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Technical Article

The Influence of Software Automation On PCBA Manufacturing

Time:2021-01-06 17:48:47 Click:

With hundreds of industrial IoT devices collecting and sharing data together, factories have become more complex. Combined with software automation, PCBA manufacturers are also using IoT-based networks to optimize their operations, find new efficiencies and ultimately help encourage more innovation.





1. Design, Build & Test Cycle


To make prototypes, PCBA manufacturers and engineers work together during the design, manufacture and test (DBT) cycle. In this process, the engineer first creates his/her design and sends the design to the PCBA manufacturer to produce and test new designed products functions. That is, after the initial prototype is completed, the PCBA manufacturer returns the board to the engineer for testing.


Every time an engineer sends a design through this cycle, the idea is verified, the defect is identified, and the solution is found. In the process of engineers constructing the best final product, this sequence usually occurs in a continuous cycle, producing several prototype iterations, and burning in several cycles.


In traditional manufacturing, this process can last for weeks or even months; When it comes to electronics and printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) manufacturing, it is especially slow.


However, with software automation occurs, software engineers are able to create prototypes only in a few seconds, mechanical engineers can use 3D printing to create prototypes in a few hours, and electrical engineers need to go through a longer construction phase and have to wait several weeks to realize their prototypes.






2. Possible Reasons For The Delay


For electrical engineers, delays can be due to plenty of various reasons. However, the most common reason that is the information sent to the PCBA manufacturer is lost, misunderstood, or just incorrectly changed, then errors will occur. As a result, correcting these mentioned errors may further extend the delay, as it may take several days to resolve the problem and deliver the information. In addition, in this process, engineers are often ignorant, because the communication between engineers and PCBA manufacturers is slow at best and nonexistent at worst.


Due to the lack of connectivity, the traditional electronic product manufacturing process has further slowed down. Generally, the machines and personnel that make up a factory are all simulated and not connected to each other, making the factory a technological island. This will not only slow down the operation speed, but also lock engineers out of the construction phase of the DBT cycle; Furthermore, if they do not understand their design results, it will be difficult for engineers to quickly improve their designs to cope with future iterations.


In order to speed up PCBA manufacturing and help electrical engineers iterate their designs faster, factory software-driven automation provides a solution.





3.Application Of Software Automation In PCBA


Many competing industries, including aerospace, medical technology, industry, and automotive, rely on PCBA. However, traditional PCBA manufacturers cannot quickly reverse the prototype, which hinders product development and hinders the ability of engineers to iterate faster and innovate more. By combining software automation and industrial Internet of Things, the new smart factory PCBA manufacturer can solve many problems that plague electrical engineers in traditional PCBA procedures.




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