Should I Design With SMT?
The benefits of SMT Assembly are extensive, both from a commercial and engineering
You may wish to stay with
through-hole for small production runs with few components and where PCB space is not at a premium. Even then, you may feel that
SMT assembly enhances the
perception of your product and remains cost-effective. Also, there
may be technical advantages in using SMT.
The benefits? Well, PCB real-estate
is a major factor. The most obvious advantage of SMT assembly is the
potential for miniaturisation. The decrease in PCB size can be
very dramatic with SMT. Along with this come advantages in the
area of EMC. For one thing, the absence of leads on SMT parts
reduces inductance; good for high-speed circuits and decoupling. Mechanical
strength and robustness are also enhanced with SMT.
If you're working with a complex
circuit, then SMT assembly can make it commercially viable; cost and size
being the issues here. As mentioned, SMT can also improve the
perception of your product. In this case, quite literally, every little helps!
Automation helps reduce cost. Most
SMT components come on reels ready to slot into an SMT assembly machine. Larger chips often come in 'waffle trays' that can slide
into our automatic chip dispensers.
We can place discrete SMT components down to
0201 in size.
That's pretty small!
Most designers are working with 0805 or 0603, with the latter
becoming more and more popular. Larger sizes are used where more
isolation or higher power dissipation are required. We currently recommend 0603 for most new
designs and can help with PCB footprints and design rules.
To find out more, contact
Assembly Computerised Multi-Zone Reflow Oven