Printed circuit boards (PCBs) were first introduced around 1945. Fifty years later, this technological innovation became a $7.1 billion industry. In 2000, the industry was worth $10 billion, and attained more than $60 billion worldwide as of 2012. By 2014, however, the combined revenue of PCBs and electronic component manufacturing in the United States was valued at approximately $44 billion. Needless to say, this industry continues to innovate and grow.
In order to create PCBs, designers now use a computer-aided design system, or CAD. This special software enables designers to lay out the board’s circuit pattern in this program rather than by hand. Prior to this software being introduced. designers would use clear Mylar sheets in order to make a transparent photomask of their designs-in0process. It’s interesting to note that these Mylar sheets would be approximately four times larger than the actual circuit board. When using CAD, this process is much simpler and more efficient. This is due to the fact that the proposed design can be manipulated and viewed from a variety of perspectives.
Another important technological advancement within this industry pertains to a shift from hand to machine soldering. An automatic line, for example, can place and solder considerably more components than in past years when soldering was all done by hand. In addition to placing and soldering with increased quality which is also more consistent, an automatic line can complete more components than 50 individuals soldering by hand.
Given the introduction of machine assembly, PCB orders can obviously be completed in a fraction of the time that it would take for placing these components by hand. This applies to any size of order, which includes PCB prototype assembly. Furthermore, some machine assembly manufacturers are able to turn around a project within five days or less, which is their standard time. It’s interesting to note that this is 75% faster than the industry’s average turn-around time.
Does your current project require PCB assembly? PCB manufacturing companies can provide your business with a variety of services, such as small batch PCB assembly. In addition to small batch PCB assembly services, you may also require other services such as PCB inspection or prototype assembly.
When you contact a PCB manufacturing company, you can learn more about all of the services available so you can make your new product line available as soon as possible.