SMT or through hole assembly, which is better?

The manufacturing of printed circuit board assembly began in 20th century. An inventor from Germany, Albert Hanson in 1903 had provided useful information regarding flat foil conductors, which are coated to a protective board in several layers.  In addition to this, Thomas Edison in 1904 conducted an experiment associated with chemical processes of laminating conductor on linen papers. 

PCB assembly is nothing but process of joining electronic components on printed circuit boards. The main purpose of these boards is to support mechanically components attached on it with the help of conductive pathways.

Once the circuit boards are made, the electronic components are joined on them to produce circuit board assembly. The use of circuit boards is seen in all devices ranging from simple gadgets to technology-equipped devices manufactured by electronics industry.

The electronic components are joined to make printed circuit board read to be installed in electronic devices. There are two ways by which electronic parts can be installed on a circuit board, which are known as surface mount technology and through hole assembly.

In through hole component assembly, the components are placed on circuit boards through holes. On the other hand, in SMT, the components are joined on the external surfaces of printed circuit boards.

However, the experts select soldering technique according to type of circuit boards manufactured and volume of production of circuit boards.  

Let’s have a look at the major differences between surface mount technology and through hole printed circuit board assembly, which are as follows:

1.            A lot of space is wasted in inserting components with the help of through hole construction but it is not the case with surface mount technology. SMT saves a lot of space, making it easy for experts to install a large number of components on the board.

2.            Surface mount assembly is the best option for manufacturing printed circuit boards in large quantities. On the other hand, through hole construction is not a good option for bulk production.

3.            The number of pins used has increased significantly in SMT, when compared with other assembly techniques.

4.            Attaching components on the board is easy with SMT as they are placed directly on the board. Joining components with through hole construction technique is a time consuming process.

On the whole, SMT is beneficial than through hole technique. The latter technique is used for prototyping and testing components present on the board.