Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are an integral part of our daily lives. From the remotes that smallest remotes that we use to lock and unlock our cars to the largest television viewing screens that we have in our homes, PCB fabrication services enable the technology that we all depend on. And while most Americans think very little about the technology behind the conveniences that they depend on, an entire industry is concerned with the details that help all of us live more enjoyable lives.
Whether you are a recent college graduate interested in a job in the electrical engineering field or you are a member of a large corporation research and development team, you likely would not have gotten where you are without a thorough understanding of how the PCB fabrication process works. From the earliest testing processes to the final stages of development, engineers and researchers rely on the circuitry provided by circuit board assembly services manufacturers. In fact, many people first discovered their interest in this field by working with the most basic of circuit systems.
Interestingly enough, the first time that PCB designs were developed paved the way to the technology that is still in use. The boards may have gotten much smaller and the turnkey PCB assembly process is much faster, but the same basic principles are in use. Consider some of these facts and figures about the PCB assembly process and the engineers who rely on them:
- Typically, an engineer’s salary can vary from $50,000 to $150,000.
- In theory, transistors may continue miniaturizing until they reach the size of a single nanometer. This is equivalent to the thickness of 10 atoms stacked back-to-back.
- A single automatic line on a single PCB prototype machine can place and solder more components than 50 hand solder operators. These machine placed solders are also of better and more consistent quality.
- In fact, the invention of the machine-assembly process for any size orders means that automated shops can assembly PCBs in a fraction of the time it would normally take for PCBs that are completed by hand placement. Some PCB assemblers have a standard turn around time of five days or less, a window that is 75% faster than the industry average.
- Through hole technology and surface mount technology are the two methods used to create double sided circuit boards, ones that are able to connect circuits on each side.
- $44 billion was the 2014 revenue created by PCB fabrication and the electronic component manufacturing process in the U.S.