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What is the Difference between PCB and PCBA?

It is believed that many people are not unfamiliar with PCB, they may hear it often in daily life, but they may not know PCBA very well, or even be confused with PCB. So what is PCB? How did PCBA evolve? What is the difference between PCB and PCBA? Let’s learn more about it.

What is PCB

PCB is the acronym for printed circuit board. It is a circuit board with wires and pads that connect points together. In the figure above, there are traces to electrically connect various connectors and components with each other. PCB allows signal and power to be routed between physical devices. Solder is the metal that establishes electrical connection between PCB surface and electronic components. Solder is metal and can also be used as a strong mechanical adhesive. PCB has been widely used in the production and manufacturing of electronic products. Its unique characteristics are summarized as follows:

  1. High wiring density, small volume, light weight, conducive to the miniaturization of electronic equipment.
  2. Because of the repeatability and consistency of the figures, the errors of wiring and assembly are reduced, and the time of maintenance, debugging and inspection of the equipment is saved.
  3. It is beneficial to mechanized and automatic production, improves labor productivity and reduces the cost of electronic equipment.
  4. The design can be standardized and easy to exchange.

What is PCBA

PCBA is the abbreviation of Printed Circuit Board +Assembly , that is to say, PCBA is the whole process of PCB blank SMT loading and dip plug-in. PCBA (printed circuit board assembly) is a board that all components and parts are welded and installed on the PCB. Now it can complete the electronic function of its design.

Note: SMT and dip are both ways to integrate parts on PCB. The main difference is that SMT does not need to drill holes on PCB, and dip needs to insert pin pins of parts into drilled holes.

SMT (surface mounted technology) surface mounting technology mainly uses the mounting machine to mount some micro and small parts on PCB board. Its production process is: PCB board positioning, printing solder paste, mounting by the mounting machine, back welding furnace and manufacturing inspection.

Dip is called “plug-in”, that is to insert parts on PCB board. This is the form of plug-in when some parts are large in size and not suitable for mounting technology. Its main production processes are: adhesive, plug-in, inspection, wave soldering, plate brushing and manufacturing inspection.

Difference between PCB and PCBA

As can be seen from the above introduction, PCBA generally refers to a processing flow, which can also be understood as the finished circuit board. PCBA can only be calculated after all the processes on the PCB are completed. PCB refers to an empty PCB with no parts on it.


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