Recently, the team here at Monty visited our local PCB (printed circuit board) manufacturer Hetch, and we wanted to share all the cool things we learned about the process of how our PCBs are made! The PCBs were designed by Alex Gilmour at Carbon Circuits. We’ll be doing an interview with him soon, so make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss out!
A PCB is essentially a building block for electronic devices that allows signals and power to be routed between devices. It looks like a board with lines and pads that connect points together. The board also has layers, like a cake, that connect electronic components of different materials. These layers are then laminated together with heat and adhesive to become one single object that is ready to use.
Monty’s PCB works by mounting and connecting a Bluetooth chip, environmental sensors, batteries, and other electronic components. It has an optimised shape to fit within casework and is designed with sustainability in mind. The PCB uses as minimal materials as possible. The creation of our PCB is quite an interesting process!
Here is how it all works! 👇
- The PCB goes into a screen printing machine where solder paste is applied. Solder paste is a liquid metal that works to connect all the components. This is one of the most important parts because, if not controlled correctly, this is where the majority of assembly defects happen.
- The PCB goes into a pick and place machine (PnP) for the smallest components like connectors. Like the name sounds, a pick and place machine picks up components and places them on the PCB. The PnP works to make sure all components are automatically placed on the PCB quickly and accurately.
- The PCB is ready to go through a second PnP machine to add on the larger components like the Bluetooth chip and sensors.
- A final check is done with a camera to make sure all necessary components have been placed correctly and that there are no issues using computer vision.
- Lastly, the PCB goes into an oven to bake everything in place. It’s all done and ready to use!
Click here to see it in action! 📷
That’s how Monty’s PCB is made! It was very interesting to learn about this fascinating process. We’re excited to be working with our local manufacturer Hetech to create the best PCB possible!