For instance, if you want to examine problems with soldiering procedures, you require a technician to conduct a manual check.
Other processes that require manual inspection and clean-up include surface mount connectors and floating objects from the reflow action.
Facilitates Easy Repair of Faulty Equipment
PCB assembly equipment requires routine maintenance to keep the system running efficiently. In addition, the system may sometimes develop malfunctions that require repairs.
Manual assembly plays a significant role in such cases as you can’t use computer programs to repair a fault on moving parts. Computer programs can troubleshoot problems in the system, but you need technicians to handle repair works.
Enables Consistency in Production
Manual assembly ensures consistency and reliability of the final product. In addition, the process is not subject to power outages and computer programs that may disrupt the production process. Instead, assembling is done by hand.
Manual vs. Automated Assembly: Which Is the Best Option?
There cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution for a PCB assembly service. That’s why manufacturers rely on manual and automated systems to deliver the output.
Automated assembly guarantees speed, efficiency, minimal errors, cost efficiency, and miniaturization. On the other hand, manual PCB assembly comes in handy to save on cost when handling low-volume tasks. In addition, if you want to clean up the process, assemble unusual components, or repair a malfunction, manual assembly is the best option.
Whether you go manual or automate the manufacturing process, you need a system that gives you an upper edge over your competitors. So if you are looking for the best PCB assembly service, contact us today!