Electronics manufacturing can seem like a complicated process, but a little knowledge can go a long way toward a smooth transition from prototype to production. This glossary will help you navigate your manufacturing project with ease and introduce you to some key terms used during the electronics manufacturing process.
Gerber Files – A Gerber file is an open 2D binary vector image file format commonly used by the printed circuit board industry to describe printed circuit board images.
PCB – PCBs, or printed circuit boards, are used to support and connect electronic components. PCBs are used in most modern-day electronics.
PCBA – A PCBA is a printed circuit board assembly. These are similar to PCBs, except they have components soldered on, such as integrated circuits or capacitors.
BOM – BOM stands for bill of materials. A BOM is a list of all parts, assemblies and components necessary to build a product.
NDA – NDA refers to non-disclosure agreement. An NDA is a legal contract defining which information should and should not be shared with potential partners.
DFM – DFM is the abbreviation for design for manufacturability. DFM is the practice of designing a product in such a way that it expedites the manufacturing process and reduces manufacturing costs.
DFA – DFA, or design for assembly, is the practice of designing products that are easy to assemble.
DFT – DFT stands for design for test. DFT is the technique of adding features to improve testability when designing a product.
PWB – A PWB is a printed wiring board. Also known as a PCB, a PWB is a board on which components are mounted and wired together.
PWA – A PWA is a printed wiring assembly. This term is commonly used to describe a PWB after all of its electrical components are attached.
SMT – SMT, or surface mount technology, is a method of producing PCBs that involve the placement or mounting of components on the board.
QPL – A qualified products list, or QPL, is an electronic list identifying which materials and suppliers have passed the necessary testing and qualifications to supply items listed in the MIL specs.
MLB – An MLB stands for multi-layer board. An MLB is a board that has more than two layers of conductive material.
ESD – ESD, or electrostatic discharge, is the release of static electricity that occurs when two objects touch.
ESS – ESS stands for environmental stress screening. During ESS, assemblies are subjected to extreme stress. This helps test for defects and premature failure.
BGA – BGA is the abbreviation for ball grid array. A BGA is a surface mount technology package commonly used for integrated circuits.
CAD – CAD is computer-aided design. CAD is the process of using a computer to design electronic components, assemblies and systems.
AOI – Automated optical inspection, or AOI, is a testing method used to check printed circuit boards for defects and premature failure. During this test, a camera autonomously scans the device.
ACDi provides a variety of electronic manufacturing services. We understand how confusing these terms can be for hardware startups and we hope this information is helpful. Please contact us for more information about our services.