PCBA Glossary
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Printed Circuit Board
PCB Assembly
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After-market support: Post-sale support of products, including warranty management, depot repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing, upgrades and advanced exchange.

Approved vendor list (AVL): Parts list specifying approved manufacturer and part number with brief description.

Ball-grid array (BGA): A packaging technology used to attach integrated circuits to a printed circuit board.

Bill of materials (BOM): A comprehensive listing of all subassemblies, components, and raw materials that go into a parent assembly, showing the quantity of each required to make the assembly.

Box-build: The process comprising a subset or all of these manufacturing steps: fabricating and assembling the mechanical components and subassemblies of the final product, assembling one or more printed-circuit board (PCB) assemblies and other components into a subassembly, integrating all PCB assemblies and subassemblies into a finished product, testing, and preparing for shipping. Also commonly referred to as "final assembly and test (FA&T)" or "system assembly and test (SA&T)".

Build-to-order systems assembly (BTO): Building and testing of a complete product to a specific customer order, including required peripherals, software, and documentation.

Chip-on-board (COB): A method of affixing an unencapsulated chip onto a printed circuit board using a wire bonding process.

Circuit design: Design of circuit logic that allows electronic components to perform a specific function.

CEM:composit epoxy material,

CTI:comparative tracking index.

COF: chip on flex

CSP:chip scale package

CMT:chip mount technology

Complex systems assembly: Building and testing products that involve large scale assembly, integration, staging and product support; that require extensive testing and configuration; that have high part counts/complex BOM management.

Component engineering: The application of engineering know-how to the processes of component selection, application, process compatibility and procurement, including analysis of new trends in electronic devices.

Configure-to-order systems assembly (CTO): Configuring an already built or partially built product to specific customer requirements and adding specific peripherals and software for individual customer order.

Consignment: A type of outsourcing in which the OEM customer provides "kits" which include all materials required for the building their products and the EMS subcontractor provides only assembly equipment and labor. The opposite of "turnkey", where the EMS provider controls most or all elements of material acquisition and supply chain management.

Core competencies: Those functions or practices deemed by a company as central to its existence. Those activities that the company believes it does best should focus on and that are in the company's best interest for long-term success and growth.

Contract manufacturing or contract electronics manufacturing (CEM): Production of electronic equipment on behalf of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customer, in which the design and brand name belongs to the OEM. Often refers to the industry based on providing contract design, manufacturing, and related product support services for electronics OEMs. Also referred to as electronics manufacturing services (EMS).

Customer focus team (CFT): A team dedicated to the customer under the leadership of a program manager; made up of experts from each functional area of the manufacturing process-supply chain management, design, engineering, manufacturing, and finance and quality assurance. The CFT provides comprehensive project management and close communication throughout the entire product life cycle.

Design-for-X (DFx): The value-added service of instituting "best practices" in the design and new product introduction stages to improve X, where X is manufacturability, testability, mechanical assembly, serviceability, etc.

E-business, E-commerce: The use of electronic communication technologies such as the Internet or EDI to exchange information and business transactions.

Electronic data interchange (EDI): The electronic transfer of data over a network.
End-of- life (EOL): Term applied to products or components that are being retired from the market because of technology obsolescence or rapidly declining demand.

End-of-life manufacturing or support: The support of products that will soon go or have already gone "end-of-life". This may involve repairing of EOL products or the manufacture of small volumes of products or subassemblies for future support of an installed base.

Electronic manufacturing services (EMS): The industry based on providing contract design, manufacturing, and related product support services on behalf of electronics OEMs, in which the design and brand name belongs to the OEM making electronic products or subassemblies to be sold under the OEM brand name. Often referred to as "Contract Manufacturing" or "Contract Electronics Manufacturing (CEM)".

Enterprise resource planning (ERP): Describes software systems designed to manage most or all aspects of a manufacturing or distribution enterprise (an expanded version of MRP systems). ERP systems are usually broken down into modules such as Financials, Sales, Purchasing, Inventory Management, Manufacturing, MRP, and DRP. The modules are designed to work seamlessly with the rest of the system and should provide a consistent user interface between them. These systems usually have extensive set-up options that allow you to customize their functionality to your specific business needs. Unfortunately, in the real world, ERP systems rarely are sufficient to meet all business needs and a myriad of other software packages such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Transportation Management Systems (TMS) are being sold to make up for these deficiencies.

Environmental stress screening (ESS): A process which applies specific kinds of environmental stresses to products on an accelerated basis, but within their design parameters and limits to precipitate latent and intermittent flaws to detectable failures.

Failure analysis: A collection of techniques to determine the root cause of a component or process defect or failure.

Final assembly and test (FA&T): See box-build

Fulfillment (or Order Fulfillment): A process that supplies a finished manufactured product directly from a manufacturing facility to a distributor or end user without intermediate storage. The fulfillment cycle may include receiving customer orders, building or configuring the products to order, shipping and invoicing products to distribution outlets or end users around the world
Functional test: Test that identifies functional level faults in printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), including manufacturing related faults not identified by in-circuit tests (ICT), timing related failures, and faults internal to components. Functional test equipment operates at the same frequency the PCBA is designed for and may have the capability to margin temperature, voltage and frequency.

HDI:High density interconnecting

HAL:Hot air leveling

In-circuit test (ICT): Combination of hardware and software that identifies manufacturing induced faults of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) by isolating and individually testing devices using a bed-of-nails fixture. Potential faults include shorts, opens, wrong components, missing components, etc.

Just- in- time (JIT) manufacturing: The materials management practices that minimize or eliminate the amount of product brought into inventory by setting up a delivery schedule that brings materials directly from the supplier to the production floor.

Logistics and distribution: Logistics involves the sorting, warehousing and shipping of raw goods and finished product. Distribution management focuses on shipments to inventory hubs, distribution centers, distribution channels or end users, while minimizing inventory levels and optimizing the cost of transportation. Direct shipment to end users is typically referred to as "fulfillment" or "order fulfillment".

Materials requirement planning (MRP): A set of techniques that uses bill of material data, inventory data, and the master production schedule to calculate requirements for materials.

Mechanical design: The physical and functional design of packaging and electro-mechanical subassemblies for electronic products. Packaging includes metal and plastic enclosures for complete products and for subassemblies. Subassemblies include power supplies, fans, motors, etc.

Manufacturing execution system (MES): Software systems designed to integrate with enterprise systems to enhance the shop-floor-control functionality that is usually inadequate in ERP systems. MES provides for shop floor scheduling, production and labor reporting, integration with computerized manufacturing systems such as automatic data collection and computerized machinery.

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM): The company behind the "brand name" of a product that traditionally designed, manufactured, marketed, and provided customer support for their products. Increasingly, one or more of these activities are being outsourced to EMS companies. Examples of OEMs include IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Sony, Fujitsu, Siemens, Philips, and many others.

Outsourcing: The process of subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company. Outsourcing to EMS providers has traditionally appealed to makers of computers, telecommunications hardware and other electronic items. However, outsourcing also is becoming a cost-effective option for manufacturers of fiber optic components and medical devices. Many companies outsource older, more stable product lines so they can focus operations on newer, more technically complex products with higher profit margins. Also see "contract manufacturing" and "electronics manufacturing services."

Pin-through-hole or plated-through-hole (PTH): A method of obtaining electrical connection between components and substrate by soldering component leads (or pins) inserted in plated through-holes.

Printed circuit board (PCB): A circuit for electronic apparatus made by depositing conductive material in continuous paths from terminal-to-terminal on an insulating surface.

Printed circuit board assembly (PCBA): Second-level integration of active and passive devices (electrical, electronic, optical and/or mechanical) on a rigid substrate.

Printed circuit board layout: The process of transforming the electrical design (functional or logical representation) into a physical object; the physical layout of placing components and routing of interconnect wires.

Process development: Defining and developing a manufacturing process to accommodate the specific requirements of a given product while meeting process quality and cost objectives.
Quick-turn prototyping: Production on a quick turnaround basis of a small quantity of products that are used to prove the design

Reflow: A process to form a solder joint between components and rigid substrates (printed circuit board) by providing heat to a solder paste, which acts as a connecting medium.
Reliability analysis: A predictive tool used to estimate the "life" of a product. This is usually expressed in terms of hours as "mean time between failures" (MTBF).

SMT line: Standard terminology for the automated manufacturing process for printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) and test, defined as having screen printing, placement, and reflow equipment. SMT lines can be organized into many different configurations with multiple types and pieces of equipment based on the requirements of products being manufactured.
Surface mount technology (SMT): A method of attaching electrical components directly to a board substrate rather than through a plated hole.

Supply-chain management: The procurement, stocking and distribution of components, subassemblies and products throughout the design, manufacturing, and distribution stages, ensuring that the correct components, subassemblies and products are delivered to their appropriate destination at the proper time, the lowest overall cost, and acceptable quality levels.

Systems assembly and test (SA&T): See box-build

Systems design: Designs that comprise the interaction and integration of sub-assemblies into a single assembly that performs an intended function. The sub-assemblies can consist of electrical, mechanical, optical, software, and other components to achieve overall functionality. Examples include designing of a PCs, mobile phones and printers.

Systems integration: Combining sub-systems and/or peripherals, adding software and cabling to specification in order to produce and test a fully configured product.

Test development: Design and deployment of a specific type of test, both hardware and software, based on a test requirement specification. The test could measure for validation, qualification, functionality, or reliability.

Testing: A method for determining whether sub-assemblies, assemblies and/or a finished product conform to a set of parameter and functional specifications. Test types include: in-circuit, functional, system-level, reliability, environmental.

Test Strategy: Defining a test methodology for a given product that translates into test requirements and test development.

Turnkey: A type of outsourcing method that turns over to the subcontractor all aspects of manufacturing including material acquisition, assembly and testing. Its opposite is consignment, where the outsourcing company provides all materials required for the products and the subcontractor provides only assembly equipment and labor.

THT:through hole technology

TAB:tapd automated bonding

Value Chain: Activities outside of your organization that adds value to your final product, such as the value adding activities of your suppliers.

Vendor-managed inventory: Phrase used to describe the process of a supplier managing the inventory levels and purchases of the materials he supplies. This process can be very low tech, such as an office supplies supplier or maintenance supplies supplier coming into your facility once per week to visually check stock levels and place a re-supply order, or high tech, such as an electronic component supplier having remote access to your inventory management and MRP system and producing and automatically shipping to meet your production schedule. Vendor-managed inventory reduces internal costs associated with planning and procuring materials and enables the vendor to better manage his inventory through higher visibility to the supply chain. Vendor-managed inventory may be owned by the vendor (consignment inventory) or the customer.

Work-in-process (WIP): Generally describes inventory that is currently being processed in an operation, or inventory that has been processed through one operation and is awaiting another operation. WIP is actually an inventory account that represents the value of materials, labor, and overhead that has been issued to manufacturing but has not yet produced a stockable item. Depending on how your accounting and inventory systems are set up, it may also include components picked for production usage or finished products awaiting final inspection.


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