PCB & PCBA, what is it?

Simply put, PCBA is the process for manufacturing a completed electronic printed circuit board (PCB) with all the necessary electronic components on it, in order for it to function as it was designed for its application.  The acronym PCBA literally means: Printed Circuit Board Assembly and it is Sunnytech's core business.

Deciding on the right PCBA provider

Not all PCBA providers are equal for obvious reasons some key features to consider are:


Do you require local or off shore production?  Is certifications a top priority more so than equipment?  All these can and should be asked in order for you to find the best PCBA provider for your needs. 



In this Series total of 16 sections, is a step-by-step guide on printed circuit board design with information suitable for beginners to graduate-level users.

PCB Design is at the crossroads of mechanical and electrical domains. One day, you’re working with geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and the next day you’re calculating temperature rise on a power plane. In between these two camps, there is a raft of technology that is particular to printed circuit boards.

Just as the clothing industry weaves cotton or synthetic materials in different ways, so too does the PCB industry. The nature of the resin and method of the weave are broken out into what is called slash sheets by the IPC. (1) They have two main documents that are relevant to rigid stack-up materials; IPC-4101 for typical materials and IPC-4103 for high speed/high-frequency materials. Flexible materials are catalogued in IPC-4102 and high density interconnect materials are covered by IPC-4104.

A PCB is only as good as the sum of its parts. Components are categorized in various ways. One way is to identify parts as either passive or active. Passive parts are the basic building blocks, resistors, capacitors, and inductors are examples. Quite often, they have two pins but they can also be packaged with several individual circuits in a single package. Resistor packs are the most common passive components to be gathered into groups.


Sunnytech's core business sectors

Having been in Silicon Valley since 1989, Sunnytech's core customers rely heavily on our expertise and quick turn capabilities in order to meet their critical time sensitive to market timeline







Useful Terminology

Here are some searchable common lingo we use in our industry.

Terms Description
PCBAcronym term for "printed circuit board"
PCBAAcronym term for "printed circuit board assembly"
Flexible circuit boardA special type of printed circuit board where the board has at least a portion which is bendable
Reflow solderingA regulated temperature specific with thermal requirements for solder for each assembly build
IPC (electronics)Sunnytech is IPC-610 Class 1, 2 & 3.  It is a standardize assembly and production requirements of electronic equipment and assemblies.  
Conformal coatingA thin polymeric film which conforms to the contours of a printed circuit board to protect the board's components from moisture and/or dust
Reflow ovenA reflow oven soldering of surface mount electronic components to printed circuit boards (PCB). The oven contains multiple zones, which can be individually adjusted from heat ramp to peak then to cool down.  Sunnytech equipment: Heller 1826 MK 5 - 8 zone reflow with temperature probe
PTHThrough-hole technology (PTH).  The insert into holes drilled in printed circuit boards (PCB) and soldered to pads on the opposite side either by manual assembly (hand placement) or by the machine
Reference designatorUnambiguously identifies a component within an electrical schematic or on a printed circuit board. The reference designator usually consists of one or two letters in conjunction with numbers
Gerber FileFile format for printed circuit board (PCB) designs. It is the de facto standard used by PCB industry software to describe the printed circuit board images
Wave solderingWave soldering is a bulk soldering process used in the assembly of printed circuit boards. The circuit board is passed over a pan of molten solder with components in a bath of solder that is Tin-Lead or Lead-Free (RoHS)
In-circuit testIn-circuit test (ICT) is an example of white box testing where an electrical probe tests a populated printed circuit board (PCB), checking for shorts
Stencil printing Stencil printing is the process of depositing solder paste on the printed circuit boards (PCB) to establish electrical connections between the board and the electronic components
Component placementPlacement is an electronics manufacturing process that places electrical components precisely on printed circuit boards (PCBs)
Solder pastePaste that is used in the assembly of printed circuit boards to connect surface mount components to pads on the board. 
Circuit diagramLayout that can be fabricated onto a printed circuit board (PCB). Schematic-driven layout starts with the process of the schematic layout
SMTSurface-mount technology.  Electrical components are mounted directly onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB) and not through-hole technology
Selective solderingA soldering process, exposing only those areas to be selectively soldered in the tool's aperture or window
Solder maskLayer of polymer that is usually applied to the copper traces of a printed circuit board (PCB) for protection against oxidation and to prevent solder bridges
Flying probeTesting device.  Electro-mechanically controlled to access components on printed circuit assemblies (PCAs). The probes are moved around the board under test using an automatically operated probes.  Sunnytech utilize this process via special request and is done in house, not out sourced
Dip solderingSmall-scale soldering process by which electronic components are soldered to a printed circuit board (PCB) to form an electronic assembly
BGABall grid array.  It is a type of surface-mount packaging (a chip carrier) used for integrated circuits.  The whole bottom surface of the device can be used, instead of just the perimeter.
Fiducial marker Fiducial marks, also known as circuit pattern recognition marks, allow SMT machine to place component accurately onto the printed circuit board (PCB)
Rework (electronics)Usually involving desoldering and re-soldering of surface-mounted electronic components (SMD)
Bill of materialsThe list of components used on the printed wiring board or printed circuit board. Once the design of the circuit is completed, the BOM list is passed to printed circuit board assembler (PCBA) for final production
ISOThe International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  The organization develops and publishes worldwide technical, industrial, and commercial standards.  Sunnytech is ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 certified
ITARInternational Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a United States regulatory regime to restrict and control the export of defense and military related technologies to safeguard U.S. national security.  Sunnytech is registered ITAR manufacturer enabling the production of Department of Defense (DoD) projects.  ITAR M38794
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