PCB Fabrication quote PCB Assembly quote Free passive parts
 

Stencil Technology for SMT production

Stencils are used by electronic manufacturers today to print solder paste, which forms deposits on a printed circuit board (PCB) to hold the electronic components in place. When reflowed, the components are then secured to the PCB.

In comparison, solder paste printing is similar to painting a wall in your home yet with one important difference. In order to precisely deposit solder paste, it must be applied to a specific position and its volume must be controlled.To accomplished this precision task, it is necessary to use a special steel plate called a stencil to control the printing of solder paste.

A stencil is a pre-made template that transfers solder paste to a bare PCB through a relative aperture layout. The stencil can be made of stainless steel foil, ploy film or other material. But stainless steel foil is the most popular stencil material because it can deliver high solder paste printing quality. Precise solder paste printing is the key step for accurate circuit board soldering; however, there are other important elements to consider to ensure quality solder paste printing:

PCB Mounting
Before solder paste printing commences, the target PCB should be mounted to the work table by mechanical clamp or vacuum. This PCB should also be secured by support pins located at center of the PCB to ensure it does not move during printing.

Stencil Installation
Poor stencil alignment will cause a solder bridge or an insufficient amount of solder after reflow. So, it is important to take a little extra time to ensure there is precise alignment between the PCB and the stencil.

Squeegee and Blade Set Up
After the stencil is mounted firmly on the bare PCB, solder paste will be applied to the stencil. To start printing, a squeegee blade is utilized to fill in the stencil apertures with solder paste. The pressure and speed of the squeegee stroke will determine the printing quality.

Squeegee pressure: the blade pressure will affect the volume of solder paste deposited. More pressure will cause less solder paste to be deposited because the pressure will squeeze the gap between the stencil and the PCB.

Blade stroke speed: the speed of the blade stroke will directly affect the shape and the amount of solder paste deposited, which in turn directly affects the quality of the solder paste printing. Generally, the blade stroke speed should be set between 20 ~ 80mm / s. The speed of the blade must be adjusted relative to the viscosity of the paste. If the solder paste has greater liquidity, the blade stroke speed can be faster. Of course, the amount of solder paste used will be less if blade moves faster.

Release
Don’t release target PCB from the machine prematurely. Otherwise, it will cause the solder paste shape to deform and may affect the next assembly process.

Cleaning
Clean the stencil thoroughly to remove any solder paste and flux residues. This will prepare the stencil for the next printing.
 
Bittele Offered Technical Expertise to Attendees at IPC APEX EXPO 2016
Bittele Electronics Exhibited at EPTECH 2016
Bittele Electronics Completes New PCB Assembly Line
Bittele strategy climbs turnkey PCB assembly ladder
Bittele Electronics Announces ISO 9001:2008 Certification
Bittele Electronics Sponsors Georgia Tech's Solar Car Engineering Team
Bittele Electronics Offers Free 'Design For Manufacturing' Service to its Customers
Bittele Electronics Introduces New Website for German Customers
Bittele Electronics Sees Double-Digit Growth
Bittele Electronics Adds Quick-Turn Capabilities
 
Sample Bill of Materials (BOM)
Sample Assembly drawings
How to create a Centroid File?
How to Export Gerber Files from Eagle?
Bittele's ISO 9001:2008 Certificate
PCB Fabrication Specifications
 
testimonials
 
payment types
 
 
 
About Us | Services | Quality | Archives | Privacy | Contact
Copyright 2003-2017, Bittele Electronics Inc. All Rights Reserved.