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9 Common PCB Assembly Equipments of 2023

Are you seeking a perfect guide for your PCB assembly equipment? Here is the leading machine equipment used in every method of PCB assembling. Together with its brief information are links to the top brands providing them.

PCB Assembly Equipment

Market Overview

The Printed Circuit Board Assembly Market is expected to experience a 5.0% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2022 and 2027, reaching a value of USD 73.1 billion by 2027. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the fundamental components of most modern electronic devices. In addition to the equipment used in the sector, the number of equipment or PCB manufacturers has increased significantly in response to the demand. The Printed Circuit Board Equipment Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8% from 2023 to 2027. The PCB determines the reliability and quality of a final product. Therefore, PCB inspection is essential to decide on the final functionality and strength of the PCB.

PCB Assembly Equipment List:

1.Solder Paste Printing Machine

Solder paste is the first step in making a PCB. It’s a gooey grey liquid made by mixing tiny metal particles. Think of it like glue – it’s the glue that holds your board together. With it, components would stick to the bare board. The stencil and PCB stick together in an automatic paste printer while using the solder paste. Once you’re done, use a squeegee to apply lead-free solder to the pads gently.

2.SPI (Solder Paste Inspection) Machine

Verifying that the board has been printed with the correct solder paste is necessary. For low-volume PCBs, effective solder paste printing methods are often sufficient; however, for high-volume PCBs, SPI should be considered to avoid costly rework. The SPI machine uses 3D images taken by cameras to measure the quality of solder paste based on the amount of solder, the alignments, and the heights. Manufacturers can quickly identify and rectify defective solder paste printing due to the system’s rapid recognition of incorrect solder quantities or alignments.

3.Glue Dispensing Machine

The glue dispensing machine prioritizes the application of dots of glue to the PCB before component insertion to ensure that the component bodies remain securely in place until the subsequent connection of the leads and contacts. This is especially important when double-sided wave or reflow soldering, as these processes eliminate the possibility of component drop-off or wave soldering, which could result in removing more essential components.

4.Pick-and-Place Machine

Pick-and-Place Machine
The most remarkable feature of the assembly line is the PCB pick and place machine. This tool accomplishes precisely what it claims to do—it collects components and places them on a piece of white paper. SMT components are carefully placed atop the solder paste in pre-determined positions before suctioning onto the machine. As the pieces are thrown down quickly, the devices can speed up features to up to thirty thousand parts per hour. One of the most entertaining aspects of pick-and-place gadgets will likely be observing them in action, as the components are quickly and neatly arranged.

5.Reflow Soldering Machine

Regarding PCBs, reflow soldering is the most common way to connect them. After the board has been filled with components, the assembly is moved around on a conveyor and put through a big oven called a reflow Soldering machining machine. The solder paste melts and solidifies to create a robust electrical connection between the pad. The PCB boards go through different temperature zones before the parts are attached to the PCB. The circuit board goes through the machine’s different temperature zones while the solder paste heats, melts, wetts, and cools.

6.Wave Soldering Machine

Wave Soldering Machine
Wave soldering machines are called wave solders because the printed circuit boards have to go through a heat wave before they can be soldered. First, a flux is applied to all parts’ contacts and pads so the solder can bond properly. After that, the board gets heated to stop it from getting too hot. The pre-set heat wave in a pool of melted solder is passed over the PCBs. The heat wave hits the bottom of the panels and bonds the leads and connectors together.

7.AOI (Automated Optical Inspection) Machine

AOI (Automated Optical Inspection)
PCBA testing is essential when making printed circuit boards, so you don’t have to worry about costly re-manufacturing or material waste. Automatic Optical Inspection equipment helps you spot problems early in production so that you can change or fix some boards’ functions. An AOI system can do inspections that people do faster and more accurately. The AOI machine uses high-resolution cameras to get an image of a PCB’s surface so that it can be inspected.

8.ICT (In-Circuit-Testing)

The ICT (In-Circuit Testing) stage is one of the most widely used methods for rapidly verifying the performance of populated printed circuit boards (PCBs). This stage uses a bed of nail fasteners, where each panel can be positioned on top of the pins and pressed downwards to rapidly make contact with many test points on the PCB surface. A fixture may rapidly transmit test signals to and from the PCBs through the test points to assess its performance and determine electrical continuity or temporary interruptions.

9.FVT (Functional Validation Test)

FVT (Functional Validation Test)
FVT, also called Hot Mock-ups or Functional Validation Testing, is the final phase of functional testing that must be completed before deployment. It stimulates the entire operational environment in which the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is utilized by affixing it to a test point or connecting it to another test point. Each product necessitates a unique functional test, as each PCB is particular. The most common test configuration used to simulate the final product in which a printed circuit board is to be used is referred to as a hot mock-up. All Functional Validation Tests (FVTs) share the same System-Building Hardware and Software, regardless of how they are customized.

Factors to Consider in Choosing PCB Assembly Company

PCB assembly is the last step in the PCB manufacturing process, and it needs to be done with the proper technical knowledge and experience. If outsourcing, you must work with a reliable PCB assembly business to ensure everything goes smoothly. With so many PCB assembly companies, finding the right one is challenging. But don’t worry. We’ve got some essential tips to help you pick the right one for your PCB assembly needs.


To ensure you have a complete picture of the organization, you must do thorough research before choosing which one to work with. It’s not enough to look at a company’s price tag to decide if it’s trustworthy. You also need to ensure that they share your core values and goals. A reliable PCB assembly business (PCBA) would be able to work with the client efficiently and stick to their project timeline.


Another essential factor to consider when selecting a PCB assembly company is their prior experience. A well-established business will demonstrate confidence and credibility. They have a well-trained team to ensure high-quality PCB assembly and a fast response time. Customers can directly contact a company to inquire about their assembly capability and project experience by visiting the company’s website or telephone.

Scope of Service

Apart from PCB assembly, some companies offer supply chain management, design, component sourcing, and other related services. By working with these suppliers, you can avoid contacting multiple companies for different benefits.

Product Quality

This is another essential factor to consider when selecting a PCB assembly company. However, there are ways to get the information you need without working directly with the company. While evaluating the company’s output quality before manufacturing boards with them may be challenging, you can do so by reviewing their equipment, certifications, and material sources.

Production Capabilities

When looking for a PCB manufacturer for your project, consider how many circuit boards you need. A small company just set up to make prototypes or small production runs might need help to handle big orders, just like a big company that’s all about making enormous PCBs for massive production runs might not be able to take small orders. Make sure your requirements match up with what the PCB manufacturer can do.


If you’re looking to assemble a PCB, there are four main steps you’ll need to take. First, you’ll need to use a solder paste printing machine, then an SPI machine, then a glue dispensing machine, then a pick-and-place machine. After that, you’ll need a reflow soldering machine, a wave soldering machine, an A OI machine, an ICT fixture, and finally, an FVT fixture.

These steps are part of SMT (Surface Mount Technology assembly) and can be done using a reflow method. With a complete and understandable guide list, you can quickly assemble or find suppliers for your PCB with a better understanding of the process and machines used.

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