Day by day, electronic components are getting smaller in the printed circuit board market. It would help if you also evolved your projects with the need to ensure your survival in it.
The new components revolving in the market are not only small but are also cheap and fast. They go by the name of surface mount devices (SMDs). Have you ever heard of them? This article will cover everything that you need to learn about them. Let's get started.
1. Surface Mount Devices Electronics
1.1 What is a surface mount device?
In simplest terms, a surface mount device (SMD) is an electronic device that you would use on your projects. Every electronics engineer eventually needs to use them. These devices are typically found on a printed circuit board.
Image 1: SMD
1.2 What does SMD stand for in electronics?
In the electronics manufacturing industry, surface-mounted devices (SMDs) are tiny devices placed on printed circuit boards. The advancing technology demanded electronic components that were cheap, small, and fast.
Through-hole components were not fulfilling the latest market needs, so SMD came into existence. Unlike them, SMDs utilize pins attached to printed circuit boards by soldering them onto the pads.
SMD gives more PCB space as holes are not bored, and both board sides are available for use. You would not need to worry about any wire leads passing through the boards. SMDs do not have any wire leads or may have only tiny ones.
In this section, we defined the surface mount devices. In the coming quarter, we will tell you about the advantages of surface mount devices.
2. SMD Product Advantages
Now you may be thinking about the features and benefits of surface mount devices products available in the market.
2.1 Dependable Processing
Some manufacturers are using high-performance plastic LCP for making surface mount devices. It makes sure precise grid alignment and maximum dimensional stability. The material has tremendous solder heat resistance. Therefore, a smooth, dependable SMD connection system is guaranteed.
You will not need to pre-dry such SMDs as they have low moisture sensitivity (MSL 1). They also have a low thermal expansion coefficient, which prevents a PCB assembly from being dismantled during soldering. Therefore, you can rapidly perform the whole automatic PCB assembly process.
Image 2: SMD
2.2 Stable Solder Connections
The PCB terminals of SMDs made using LSF make sure a firm grip on the board. It is because the manufacturers use two solder pads for each pole. You can even place large electronic components as the holding force/pin is more than 150 N.
Manufacturers also perform endurance tests to make sure the shock resistance and high vibration are according to IEC 61373/10.2011. Thus, you will get a maintenance-free and smooth SMD process in the long run.
Not just this, you will also get good results with composite PCBs made of aluminum, ceramics, or glass.
2.3 Effective Assembly
SMD with suction surfaces support and pick-and-place pads ensure accurate placement and safe mounting in the automatic PCB assembly process. You will also be maximizing the performance of the assembly due to the lightweight of the PCB terminals of SMD.
Coming to the packaging of these components, you will get them in standard conveyor widths with tape-on-reel packing. Furthermore, they are made for automatic processes and thus contain many numbers of features for every roll. What does it mean? It just means that you are reducing your setup expenses.
So, you already know the benefits of surface mount devices. In the coming section, we will tell you about what people think about these devices worldwide.
3. Social Proof
I know that just reading something is not enough to make a decision regarding it. Real-life experiences of customers help in actually knowing if something is worth it.
I scoured through the internet and found some user reviews on SMDs. Also, they seemed relatively positive. They are about surface mount resistors and light-emitting diodes.
The next section will tell you the difference between SMD and surface mount technology (SMT). Stay tuned.
4. SMD VS SMT
You, being an electronics engineer, would have heard about the two acronyms: SMD and SMT. In spellings, they only vary by letter. However, in reality, there is a hell of a difference between them.
4.1 What Is The Difference Between SMT And SMD?
Principally, SMT is a procedure, and SMD is a component. Surface mount technology (SMT) is the process of putting electronics components on the PCB. Moreover, these electronic components are surface-mount devices (SMDs). In the electronics market, you can use them together to add credibility to your project.
Hopefully, now you will never get confused with the terms SMT and SMD. Now, we will briefly tell you about the alternatives to surface mount devices.
Image 6: SMD
5. Three Alternatives to Surface Mount Devices
It is okay if you do not want to work with surface mount devices. We are here to help you out in this scenario too. You can use the following three alternative types of components:
1. Through-Hole Devices: These types of devices have wire leads that can be soldered to PCB after drilling holes.
2. Pin Grid Array: These components are integrated circuits, and you will find them in a rectangular or square shape. For mounting purposes, they can be inserted into a socket or by drilling holes into the PCB.
3. Quad Flat Package: It is a kind of integrated circuit package that can be mounted on the surface of printed circuit boards. It has "gull-wing" wire leads spreading out of its every side.
Image 7: SMD
6. SMD Soldering
SMD soldering process
Historically speaking, we soldered SMDs by hand until the advent of pick and place machines. Because of their nature, SMD components are conducive to soldering.
They are perfect for first-time hobbyists who want to learn how to solder components to their PCBs. You can solder them traditionally, use solder paste, or flood with solder.
If machines do the soldering, the first machine in the process will be the solder paste printer. It applies the solder to the pad. After solder is applied, we perform an inspection.
Next, we surface to mount the components into the PCB pads. The PCB then goes through a pre-reflow automated optical inspection to ensure the integrity of the component placement process.
Next, the PCB will go through the reflow soldering machine, forming the connections between the components and PCB. Finally, the PCB will go through post-reflow automated optical inspection.
7. SMD LED
High power SMD white lighting LED assembly.
SMD are distinct because of their lack of wires. As with other SMD components, they have solder-able metallic contacts. SMD technology makes multi-color encapsulation possible. These types of LEDs will usually feature three colors (red, green, and blue).
You can also find SMD LEDs as top-emitting chips, right angle chips, sub-miniature chips, and reverse mount chips.
8. SMD PCB
SMD component chip for pcb
A common feature of surface mount technology includes an absence of leads on components. However, sometimes these leads may be short. The main body of SMD components meets the PCB and solder joint on the same side. This makes for a seamless and easy connection.
In conclusion, we would say that you should try using surface mount devices in your projects. It will save you the burden of drilling holes through PCB. Furthermore, it is also the demand for advancing technology.
If you need to use a surface mount device to make a PCB, place an order on our website and let us know what your demands are. OurPCB will be more than happy to assist you in any way. Contact us today.