If you’re new to the electronics manufacturing process, then the whole process could be overwhelming. There are numerous aspects of electronics manufacturing that are crucial for every manufacturer, irrespective of their size.
However, within a printed circuit board electronics manufacturing process, there are a number of individual stages.
With the increase in the demand for electronic assembly, the consistent manufacturing of these products has become a necessity.
Electronics Manufacturing Process
Bill of Materials
The first step in the electronics manufacturing process is determining a bill of materials or BOM. It is determined long before a design plan is even made.
In this process, manufacturers select the kinds of materials they need and work out their total cost.
Once the BOM is done, the next step is designing. You need to create a blueprint of the design and production. It is also necessary to design more than one blueprint in case something goes wrong.
In the designing process, it is important to measure all the components of the materials that the manufacturer uses to create an electronic device.
Once the device is designed, it is tested to make sure it works properly under various conditions before production. This is very important, because if there’s even a minor mistake in the design, the whole production will be a waste of time. Therefore, you should start with manufacturing only one item, test it, and then continue with the mass production.
Once you’re done with designing and testing, it’s time to distribute it. But, again, before you start with distribution, run a few final tests to ensure that your customers don’t get faulty products. This will ensure that your product’s or company’s brand image does not suffer..
Repairs and returns of the PCBs are also a part of the electronics manufacturing process, because you have to deal with faulty electronics that you have produced and distributed.
It doesn’t mean that you have knowingly supplied the faulty product, it’s just the nature of electronics products. They may stop working anytime, and whoever made them has to fix the fault.
Challenges in the Consumer Electronics Industry
Adapting to a Changing Marketplace
The consumer electronics industry is growing rapidly and so are the challenges associated with it. Even minor changes in the rules and regulations, guidelines, and preferences from the client or public can affect the whole manufacturing process, not to mention the rapid advancements in technology.
To remain up-to-date with all advances that occur in the design, production, and testing processes, manufacturers need to implement regular changes.
Nowadays, as in many other industries, there is a strong push in the electronics manufacturing sector to become eco-friendly. Climate change and global warming have become priority concerns for consumers and regulatory authorities. New rules and regulations are emerging all the time.
Global warming and climate change are often used interchangeably, but their meanings are slightly different. Climate change includes either an increase or decline in the long-term average temperatures of our atmosphere and oceans. Global warming refers only to a temperature increase (not a decline).
Since carbon is one of the most common and necessary products in electronics production, dealing with this challenge – companies’ carbon footprint – has become a major priority, and even a headache, for manufacturers.
Look for Alternatives
As a manufacturer, you need to adapt to any future regulations on carbon use. It would be advisable to start looking for alternatives now, so that your production won’t be affected by any new regulations that may emerge regarding carbon usage.
Assembly of PCB
The PCB assembly process includes building a surface mount technology (SMT) board using various techniques (pick and place).
It starts with solder pasting the printed board using a solder screen. Solder paste is usually done on the component pads. The solder paste is nothing but a mixture of flux and small grains of solder.
Once the solder paste is added, the board is then passed through a pick and place machine that picks the component from a dispenser and places them onto their correct position on the board.
The components are then soldered using a soldering machine to ensure that they are attached properly.
Just like the manufactured PCB, the assembled PCB also goes through various tests and inspections before being delivered to the market.
The electronics manufacturing process is an intricate and complicated one. Make sure you follow all the steps of manufacturing properly. Also, keep an eye on the rapidly changing rules and regulations to avoid heavy penalties from regulators and other authorities.
Not only manufacturing but also the assembly process is quite complicated. You could instead purchase items from other companies at a lower price and sell them at a margin.
Interesting related article: “What is good manufacturing practice?”