Evolution of SMT assembly technology

- Sep 13, 2017-

In the 1960s, in the printed circuit board electronic watch industry and military communications, in order to realize the miniaturization of electronic watches and military communication products, people developed leadless electronic components, which were directly soldered to the surface of printed circuit boards. To achieve the goal of miniaturization of electronic products, this is the prototype of Surface Mount Technology (SMT).

Therefore, it can be said that SMT is an electronic assembly technology that attaches and solders surface mount components to a predetermined position on the surface of a printed circuit board. It has completely changed the traditional through-hole insertion technology, making it possible to miniaturize and reduce the weight of electronic products. It is known as a revolution in electronic assembly technology. It is the first after the T-assembly, semi-automatic assembly and automatic insertion. Four generations of electronic assembly technology.


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SMT has evolved to date and has gone through several stages. The first phase (1970-1975) was mainly aimed at miniaturization. At this time, the surface-assembled components were mainly used for hybrid integrated circuits such as quartz watches and calculators. The main goal of the second phase (1976-1980) was to reduce the unit volume of electronic products and improve circuit functions. The products were mainly used in cameras, video recorders, and electronic cameras. The main goal of the third phase (1980-1995) was to reduce costs, vigorously develop assembly equipment, further miniaturize surface-assembled components, and improve the cost-effectiveness of electronic products. In the fourth stage (1996-present), SMT has entered a new phase of micro-assembly, high-density assembly and three-dimensional assembly, as well as the rapid development and mass application of new surface-mount components such as multi-chip components.


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In short, SMT, as a new generation of electronic assembly technology, has only 50 years of history, but this technology has fully demonstrated its strong vitality when it was first introduced. It has completed the journey from birth, perfection to maturity at an extraordinary speed. It has entered a period of vigorous industrial application. Today, SMT has been widely used in various fields of electronic product assembly: aviation, aerospace, communications, computer, medical electronics, automotive, camera, office automation, household appliances, etc., it can be said that "where there are electronic products, there are SMT".


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