Through hole PCBA
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Through hole PCBA

Through hole PCBA, or through-hole printed circuit board assembly, is a type of electronic assembly process in which components are inserted into pre-drilled holes on a PCB and then soldered in place. This method is used for components that require a robust mechanical connection or for those that cannot be surface-mounted.
Through-hole PCBA is commonly used in applications where durability and reliability are crucial, such as automotive electronics, industrial control systems, and aerospace equipment. However, it is worth noting that surface mount technology (SMT) has become more prevalent due to its smaller size, lower cost, and easier automation.
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The through-hole assembly process involves the following steps:

PCB fabrication: The printed circuit board is manufactured with pre-drilled holes where the through-hole components will be inserted.

Component placement: The through-hole components, such as resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuits, are manually or automatically placed onto the PCB. The component leads are inserted into the pre-drilled holes.

Lead trimming: After component placement, excess lead lengths are trimmed to ensure a neat appearance and proper fit.

Soldering: The leads of the through-hole components are soldered to the PCB to create electrical connections. This can be done manually through wave soldering or using automated soldering machines. The solder creates a strong mechanical bond between the component leads and the PCB.

Inspection and testing: Once the soldering process is completed, the PCB assembly is inspected for any defects or soldering issues. Testing may also be conducted to ensure proper functionality.

Multilayer pcb 1

Through hole PCBA offers several advantages over other assembly methods, such as surface mount technology (SMT):

Mechanical stability: Through-hole components provide a stronger mechanical connection to the PCB compared to surface-mounted components. The through-hole leads are soldered to both sides of the PCB, making them less prone to mechanical stress, vibration, and shock.

Heat dissipation: Through-hole components can dissipate heat more efficiently due to their larger size and exposed leads. This makes them suitable for applications that require effective heat management, such as power electronics.

Higher power handling: Through-hole components are generally designed to handle higher power levels compared to surface-mounted counterparts. This makes them suitable for applications that require high current or voltage handling capabilities.

Reparability and rework: Through-hole components are easier to replace or repair compared to surface-mounted components. They can be manually desoldered and replaced if a defective component needs to be replaced or if a design change is required. This reworkability is particularly advantageous during the development and prototyping stages of a product.

Wide component availability: Through-hole components are still widely available in the market, and many older or specialized electronic components might only be available in through-hole form. This makes through-hole PCBA a preferred choice for projects that require specific components that are not available in surface-mount packages.

It is important to note that through-hole PCBA also has some limitations. It is generally a slower and more expensive assembly process compared to SMT due to the manual insertion and soldering required. Through-hole components also take up more space on the PCB, limiting the density of components that can be placed. As a result, SMT is often preferred for high-volume production or applications that require miniaturization.

Quality GradeStandard IPC 2
Number of Layers2 - 52layers
Order Quantity1pc - 10000+pcs
Build Time10days - 5weeks
MaterialAluminum core (Domestic 1060), Copper core, FR4 covering
Board SizeMin 6*6mm | Max 610*610mm
Board Thickness0.8mm - 5.0mm
Copper Weight (Finished)0.5oz - 10.0oz
Min Tracing/Spacing4mil/4mil
Solder Mask SidesAs per the file
Solder Mask ColorGreen, White, Blue, Black, Red, Yellow
Silkscreen SidesAs per the file
Silkscreen ColorWhite, Black, Yellow
Surface FinishHASL - Hot Air Solder Leveling
Lead Free HASL - RoHS
ENIG - Electroless Nickle/Immersion Gold - RoHS
Min Annular Ring4mil
Min Drilling Hole Diameter6mil
Other TechniquesCountersink holes
Screw holes

Through-hole PCBA can be applied in various product categories and industries, including:

Automotive: Through-hole PCBA is commonly used in automotive electronics, such as engine control units (ECUs), ignition systems, power management modules, and safety systems. These applications often require robust and reliable electronic components that can withstand harsh operating conditions.

Industrial equipment: Through-hole PCBA is utilized in a wide range of industrial equipment, including control panels, motor drives, power supplies, PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), and instrumentation. The mechanical stability and higher power handling capabilities of through-hole components make them suitable for these applications.

Aerospace and defense: Aerospace and defense industries rely on through-hole PCBA for mission-critical systems, avionics, radar systems, navigation equipment, and communication systems. These applications require high reliability, durability, and resistance to extreme temperatures and vibrations.

Medical devices: Through-hole PCBA is used in medical devices such as patient monitors, imaging equipment, diagnostic tools, and implantable devices. These applications often have stringent regulatory requirements and demand high levels of precision and reliability.

Energy and power systems: Through-hole PCBA is integral to energy and power systems, including solar inverters, wind turbines, grid infrastructure, smart meters, and power distribution equipment. These applications typically involve high current and voltage handling, where through-hole components excel.

Consumer electronics: Though surface mount technology (SMT) has become prevalent in consumer electronics, through-hole PCBA still finds its application in some areas, such as in audio equipment, amplifiers, home appliances, and gaming consoles.

Telecom and networking: Through-hole components are used in telecom and networking equipment, including routers, switches, modems, and PBX systems. These applications can benefit from the mechanical stability and robustness of through-hole PCBA.

It's worth noting that while through-hole PCBA has a wide range of applications, the trend in many industries is shifting towards surface mount technology (SMT) due to its smaller form factor, higher component density, and cost-effectiveness for mass production.

Q: What is through-hole PCBA? 

A: Through-hole PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) is a manufacturing process in which electronic components are mounted on a PCB by inserting their leads or terminals through holes on the board. The leads are then soldered on the opposite side of the PCB to securely attach the components.

Q: What are the advantages of through-hole PCBA?

A: Mechanical stability: Through-hole components offer better mechanical strength and durability compared to surface mount components, making them more resistant to vibration and mechanical stress.

Q: What are the disadvantages of through-hole PCBA?

A: Larger footprint: Through-hole components take up more space on the PCB compared to their surface mount counterparts, limiting design flexibility and increasing PCB size.

Q: What types of components are typically used in through-hole PCBA?

A: Through-hole components can include resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, connectors, switches, relays, transformers, and other discrete electronic components. Additionally, through-hole connectors, sockets, and terminals are commonly used for external connections.

Q: Are through-hole components still widely used?

A: While surface mount technology (SMT) has become more prevalent due to its advantages in size, cost, and manufacturing efficiency, there are still applications and industries that rely on through-hole components. These include products that require high power handling, durability, and reliability, as well as those with specific regulatory requirements or a need for easy repair and rework.

Q: Can through-hole and surface mount components be used together on the same PCB? 

A: Yes, it is common to use a combination of through-hole and surface mount components on a single PCB design. Surface mount technology allows for smaller and more densely populated components, while through-hole components can be utilized for specific applications or larger components that require their unique advantages.


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