The primary purpose of using SMT stencils is to facilitate placing of a component onto aboard after a coat of solder paste is applied on it. Power stencils help a great deal in cutting down labor costs and lead time by reducing the manual placement of components and are hence considered a boon for mass production of the same PCB.SMT stencils come in two different formats – framed and frameless. Although the framed stencils are more suited for high volume print circuit boards the frameless foils being easily replaceable are preferable for a high mix environment where various PCBs are being manufactured on the very same line. The frameless ones have an added advantage that they need not be permanently glued onto the frame.
The frameless systems are somewhat expensive but the lower replacement costs for the foils and less storage space required in their case make them a worthwhile purchase.
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