SMT PCB Assembly Or Through-Hole PCB Assembly?


SMT PCB Assembly Or Through-Hole PCB Assembly?

When you consider having a PCB built for your application, you will see that almost every PCB assembly manufacturer from India is skilled at manufacturing two main types of assemblies – Surface Mount Technology assembly and Through-Hole assembly. Both these types differ in the way the components are mounted on the printed circuit board.

Through-hole assembly – The most traditional PCB type

Until the 1960s, only through-hole mounting was used, as this was the only one method that was known to manufacturers. Here, holes were drilled into the printed circuit board, into which component leads are placed. This is a very cumbersome and work intensive process, which did not use the surface of the PCB as efficiently as possible. This is why in the 1960s, a new kind of assembly system was brought into practice – the surface mount technology assembly – which brought many benefits as compared to the through-hole assembly. Consequently, almost all PCBs by the 1980s used surface mount technology.

Surface mount technology assembly – Today’s PCB type

Ever since, the surface mount technology has become the dominant type of PCB assembly. It offers better performance, greater manufacturing ease, and lower cost as compared to the through-hole PCB assembly. It also allows for smaller and more powerful PCBs, which is why it has been able to make its mark in today’s small and miniature devices. One of the main benefits of surface mount technology is that the assembly method does not require drilling holes through the printed circuit board. As a result, the SMT components are smaller and can be placed on both sides of the board. Manufacturers can thus add more components to the PCB, which increases the computing power without increasing the size of the board. These smaller PCBs have made it possible to shrink down the size of devices, thus helping us have such powerful miniature equipment that can better control the design of the internal components.

Which assembly type is better?

However, this does not mean that there is no longer a place for through-hole assemblies. Now you may wonder that if SMT PCBs are so much better and cheaper than through-hole assemblies, why would the latter even hold a place any longer? Well, in spite of the smaller smarter appliances today using the smaller and compact SMT PCBs, there are certain devices and applications that still use through-hole PCBs because they seem to be a better choice. It may be surprising for you, but it’s true. The reason behind this is that through-hole assemblies result in stronger mechanical bonds because of the holes drilled to hold components in place. This is why they offer more reliability and resiliency in even the most stressful environments. Hence, if your device needs to be used in extreme temperatures, pressures, accelerations, and collisions, a through-hole assembly should be a better choice for you.

You can see how both SMT and through-hole assemblies are significant in their own ways. So, you need to identify which PCB you need to use in your particular application, and then order the same. However, if you just can’t decide on what you want, you can leave it to the experts to understand your requirements and build the best PCB assembly for you. Outsource your manufacturing processes to a professional EMS provider like Miracle Aerospace, the leading PCB assembly manufacturer from India, whose facilities are equipped with both SMT and through-hole lines to design and manufacture both kinds of PCBs using standardized procedures.