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SMT Stencil / PCB Stencil Without Defects

At Millennium Circuits Limited (MCL), we’ve created a solid process for providing the best SMT Stencils on the market. As one of the most critical parts of the assembly process, we understand the importance of defect free SMT Stencils.

Why SMT Stencils Are Important

Before you can go into production, solder paste is printed onto the component pads of the PCB.

How can you make sure you apply the solder paste with precision exactly where it needs to go? SMT stencils, or surface mount technology stencils, are the answer. SMT stencils are the medium you use to transfer that solder paste onto the PCB.

Stencils consist of a foil made of stainless steel that is laser cut to match the places where surface mount devices will go on the board. This process creates the stencil that tells the solder paste where to go on the board. Once you have cut the stencil, you apply solder paste one time over the openings with a metal squeegee blade. You will then pull the stainless-steel foil away, leaving the solder paste perfectly placed on the board to receive your surface-mounted devices.

Can you apply soldering paste without an SMT stencil? Yes, but because of the precision required, trying to apply soldering paste everywhere it needs to go on the board by hand can be an extremely time-consuming, painstaking process. Furthermore, you cannot get the consistency when applying soldering paste by hand that you will get using a single SMT stencil. It’s important to consider that the chances of error are much greater when applying soldering paste by hand.

When applying soldering paste by hand, or trying to apply it Without a perfect Stencil you could face some very serious problems, like:

  • short circuits
  • voids in the soldering process
  • The desired printed result requires:
  • smooth and burr-free side walls of the apertures
  • flat, unstressed material
  • uniform tension distribution over the entire surface
  • precision in position and size of the apertures
SMT Stencil | PCB Stencil

SMT Stencil Printer

It’s imperative that the SMT Stencil be perfect to avoid the issues that could stop your assembly line in its tracks. MCL ensures perfection by utilizing the latest technology and highly trained technicians to deliver your SMT Stencil.

At MCL, we provide top of the line, 100% laser cut SMT Stencils at competitive prices. Stencils can be shipped same day from our east and west coast manufacturing locations. There are never additional charges for engineering changes.

Below are pictures of Framed SMT Stencils, Unframed SMT Stencils, Prototype Stencils, and a Protoype Stencil Kit. Be sure to view our “Prototype Stencil Step-by-Step Tutorial“.

Tutorial-for-Proto-Stencils_0 Proto-Stencil-Kit_0 Proto-Stencil-1_0 2012-11-01_16-01-39_898.jpg_0 2012-11-01_14-39-51_147.jpg_0 2012-11-01_14-38-34_291.jpg_0

PCB Glossary

  • Base Material

    The insulating material upon which a conductive pattern may be formed. It may be rigid or flexible or both. It may be a dielectric or insulated metal sheet.