SMT Component Shortages and Its Significance for the Design and Manufacturing Engineers

In a PCBA company, or the industry in general, the increasing shortages of multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), surface mount (SMT) resistors and other semiconductor devices have caused epidemic reports and issues. Prices have been soaring higher and higher and also the extension of the initiation and completion of a production process. The component would result into unavailability if the delivery time takes longer than expected and those devices are at the end of its useful life and the occurrence of due for obsolescence or the Significant decline in the competitiveness, usefulness, or value of an article or property from the massive and immense increase of devices.

Manufacturers tend to drift away from bigger package sizes to smaller package sizes, only if they will be offered one, where components can be found. It is not safe to assume that situations like this would be better when in reality, it is getting worse. The product needs to be manufactured or engineered before it is going in the market for selling, once the manufacturing process is done, then it is now ready to be sold. However, it is all up to the design and manufacturing engineers to come up with an idea on how to give a solution fast.

Now, here are the clients’ options:

Putting smaller SMT components on PCB pads that are designed for larger devices

A lot of clients ask: Can smaller SMT components fit on PCB pads that are designed for larger devices? Well, the answer is maybe. But it all depends on the complete PCB design. The size of the material and the pads can determine how many of these devices can rest on the pads and how the solder joint won’t turn dry. IPC 7531 are the standard sizes for land patterns and the materials. Stencil thickness can range from 4 to 5 when smaller components are necessary to reduce. A stepped stencil is required to make sure that there is a correct amount of solder paste is used to in the correct areas of the PCB; solder paste jetting can also be a good substitute when printing. Complying with IPC-A-610 standards might find any approach inappropriate. There could also be effects for long-term product reliability because the solder joints are less than ideal. Inspection and test also need considering. Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) will need to adjust, there are chances of First-time pass yields to decrease; revision is necessary and needs to have full-scale cooperation. Correction is necessary for the components’ characteristics and performance when specifying alternative components. One of the most dangerous things here is a tendency of the unstable circuit because of smaller components. Track and gap is a suggested requirement.

Re-designing PCB for smaller components

Redesigning is one of the most preferable actions. Moreover, testing and approvals need to be put in mind. It is likely to be possible to substitute a few materials with smaller ones and keep everything the way it was by using a stepped stencil. However, jet printing the solder paste may be necessary, only if smaller parts are broadly dispersed across PCB. Designing these pads can house two sizes if there are spaces available. This method can help by having corresponding gears or altering the size and gap of the pads.

The action taken

The action to take is to deliberate and assess what is likely possible with manufacturing engineers before requiring to any smaller mechanisms, as they will most probably raise some experiments – and costs – if the materials are functioning. Making sure that the electrical integrity of the circuit is maintained and sustained has dynamic importance; testing and/or approvals processes must be prearranged or arranged. It is important to plan immediately. A PCBA company helps to have one a great work and avoiding such issues and it can secure shares and stocks.