12 Difference Between PCB and PCBA | Comparison

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“Are PCB and PCBA the same?”- Most of us have this confusion.

In short, the answer is “No”.

The PCB (printed circuit board) and PCBA (printed circuit board assembly) are two different things. But, both are very essential for manufacturing and designing a complete circuit board.

Let’s study, what is the difference between PCB and PCBA.

PCB vs PCBA [in Tabular form]

01[Definition] What is PCB & PCBA?The bare board which consists of alternating layers of conductive and insulating materials to make a complete electric circuit (in the form of circuit tracks) is known as ‘PCB’.The process which assembles the different electronic components on the blank PCB board is known as ‘PCBA’.
02[Full form] What does PCB & PCBA stand for?
The PCB stands for the ‘Printed Circuit Board’. The PCBA stands for the ‘Printed Circuit Board Assembly’. Sometimes, it is known as a ‘Printed Circuit Assembly (PCA)’, or ‘PCB Assembly (PCBA)’.
03What are PCB & PCBA in electrical?
It is a blank board that does not contain electronic components. It is a functional board that contains or attaches different electronic components.
04ManufacturingThe simple process is occurred for the manufacturing PCB as compared to the PCBA.
There are more processes and components required for the manufacturing PCBA.
05Requirements for connectionIt requires less wiring.It requires more wiring.
06Insulation RequirementsLess insulation is needed. More insulation is needed.
07Uses of PCB & PCBAThe PCBs are primarily used for circuit design, but not used directly in electronic devices.The PCBAs can be directly used in electronic devices or systems.
08CostThe PCB is cheap and easily available in the market. The PCBA is costlier than the PCB.
09MaintainanceIt requires less maintenance. It requires more maintenance for the assembling and designing.
10TransportationFor transportation, PCBs need typically packaging such as vacuum packaging.For secure transportation, the PCBAs need compartmental or anti-static packaging.
11Manufacturing ProcessThe etching process is very harmful which has taken manufacturing of PCB. The etching process does not happen.
12AssemblySoldering does not require in PCB. Soldering is required for mounting the different electronic components on PCB.

Further, read the advantages and disadvantages of PCB over PCBA. You will find a few more differences.

13. Circuit board images

  • Printed circuit board (PCB)

The PCB board is referred to as a blank board or bare board or unstuff board or unsoldered board. You can see the below PCB image.

Printed circuit board (PCB)
  • Printed circuit board assembly (PCBA)

In PCBA, all the electronic components (such as resistor, capacitor, inductor, relay, etc.) are mounted through the soldering on the PCB board. The circuitry diagram is shown below.

Assembled printed circuit board (PCBA)

This is the basic comparison of PCB and PCBA. Both are dependent on each other. And they are very needed to make a circuit for electronic devices and for EEE projects. Students and engineers should be familiar with PCB and PCBA.

Hope you have understood all the basic concepts and differences between both. If you have any queries about PCB and PCBA differences, you can ask the comment below.

Some related other comparisons:

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