Bob Axtell email (remove spam text)
Right, always visit the assembly house so you can understand their process.
The automated placement of SMD components is a ONE-SIDE process for most assemblers. THis is because the stencil process is a one-side process, using gravity to keep the devices in place.
People who have components on both sides have the second side assembled by hand. Few shops can reliably mount SMD components automatically on both sides, and ever fewer are located inside the USA.
I always mount SMD on top side, then install bottom SMD manually, finally top or bottom sided thru-connectors manually, I have almost NO confidence in SMD conectors.
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See also: massmind.org/techref/index.htm?key=board+manufacturing