What do PCB and PCBA mean? What is the difference between PCB and PCBA? What’s the difference?

Most people are familiar with the terms circuit board, PC board and PCB. In fact, these three terms refer to the same thing. However, if you are not a friend in the electronics industry, the term PCBA may be a little strange and may be confused with PCB. Although PCB and PCBA are only one word short, there is a big difference between the electronics manufacturing industry.

What are PCB, circuit board and PC board?
The full English name of PCB is Printed Circuit Board, which is translated directly into Chinese as “printed circuit board” or “circuit board”. Some people call it “PC board” in Chinese and English. The manufacturing of printed circuit board is really the printing technology of imitating book paper. However, with the progress of science and technology, the manufacturing of printed circuit board is becoming more and more sophisticated and more complex.

The reason why today’s electronic products have so many functions is basically composed of an electronic circuit and electronic components, and these circuits must have a carrier. PCB is the carrier. So PCB is basically a board printed with electronic circuits, which is responsible for communicating with electronic components.
Generally speaking, this kind of PCB that has printed electronic circuits but has not assembled electronic components is called light board or bare board.

PCB board can be widely used, and its uniqueness can be summarized as follows:
1. High wiring density, small size and light weight are conducive to the miniaturization of electronic products.
2. It can be produced automatically. At present, PCB and PCBA can be produced almost automatically, which reduces the labor cost, improves the production efficiency, and is beneficial to reduce the product price and popularize the market.
3. The design can be standardized or modular. When different functions are required, the whole PCBA board can be replaced.

What is PCBA?
PCBA is the English abbreviation of Printed Circuit Board Assembly. The difference between PCB and PCBA is that PCBA=PCB+Assembly, that is, the board that has not assembled electronic components is called PCB, while the board that has assembled electronic components is called PCBA.

How are electronic components placed on the PCB to form PCBA?

The mainstream PCBA is assembled into SMT, which is surface bonding technology. It will first print solder paste on the empty board (extended reading: how to print solder paste on the PCB circuit board by SMT SMT SMT SMT SMT SMT printing machine), then paste electronic components on the PCB, flow it through the reflow high-temperature furnace, and paste the components through solder paste (what kinds of solder paste are in SMT SMT SMT SMT SMT SMT processing, basic understanding of storage and use environment). Extended reading: What is SMT? What does smt do and what does smt patch mean?

A few PCBA assemblies will use wave soldering technology. Generally speaking, there will be some electronic components on the assembly board that are relatively heavy or need to bear external force plugging. These components are not technically unable to be made into SMD components, or the price of SMD components does not meet market expectations. They will be designed as through-hole components, namely plug-in (DIP), and then they will be welded to PCB through the wave soldering furnace, There are also hybrid paste welding (SMT) and wave welding technologies to achieve the design of components welded to PCB.

After the above introduction, you should now be able to clearly distinguish the meaning of PCB PCBA and the difference between PCB and PCBA. PCB is basically only a component, and PCB is an important component in the whole PCBA. Only by welding IC, resistor, capacitor, inductor, connector and other parts on the PCB can it become a PCBA.