Surface mount technology (SMT) has revolutionized electronics assembly by enabling extremely high component densities and fully automated manufacturing. SMT assembly involves mounting electronic components directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs) wated manufacturing. SMT assembly involves mounting electronic components directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs) without through-hole connections.
Major benefits of SMT include smaller product size, fewer solder joints, ease of automation and improved reliability. Leading electronics companies rely on contract manufacturing partners to provide high quality SMT assembly at scale.
This article ranks the top 10 SMT assembly manufacturers globally based on scale, capabilities, quality, flexibility, costs and customer service.
1. Rayming Technology
Rayming is a premier provider of SMT assembly solutions with facilities in China. For over 25 years, Rayming has offered high-mix low-volume to high-volume SMT assembly optimized for rapid prototyping and ramp-to-production.
- 01005 component size capabilities
- 0.3mm pitch BGAs, 0.4mm QFNs/DFNs
- In-house solder paste printing and AOI inspection
- Fast setup and changeovers ideal for high-mix
- Conformal coating, potting, x-ray inspection
- Seamless NPI to volume production handoff
Rayming combines advanced manufacturing expertise, flexibility and quality to deliver exceptional SMT assembly value. Their robust processes enable seamless transition from prototyping through production ramps.
Singapore headquartered Flextronics (Flex) provides SMT assembly through a vast global network of over 100 facilities and 450,000 employees. Flex offers complete product lifecycle services from innovative Silicon Valley design to high-volume manufacturing in China and Southeast Asia.
- 2019 revenue – $26 billion
- Leading EMS provider for aerospace, automotive, medical, consumer products
- State of the art high-speed SMT lines and factory automation
- Advanced capabilities – microelectronics, embedded software, test engineering
- Collaborative NPI and manufacturing excellence programs
Flex’s scale, expertise and resources make them an ideal partner for enterprise-level SMT assembly and end-to-end product realization.
3. Jabil Circuit
Jabil Circuit is a NYSE listed EMS giant headquartered in Florida, USA. With over 100 production sites worldwide, Jabil provides specialized capabilities tailored to the unique needs of customers.
- Highly complex, low volume SMT for aerospace, defense and healthcare
- Medium/high-volume consumer product manufacturing
- Supply chain optimization – procurement, logistics, inventory
- Miniaturization and material science expertise
- Accelerated product realization and manufacturing analytics
Jabil’s knowledge, dedication and consistency empowers customers across diverse sectors to achieve manufacturing excellence. Their superb SMT assembly capabilities paired with global footprint attracts leading product companies worldwide.
Pegatron is a Taiwan based electronics manufacturing giant with over $200 billion in annual revenues. They manufacture products designed by top branded OEMs.
- Founded in 2008, spun off from Asus
- Top 2 EMS according to revenue
- 80,000+ employees
- Major Apple supplier for iPhones and other devices
- Manufacturing expertise across computing, communication, consumer electronics
Pegatron’s scale, costs and electronic assembly capabilities in China makes them a strategic partner for top-tier consumer electronics OEMs seeking high-volume SMT manufacturing.
Foxconn is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer with revenues exceeding $175 billion. Headquartered in Taiwan, they operate factories in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
- Exclusive manufacturer for major brands like Apple, Sony, Microsoft
- Largest global footprint – factories in over 15 countries
- End-to-end manufacturing – PCBs, enclosures, precision tooling
- Expertise in computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, TVs
- Highly optimized automated SMT assembly lines
Foxconn’s unrivaled scale and expertise in high-volume consumer electronics makes them the exclusive manufacturing partner for global smartphone and computing OEMs.
6. Sanmina Corporation
Sanmina provides complete product realization services including advanced SMT assembly for OEMs across communications, medical, defense and industrial sectors.
- High-speed PCB assembly Process lines with wide component range
- Complete PCB fab, assembly, testing and box build
- Ruggedized electronics manufacturing
- Industry 4.0 data analytics across production facilities
- Design, prototyping, new product introduction (NPI)
- Manufacturing in all major regions – Americas, Europe, Asia
Sanmina’s comprehensive product lifecycle services enables enterprises to achieve accelerated time-to-market and manufacturing excellence for highly complex end products.
7. Benchmark Electronics
Benchmark provides integrated design, product engineering, SMT assembly, testing and optimizations services for customers globally.
- 2019 revenue – $2.3 billion
- 8,000 employees across 3 continents
- High density interconnect, microelectronics capabilities
- Regulated market expertise – medical, aerospace, automotive
- Miniaturization, lightweighting, power optimization
- Advanced test automation and product validation
Benchmark enables accelerated product innovation through deep domain expertise in engineering design combined with high-quality SMT assembly.
Plexus specializes in mid-to-low volume, highly complex SMT assembly for regulated industries like defense, medical and aerospace. Their global expertise spans the complete product realization lifecycle.
- Engineering – product conceptualization, design, prototyping
- Testing – product qualification, verification, validation
- Manufacturing – SMT, mechanical assembly, cabling
- Aftermarket – repair, spare parts, sustaining services
Plexus provides a perfect blend of nimble innovation, technical excellence and global scale required for regulated products with stringent quality and reliability requirements.
9. Zollner Elektronik
Germany based Zollner provides full system design, SMT assembly and testing solutions targeted at industrial electronics, telecommunications and automotive industries.
- 500 million Euros in annual revenues
- 10,000 employees across Europe, Asia and America
- ISO 13485, 14001 and 9100 certifications
- Mechanical, electrical, SMT, functional testing
- High reliability manufacturing expertise
- Supply chain management and after sales support
Zollner’s precision manufacturing capabilities paired with rigorous quality standards makes them an ideal partner for German and European product companies.
10. Universal Scientific Industrial (USI)
USI provides advanced electronics design, assembly and testing solutions from facilities across Asia, Europe and Latin America.
- 2019 revenue – $9 billion
- Miniaturization, SiP, SoC optimization
- High-precision machinery for automotive, healthcare
- Aerospace, defense – mission critical fabrication
- Automation – SMT, inspection, testing, logistics
- Supply chain – strategic procurement, inventory
USI enables enterprises to accelerate product development and achieve manufacturing excellence across the product lifestyle leveraging their expertise honed from years of high-precision engineering and electronics manufacturing.
Key Factors in Choosing an SMT Assembly Partner
Here are some important aspects to evaluate when selecting an SMT assembly contract manufacturer:
Technical capabilities – Handling of microcomponents, fine pitch ICs, BGAs, testing services, factory automation level, engineering expertise.
Quality – Certifications like ISO 9001, IATF 16949. Process controls, factory cleanliness, staff training levels, culture of quality.
Costs – Assembly pricing models, minimum order quantities, inventory and logistics costs, component procurement costs.
Delivery – Production lead times, order flexibility, JIT(just in time) capabilities, throughput time optimization.
Customer service – Design support, account management, issue resolution processes, communication systems.
Company reputation & longevity – Number of years in business, customer reviews, employee turnover rates, financial health.
This list of the top 10 SMT assembly manufacturers enables OEMs to identify the ideal outsourcing partner aligned with their specific product and business needs. Companies seeking an agile, high-quality prototyping and low volume ramp partner can benefit from manufacturers like Rayming, Flextronics and Jabil. For ultra-high volume production of consumer electronics, Foxconn and Pegatron represent ideal choices. For highly complex and regulated products, Sanmina or Flex provide world-class product realization services.
With electronics playing an ever greater role across industries, selecting the right SMT manufacturing partner provides a competitive edge through accelerated time-to-market, costs and quality optimization and rapid scale up. The leading contract manufacturers epitomize the pinnacle of technological expertise through continuous innovation in processes, automation and supply chain management. Leveraging their capabilities and experience provides OEMs with an invaluable foundation for product development and commercialization success.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the key advantages of SMT assembly?
A: SMT enables smaller electronics due to high component density, faster automated assembly, fewer solder joints vs through-hole and improved reliability. SMT dominates modern PCB assembly.
Q: What is the difference between SMT and through hole PCB assembly?
A: SMT components are mounted directly onto surface pads. Through hole components have wire leads that go through holes in the PCB for soldering on the other side.
Q: What are some challenging aspects in SMT assembly?
A: Fine pitch components, micro BGAs, tiny passives, board warpage control and miniaturization require advanced skills and equipment for high yield.
Q: How to select the right SMT assembly partner?
A: Evaluate manufacturers based on capabilities, costs, quality, delivery, customer service and company reputation. Prioritize decision criteria according to specific needs.
Q: What are the latest trends in SMT assembly?
A: Trends include higher levels of factory automation, augmented reality for training, advanced soldering materials, quality analytics using AI, automated optical inspection and miniaturization.