What Is PCBA? : Its Benefits and Difference with PCB

PCBA stands for Printed Circuit Board Assembly. Up to this meaning, it’s all fine. But the real problem starts right from here. Many, in fact, most people don’t understand the true meaning and purpose of the PCBA. And many would even confuse it with the PCB.

So, we decided to write on what is PCBA. Of course, it has a close connection with the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). A PCB refers to an electronic pad designed to transmit electronic signals while dissipating the heat generated due to the digital transmission.

And the PCBA refers to the complete electronic board after all of its components are assembled completely. It has several incredible benefits that make it a much sought-after element in the communicating and electronics industry.

However, it has key differences with the PCB. A PCB is void of any electrical components whereas the PCBA refers to the complete board assembly.

Table of Contents

What Is PCBA?

A PCB consists of non-insulating and heat-resistant materials. It has a substrate that dissipates the heat to keep the entire setup cool and high-performing. The upper section has conductive materials such as copper to transmit the signal electronically from one part to another.

The substrate is made of different elements and it works to dissipate heat. However, the PCB is an incomplete construction as it doesn’t have the electronic components, not on it.

The PCBA, on the other end, is a complete assembly. You have to assemble the PCB, once it is ready. The assembling requires both passive and active components. The list of these electronic components include-

  • Resistor
  • SMD capacitor
  • Transformer
  • Diode
  • ICs
  • Transmitter

You have to mount these components on the printed circuit board to prepare the fully usable circuit boards. And this assembled circuit board is the PCBA we are referring to until now. Also, note that the electronic components can be of two types. These types are-

  1. SMD components: It refers to surface mount devices. You have to use the surface mount technology to install these components on the PCB. You can identify the SMD components by measuring the number of pins in the package.
  2. Through-hole components: Thru-hole or through-hole components have leads in them. The leads are inserted through the PCB board surface. You have to drill holes on the PCB surface to insert the thru-hole components into it.

The assembly of the printed circuit board is done in two ways. You may opt for automated soldering to mount the electronic components on the PCB. The most popular soldering technology is wave soldering. It is used for the conventional thru-hole components.

Another widespread technology to solder the components on the PCB is the Reflow soldering technique. It is used for SMD components mostly. You may also use mixed soldering technology. Some expert professionals will use hand soldering too. But it is a quite difficult task.

When you complete the soldering or assembling of the electronic components on the printed circuit board, it is referred to as the PCBA or Printed Circuit Board Assembly. Until you prepare the PCBA, the PCB isn’t ready for any application. And when you have prepared the PCBA, you can use it for use on different devices.

Difference Between the PCBA and PCB

PCBA

If you are in the electronics, communication device manufacturing, or PCB industry, you have to know the difference between PCBA and PCB. It would help you pick the right PCB for your purpose.

  1. The printed circuit board is a surface only with insulation and a heat-dissipating layer. The metal surface sits on top of the dielectric part. It is void of any electrical components.
  2. The PCBA is built on the printed circuit board (PCB). To prepare the PCBA you have to work over the PCB.
  3. The printed circuit board can be of different kinds. It depends on the material used to prepare its substrate. You can find metal, ceramic, or FR4 PCBs. Also, it can be flexible or rigid as well as single or dual based.

Many manufacturers will outsource the PCB from different companies and finish the PCBA on their own. Also, only a few companies are capable of completing the assembly of electronic components assembly on the PCB.

Nonetheless, you can depend on us to get your PCB and PCBA done. FX PCB with 10+ years of useful experience in printed circuit board manufacturing, we also prepare PCBAs. It will surely cater to your device-making needs.

What To Consider For the Best PCB for PCBA Manufacturer

When you outsource the customized PCB prototype to prepare the PCBA, you have to look at a few factors closely.

  • The PCB company should be dedicated to manufacturing printed circuit boards, instead of a simple broker.
  • Many companies will limit your order. It is called Minimum Order Limit (MOL). A good circuit board manufacturer will never limit your quantity to order the printed boards. You should be able to order as minimum or as high as you want.
  • For PCBA manufacturing, the company has to know different PCB soldering techniques. It includes SMT, thru-hole, and hand soldering.
  • The lead time is another important consideration. You must get the delivery of PCBAs on time. Also, the delivery must come with the details for DFM (Design for Manufacturability). The DFM is a must since you can’t manufacture your desired device without it.
  • The pricing of the PCBA must be competitive and negotiable. You should be able to bargain with the manufacturer to get the best pricing.

Are you wondering where to get a PCBA supplier who puts tick marks in these requirements? Well, FX PCB is here to meet your demands. Our professional engineering and the working team prepares various PCBs and assemble them with electronic components.

Also, we have competitive pricing and no order limit. You can get from 100s to 100000s of PCB fully assembled. And last but not least. FX PCB guarantees you on-time delivery with every part tested and certified for quality.

Conclusion

You should now have the best idea of what is PCBA. It is the second part of manufacturing your desired devices. Once you have the PCB substrate, you can organize the various components such as a transistor, transformers, ICs, on the circuit board. And this assembly is the PCBA.

The two techniques for PCBA are the SMT and thru-hole. You have to cautious about the proper mounting of these components. And at FX PCB you are guaranteed to get the most accurate and precise PCBAs in competitive pricing and on time.

Peter Gong
Peter Gong

Author

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