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Box Build

Box build is a generic term used within the electronics manufacturing industry. It represents all of the activities involved in converting an assembled printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) into a finished product ready for the consumer.

Box build activities encompass a wide range of tasks including those listed below:

Cabinet Wiring

This includes the hard wiring of cabinets, racks and backplanes with complex wiring patterns and extensive use of bootlacing

Cable Assembly

Typically required as part of box build activity. It encompasses a wide variety of cable assembly techniques ranging from simple IDC cable assemblies, through to complete wiring looms.

Electro-Mechanical Assembly

Typically required to finish assembling a product, which may involve operations such as the fitting of a metal front panel, or the fitting of the PCBA into either plastic, sheet, cast or machined metal outer housings.

Device Programming

Certain active components require software to be 'squirted' into them at the final configuration process. This can be done off-board or on-board depending upon the nature of the component/software programme.

Environmental Stress Screening (ESS)

Whilst the production process should provide a high quality product, ESS can be used to identify and hasten the occurrence of infant mortality or early life field failures. The product under test is powered up and forced to experience extremes of both hot and cold, utilising a cyclical test programme within a specialist test chamber.

Any solder joints not properly made during the manufacturing process, or components on the edge of their working conditions will fail during this process. This causes the unit under test to fail, which means the manufacturer can find and eliminate products that would otherwise have failed in the field. This leads to costly and reputation damaging warranty returns.


This uses specialised tooling to fit connectors into PCBA or backplanes boards designed for 'interference fit' only without the need for soldering. Press-fit connectors are generally fitted by a hand press. The component is pressed into the board and the compliant section of each pin provides a gas-tight and vibration resistant connection.

Box Build Topics

Cabinet Assembly


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Guide Written by Paul Wilson

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