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Mass-Production of Printed Circuit Boards: THM or SMT?

SMT or THM? This is the question most opinionated electronics buffs want to answer. Through-hole mounting, or THM, is old technology, but is still the king for many enthusiasts. Surface-mount technology, or SMT, is the latest technology but is too sophisticated and its tools are too expensive. Both, however, must be thoroughly understood before any judgment is passed. These technologies affect the way how an electronics technologist treats printed circuit boards. These can also affect how a consumer electronics investor predicts his return-on-investment. This can also affect how an investor, who engages in consumer electronics, sees his return-on-investment.

In this article, you will understand the difference between the traditional THM and the highly advanced SMT. These technologies are both used in attaching components on printed circuit boards via various soldering techniques.

Surface Mount Technology (SMT)

printed circuit boardsSurface-mount technology is used in most modern electronics devices like mobile phones, computers and other digital appliances. It is actually a method where components are just mounted onto the surface of printed circuit boards. The components and boards are then baked in an oven for them to bond permanently. An SMT device, or SMD, offers these advantages:

• Components are smaller than their THM counterpart

• More components are packed per unit area, therefore more connections can be placed in a smaller area

• Most SMT components are less expensive than their THM counterpart

• Lesser holes are to be drilled, which can save you more time and money

• No holes can also mean that one side of the board cannot physically, or electrically, affect the other side of the board

• Aggressive shaking and continuous vibration do not affect the performance of the circuit

• Assembly-line friendly, saving you more time, money and even personnel resources

• Tasks can be programmed, thus, resulting to repeatable and reliable output results

As you can see, SMTs do have various benefits to an assembly line type of electronic products business. This technology, however, also has its share of flaws.

• Sophisticated tools and large amount of money are needed to use this technology

• Prototypes are hard to develop, especially if you rely on breadboards and universal protoboards

• Broken circuits are difficult to troubleshoot and repair, as well

• More prone to mechanical, electrical and thermal damages

• Direct impacts may permanently damage not just the solder joints but the board, as well

The reason why SMT circuits are difficult to develop, troubleshoot and repair is because of the size to the components and their pins. The pins are so small that they cannot fit into a breadboard. The components are also too tiny that it requires a magnifying glass and a lot of patience just to insert a test probe into one of their pins.

Through Hole Mounting (THM)

Through-hole mounting is widely used for prototyping and creating electronics kits. It is popular among small businesses, researchers, and electronic enthusiasts. It requires printed circuit boards to be drilled. Electronics component are then mounted to the resulting hole. THM is still necessary for thermal, electrical and mechanical devices. These are some of the advantages of selecting this technology:

• Easier to acquire, learn and adjust

• Simpler tools and equipment to start with

• All components of THM follows the standards in manufacturing

• Tester-friendly, because of the large components and pin gaps between components

• Components are tough against electrical and thermal damages.

• THM has stronger mechanical bonds

This technology does have many weaknesses though, such as:

• Relies on drilled holes

• Drilling holes are time-consuming, thus can give you additional manufacturing costs

• Inappropriately drilled holes may also render the whole board useless

• Not assembly-line friendly, it relies on skilled workers to complete various, and perfectly-soldered printed circuit boards

• The non-repeatable output due to the different worker’s soldering levels can also create different output products


There are different pros and cons for every technology that you will use. THM is used more by small businesses down to electronics hobbyists. It easy to learn and the equipment are easy to acquire. SMT, on the other hand, is used by large businesses because of its benefits when incorporated in an assembly line. Both have their advantages. Most large and smart electronics businesses use both.

Implementing Employee Retention

It’s not enough that you know how to hire employees. You also have to know how to keep them and to make sure they won’t leave the company. Having high turnovers and attrition rates of your employees will cost you both time and productivity.

You might think keeping your employees loyal to your company is a not-so-difficult job. Seems easy, but it’s not.

Here are some tactics on how you can implement employee retention.

Keep the employees satisfied.

Employee retentionYou may feel in sync to your employees’ likes and dislikes, but it will still be hard to identify what makes them happy especially when their intentions are quite far from your own.

You can’t read minds; you won’t know what goes inside people’s heads unless they tell you. You might be ambitious and hardworking and motivated by a high salary package, but too bad, not everyone has the same thinking.

One strategy you can adapt is that of which they have this trial period when an evaluation will happen where they assess whether a new hire is a good fit for the company. This strategy works for the company; who knows, it will also work for you. You just have to remember that you shouldn’t expect a zero rate turnover; after all, you’re willing to conduct employee retention strategies to deserving performers, and gracefully go on separate ways with the staff who just don’t do well.

Talk to them.

Some companies – especially those large businesses – may not be able to conduct meetings with each and every employee to have them provide contributions and suggestions to make the company better. The higher management may not be able to discuss the employee’s needs and what he desires might escape your attention.

What you can perhaps do is to conduct group meetings with employees that have the same intent – to get suggestions and comments hoping to make the company better.

Provide a competitive benefits package.

To retain employees, it’s important that you provide life insurance, health insurance, and a plan for retirement savings. However, to make them stay further, you can give these employees perks such as telecommuting and flexi-time to show your concern in assisting them with their lives outside of the office.

A full-scale improvement program might be too big a tackle to handle for now, so what you can do instead is to recognize your staff’s efforts for a job well done. Internal recognition always gives employees a boost and motivates them. When they feel recognized, they become more satisfied and have less chances of leaving.

Recognition is not an item but an action. When you recognize an employee’s efforts, you don’t have to give expensive items; you just have to let everyone know of their achievements.

Use incentives and contests.

By having these motivators (incentives and contests), they’ll stay inspired and they’ll feel rewarded. If you do these factors right, your employees will be excited and focused regarding their jobs.

From time to time, you can conduct simple activities that aim to reward employees. You can set rewards afterwards – perhaps an iPod or a family dinner.

It’s also ideal to go for a team activity; by doing so, employees might be willing to participate; he understands that there might be someone is his team hoping to get the prize, and he wouldn’t want to let that person down.

Find your employees’ growth path.

You have to find the great ones’ growth path. The great ones are like seeds – you have to nurture their talent and let them grow. After all, their talent will help you; you’ll benefit from their growth.

You have to remember as well that no matter how ‘perfect’ an employee might seem, every job presented to him is still something to learn about. No job is too simple for an employer to give his staff an opportunity to learn and improve. Just give it some time, and the said employee will become one of the best in the soonest possible time.

SEO Is Beyond Standard

Right now millions of people are on social networks, and they are either helping marketers out or they are ignoring the push forward in terms of advertising. You’ll find that there are a variety of issues that come into fruition within this world, and it’s something that most people don’t really think about at first glance. You may think that you have this all figured out and you may be one of the millions that are working within the parameters of social sites with ease, but it may not be helping your SEO. Search engine optimization needs a bit of a helping hand with elements of implementation, especially when you’re dealing with so many parameters at once. Most people don’t really understand the complexity here, but when you’re working on internet marketing as a whole, you’re going to need to push a lot of different pieces forward to see a good advancement overall.

SEO can actually be aided by social networks, but only if you focus on the right elements overall. You cannot just expect to fuse the two together, as things do not work in that fashion. Most people will agree that it takes a bit of a push in regards to this type of marketing and definitely will gain a lot of different elements moving forward. You’ll find that in order to gain a helping hand, you’re going to need to jump up towards something that is going to lend credence to the future of marketing collateral as a whole.

Figuring out the bigger picture is hard, but it’s not impossible and it’s something that should allow you to see a huge amount of push forward in the right parameters overall. You’ll have to understand this from a very specific level, or you’re not going to go anywhere in terms of marketing.

The Definition of SEO Today

SEOSEO stands for the words search engine optimization and it is something that continues to push a lot of ideas forward in regards to the marketing world. If you want to gain access to the right components, you will end up dealing with a variety of issues in regards to marketing. You will find that the defining line of marketing is going to either help you gain market share or not. The thing about this is that you’re going to end up losing out when it comes to the optimization cycles worth chasing.

Defining this in terms of simple terms is difficult, as you’ll have to weigh several different things in order to gain the upper hand. The defining line that you must think about in regards to all of this is in regards to the result. The result of optimization really trumps the real issue. If you don’t understand that end result, you are not going to go anywhere in terms of marketing collateral. It’s something that is an absolute that most people don’t get right away, but definitely is something worth chasing.

The problem here is that you will need to define how it works, and in the end, it’s a matter of isolation of the right parameters. For instance, you’re going to want to look into the world of marketing as it pertains to the defining line of traffic. If you are implementing what is perceived as optimization and you are not seeing results, perhaps you’re not following the right pattern to begin with.

Limiting The Confusion

Search engine optimization lends itself to a lot of different issues because it’s hard to pin down one defining line as it comes to this solution. The problems that are going to manifest can be alleviated by looking into marketing from a professional stand point. You could hire someone to go through the motions and build on the right arenas moving forward. With that in mind, you could end up with a full solution moving forward that is going to help you gain a semblance of balance and something that will definitely give you a good deal of leverage moving forward. Without the leveraging point, you’re going to end up dealing with a variety of issues overall. It’s something that is needed, but you will need to focus on hiring the right people.

For those that don’t want to hire anyone, it’s imperative to understand that you need to focus on SEO as a whole. If you don’t work on the pieces, and you end up pushing the wrong positions moving forward, you could end up losing market share, and that’s not a good thing. If you were to ignore all the parameters of this marketing collateral, you would find yourself dealing with a variety of solutions that aren’t going to help you gain anything good overall. Focus on the right elements overall and you could end up with a balance that is going to definitely give you leverage.

The focus of all major marketing channels should not be isolated to just SEO, but it’s something that many may advocate. The best thing to do is work within the relationship of this element and the PPC elements, as well as other options overall. The more you build, the higher the leverage will go, that’s for sure.