Reduce the Cost of Manufacturing A Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) with THR technology

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Pick and place machine

‘Pick and Place’ Machine with THR components.

Do not judge a connector’s cost-effectiveness just by its price. Its ability to improve the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process counts as well. This is where THR technology shines.

The most common method of manufacturing  a PCBA (Printed circuit board assembly) typically requires 2 process flows. Reflow soldering is used to mount the Integrated chip (IC) and passive components in the first process flow. This is then followed by a second flow utilizing wave soldering to mount the terminal blocks and connectors.

The process can be optimized but that usually comes at a cost, e.g. installing a new machine. Hence, that eventually translates into a higher manufacturing cost in the short term. Is there a way to achieve higher efficiency in PCBA manufacturing without the accompanying costs?

Higher efficiency at Lower Or No Cost?

Yes. It can be done.

This is achieved by introducing connectors that are suited for the existing process line yet reduce the process flows to just one.

This is made possible by the integration of Through Hole Reflow (THR) components in Surface-mount technology (SMT) installations, which dominate today’s assembly manufacturing process.

Through Hole Reflow (THR) – Assembly In Just One Process

The benefit of THR is to use the existing Surface-mount device (SMD) machines and remove the 2nd process, the wave soldering, thus reducing the manufacturing a complete PCBA into a single process.

While it is the ideal situation to switch to an all-THR component solution, some components will still require wave soldering. Even so, there can still be a significant cost savings to make the switch.

Through Hole reflow Connector (THR)

Through Hole Reflow Connector (THR)

While there will not be a need to make changes to the existing equipment, some modifications will be required. For example it may require a change in the PCB design, an adjustment in the reflow profile, etc.

These changes, however, will reduce the amount of man-hours required for wave soldering. Based on a typical PCBA consisting of 80% of ICs and 20% of terminal blocks & connectors, the switch could achieve up to 20% of cost savings as THR components fully supports ‘pick and place’ machines.

If you would like to know more about Phoenix Contact’s THR connectors, get in touch with us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg.

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