Innovation and advancements are now a constant part of the field of electrical engineering. Modern world demands and needs are increasing, and continuous efforts are being made by engineers. One efficient solution to cater to those needs is Surface Mount Technology (SMT). Let’s find out what is SMT in electrical engineering.
What is SMT in Electrical Engineering?
Surface Mount Technology is also known by the abbreviation SMT. It is a way to produce printed circuit boards (PCBs). It’s an advanced technology of Through-hole technology (THT). In both forms, components are mounted; the main difference is that THT is done through holes in the PCB, while SMT is mounted directly onto the board’s surface. This is the difference that acts as a revolutionizing factor for the electronics manufacturing industry.
As the SMT components need to be soldered directly onto the PCB’s surface, they are designed in small and flat shapes. Moreover, for easy work, they are typically rectangular shapes. As per types, SMT components come in various distinct types, like resistors, integrated circuits, capacitors, diodes, and more. SMT components are significantly smaller than those of THT. This decrease in size offers many advantages, like improving the PCB real estate utilization and higher component density.
The SMT Process
When it comes to the SMT process (assembly process), SMT comprises several steps, which I have given below.
- Component Placement: The correct components of SMT need to be placed onto the PCB, and automated machinery is utilized for that.
- Solder Paste Application: Solder paste is the proper mixture of flux and solder particles. A stencil is required to apply this paste onto the PCB’s pad
- Reflow Soldering: For proper and strong placement, the PCB needs to pass through a reflow oven. The basic purpose of this oven is to melt the paste, offer heat to assembly, and create a complete PCB’s pads.
- Inspection: Once soldering is completed, inspect the PCB to not only check components that they are placed correctly but also soldered precisely.
- Testing: for final testing, the manufacturers do functional testing of the PCB to check its performance level.
SMT Applications in Electrical Engineering
SMT is an advanced technology and now has been utilized efficiently in various electrical engineering applications. So, here are the names.
- Consumer Electronics
- Automotive Electronics
- Aerospace and Defense
- Medical Devices
- Industrial Automation
My Verdict On What Is SMT In Electrical Engineering
Surface Mount Technology, which is also known by its short form SMT, is now an integral part of electrical engineering and electronics manufacturing. It is an advanced form of THT and brings a lot of advantages with it, like reducing size and weight, improving the PCB electrical performance, cutting heavy costs, and maximizing reliability. All these benefits make it indispensable in numerous electrical industries. SMT will play a significant role in shaping the future of electrical engineering. It doesn’t stop here. It will become more advanced and efficient with time and the invention of new technologies.