PEMEA: Glossary of Electronic, PCB and Cable Assembly Terms
Here is a list of common terms and abbreviations used in electronic manufacturing and assembly. You are currently viewing the list alphabetically, but you can also view it by category.
A measurement of electrical current or amount of electric charge per second in a circuit. Frequently shortened to Amp. Its symbol is the letter A but in formulas it is sometimes expressed as the letter I.
The electrode in a device that electrons flow out of to return to the circuit. In a battery or other source of direct current the anode is the negative terminal, but in a passive load it is the positive terminal.
As a verb, it means the act of putting parts together. As a noun, it is a finished cable or harness, as in cable assemblies.
Abbreviation of American wire gauge. A measurement used in the United States and other countries as a standard method of denoting wire diameter. In AWG measurements, the larger the number is the smaller the diameter.
A detailed plan or design.
Two or more wires bound together and surrounded by an insulator.
A component capable of storing electrical energy.
The electrode in a device that electrons flow into. In a battery or other source of direct current the cathode is the positive terminal, but in a passive load it is the negative terminal.
A cable that consists of two conductors laid concentrically along the same axis. One conducting wire is surrounded by a insulator, which is in turn surrounded by the other, outer conductor. The whole cable is wrapped in a protective plastic sheathing. Coaxial is frequently shortened to Coax (Co-ax)
A basic electronic element usually packaged in a discrete form with two or more connecting leads or metallic pads. Components are intended to be connected together, usually by soldering to a printed circuit board, to create an electronic circuit.
Metal wires, cables, rods, tubes, and bus-bars used for the purpose of carrying electric current.
A device that allows wires in a cable to fasten together with equipment or other wires.
A process where customers provide the manufacturer with all the parts and materials. The manufacturer then builds the products and deliver completed assemblies or cables to the customer. Sometimes referred to as kitted.
Where there are no breaks in a circuit it is said to have continuity. When testing cables for continuity, you ensure that the wires lead to the appropriate areas.
An electronic device that restricts current flow chiefly to one direction.
A process where customers buy the parts and materials and they are shipped to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then builds the products and deliver completed assemblies or cables to the customer.
Abbreviation of Electronic Manufacturing Services, a term used for companies that design, test, manufacture, distribute and provide return/repair services for electronic component and assemblies.
Abbreviation of Electrostatic Discharge. ESD can be destructive to sensitive electronic components. Methods to reduce the risk of ESD include the use of grounding straps, anti-static mats, boxes, bags and packing materials.
A unit of measure of the amount of electric charge or capacitance stored. The abbreviation is the letter F. The most common units of capacitance used in electronic circuits are the millifarad (mF), microfarad (µF), the nanofarad (nF) and the picofarad (pF).
A chemical compound used to remove surface oxides and impurities and to improve wetability when soldering.
An assembly with two or more wires that are ready for installation into a system.
See Integrated Circuit.
Abbreviation of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (pronounced as eye-triple-e) is an international organization for the advancement of technology related to electricity.
A material such as ceramic, rubber, or plastic that blocks the flow of electric current. An insulator is a poor conductor because it has a high resistance to such flow.
A microscopic array of electronic circuits and components that has been implanted onto the surface of a single crystal, or chip, of semiconducting material such as silicon. It is called an integrated circuit because the components, circuits, and base material are all made together, or integrated, out of a single piece of silicon. An integrated circuit is commonly referred to as an IC.
A worldwide organization that sets standards, specifications and guidelines for PCB design, manufacture and assembly.
Abbreviation of the International Standards Organization.
A peelable, water soluble, or solvent soluble compound that is used to prevent solder from filling in areas that need to be solder free.
United States Defense Standard, often called a military standard, "MIL-STD", or "MIL-SPEC". A MIL-SPEC for quality standards for electronic parts is MIL-STD-202.
An instrument used to measure resistance, current and voltage.
An abbreviation of original equipment manufacturer, An OEM is a company that builds products or components which are used in products sold by another company
A unit of electrical resistance. Abbreviation is the Greek capital letter omega - Ω
See Printed Circuit Board.
In electricity, the quality of having two oppositely charged poles, one positive one negative.
A variable resistor often used to control a circuit.
Printed Circuit Board
A self-contained module of interconnected electronic components. The circuits are formed by a thin layer of conducting material deposited, or "printed," on the surface of an insulating board.
A physical model of a new product concept.
A reflow oven is a high-precision oven used primarily for soldering electronic components to printed circuit boards using surface mount techniques. The oven contains multiple zones, which can be individually controlled for temperature. Generally there are several heating zones followed by one or more cooling zones. The printed circuit board moves through the oven on a conveyor belt, and is therefore subjected to a controlled time-temperature profile.
An electronic component that opposes the flow of electrical current.
A European Union directive that stands for "the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment". This directive bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. It went into effect July 1, 2006.
Cable that is protected from electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference by a metal sheathing. The shield may be composed of braided strands of copper (or other metal).
See Surface Mount Technology.
A metal alloy with a low melting point used to join components to boards.
Tool with an internal heating element used to heat surfaces being soldered to the point where the solder becomes molten.
Surface Mount Technology
A method for constructing electronic circuits in which the components are mounted directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards. Frequently abbreviated as SMT.
A method for constructing electronic circuits in which the components are inserted into holes drilled in printed boards and soldered to pads on the opposite side. Frequently abbreviated as THT. An alternate spelling is thru-hole.
See Through-hole Technology.
A type of fastener, especially for binding several electronic cables or wires together, and to organize cables and wires. It consists of a sturdy Nylon tape with an integrated gear rack, and on one end a ratchet within a small open case. It is also referred to as a "cable tie", "strap", "rat belt", "mouse belt", or "zip tie".
The process of coating wires or contacts with a light layer of solder. This allow you to more easily melt them together when soldering.
An electronic device used to control the flow of electricity.
A process where the manufacturer procures all the parts and materials and deliver complete assemblies or cables to the customer.
Underwriters Laboratories: A not-for-profit product safety and testing and certification body. UL permits applying a number of their marks on products that comply with their standards.
Cable that is not protected from electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference by a metal sheathing.
A unit of measurement of force, or pressure, in a circuit. The abbreviation is the letter V.
A machine that uses jets of water to wash flux and water soluble mask off printed circuit boards after they have been through a wave solder machine.
The standard unit of measurement of electrical power. The abbreviation is the letter W.
Wave Solder Machine
A large-scale soldering process where components are soldered to a printed circuit board to form an electronic assembly. The name is derived from the fact that the process uses a tank to hold a quantity of molten solder; the components are inserted into or placed on the board and the loaded board is passed across a wave of solder.
A single, usually cylindrical, elongated strand of drawn metal conductor that carries electricity over a distance.