There is no question that Through-Hole Devices (THDs) have been largely replaced by Surface Mount Devices (SMDs) in the PCB Assembly industry of today. That being said, THDs are still a vital piece of almost any project, since larger and heavier components benefit from the stronger mechanical bonding offered by Through-Hole PCB Assembly. As such, Bittele Electronics is of course fully equipped to handle THD Assembly for prototype to mid-volume production quantities.
Bittele’s PCB Assembly Process incorporates two different methods of THD Assembly that are selected based upon the specifics of the project in development. Generally, we employ Wave Soldering for production level quantities with a large number of THDs present. It should be noted that both Wave Soldering and Reflow Soldering can be used on a single PCB if that PCB includes mixed technologies of both SMD and THD components. In certain cases Wave Soldering can also be used for SMDs as well as THDs, but we find it more efficient to simply use Wave Soldering for THDs, followed by Reflow for SMDs. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but SMDs that are intended for Wave Soldering are subject to more stringent physical requirements, such as heat tolerance, and our production team must also apply some adhesive to each SMD prior to the wave soldering process so that these parts do not fall uselessly from the board.
For prototype orders, and even some production quantities where the project includes relatively few THDs, we will first reflow your SMDs, and then pass the nearly-finished boards to our expert Manual Soldering team.
Once manual soldering is completed, your project moves into the inspection and testing phase, which includes X-Ray Inspection, AOI Testing, In-Circuit Test (FCT), and Functional Circuit Testing (FCT), stages of Visual Inspection. We would certainly be very glad to work with you on your next PCB project, so please make sure you keep Bittele’s contact information on hand. If you find yourself curious about the cost balance of SMDs vs. THDs in your design, you can Contact Us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us toll-free at 1—888-812-1949.