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Through-Hole PCB Assembly Offers Reliability and Strength

Category: PCB AssemblyPublished on 2017 Aug, 10Author Telan

With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, it seems like yesterday’s greatest thing is tomorrow’s old news. Production methods are constantly being rendered obsolete and abandoned. Yet some of these old techniques, while not used as commonly as they used to be, endure because they offer certain benefits that newer technologies can’t beat.

 

One such method is through-hole PCB assembly. Through-hole technology (THT) became the industry standard in the 1940s and reigned supreme until the invention of Surface Mount Technology in the 1980s. Many thought through-hole technology would be phased out, since SMT allows for the creation of smaller, faster PCBs at less cost. Yet the benefits of through-hole PCB assembly have kept it from becoming obsolete.


With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, it seems like yesterday’s greatest thing is tomorrow’s old news. Production methods are constantly being rendered obsolete and abandoned. Yet some of these old techniques, while not used as commonly as they used to be, endure because they offer certain benefits that newer technologies can’t beat.


One such method is through-hole PCB assembly. Through-hole technology (THT) became the industry standard in the 1940s and reigned supreme until the invention of Surface Mount Technology in the 1980s. Many thought through-hole technology would be phased out, since SMT allows for the creation of smaller, faster PCBs at less cost. Yet the benefits of through-hole PCB assembly have kept it from becoming obsolete.


What is Through-Hole PCB Assembly?

Through-hole technology consists of circuit boards with predrilled holes and components with leads that are inserted into the holes and soldered to the pads on the opposite side. This can be done manually or with automated insertion mount machines. The benefits of through-hole PCB assembly include:

  • Stronger physical connections - THT component leads can withstand more environmental stress because they run through the board rather than simply being secured to the board’s surface, as with SMT components.

  • Easier prototyping - In addition to being more reliable, through-hole components can easily be swapped out.

  • Higher heat tolerance - Combined with their durability in extreme accelerations and collisions, high heat tolerance makes THT the preferred process for military and aerospace products.

  • Better power handling capability - Through-hole soldering creates a stronger bond between components and the board, making it perfect for larger components that will undergo high power, high voltage, and mechanical stress, including transformers, semi-conductors, connectors and electrolytic capacitors.

Through-hole technology can be seen everyday in the LED lights on billboards and in stadiums. Through-hole LEDs are extremely durable and bright, making them perfectly suited to handle the elements. Industrial machinery and equipment are often home to THT boards. The harsh conditions these machines are exposed to require the physical endurance and strength that the through-hole PCB assembly process offers.


Drawbacks of the Through-Hole Assembly Process

THT has higher production costs (due to the board drilling that is required) and the more involved assembly process leads to longer production times. Leads being fed through the board means only one side of the PCB is useable and THT boards thus tend to have slower operating speeds. However, the strength and reliability that THT offers can mean the difference between a successful product and a failed one.


Telan Corporation: Through-Hole PCB Assembly Experts

For over 35 years, Telan Corporation has been offering, surface mount, mixed, and through-hole PCB assembly services. With a reputation for quality and satisfaction, Telan is your #1 choice for PCB assembly. Call us today at 215-997-7603 to take advantage of our experience and state-of-the-art facilities.

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