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4 ½ Things to Know That Will Make You a Pro When It Comes to PCB Testing

man soldering circuit board

PBC (printed circuit board) testing is essential in the process of PCB assembly. You want to be sure that your product is quality-made and that it doesn’t have flaws that will prevent it from functioning correctly. Here are 5 things to know about the PBC tests. 

1. Testing is an integral part of PBC Production

Printed Circuit Boards are complex! They can have hundreds of components and thousands of solder connections. It’s imperative that they operate according to their design. In some cases, lives are at stake if they don’t. The only way to ensure that PCBs function correctly is to run testing. 

2. You want to begin testing early in the process

The primary goal of PBC testing is to find errors before the product is already in the field. The sooner you begin testing, the more money and time you will save. You want to find the problems early in the process so you can focus on innovating new designs rather than correcting problems that are found late in the process. 

3. There are several common defects that can be detected in the PCB process

There are many things that can go wrong in PCB production. These defects can include: 


  1. Open 
  2. Insufficient 
  3. Short
  4. Missing electrical component
  5. Misaligned
  6. Defective electrical component
  7. Wrong Component
  8. Excess solder
  9. Missing non-electrical component
  10. Wrong orientation
  11. Defective electrical component

4. There are many different kinds of PCB Testing 

Different tests are better at finding different defects so it’s important to choose the right one! Some common tests include: 

1. X-ray inspection (AXI)

X-rays are not reflected and so can pass through objects and form an image of the other side. They can provide an internal view of solder joins and detect bubbles and other errors. 

2. Automated optical inspection (AOI) 

AOI is a visual inspection method where a camera takes pictures of a board lit by several different angles so it can build an image of the board and compare it to an image of what the board should look like. AOI systems are really great for finding errors such as nodules, scratches, and stains. 

3. In-circuit testing

In-circuit testing worlds by having an electrical probe test a populated PCB and check for shorts, opens, resistance, capacitance, and other factors to see if it was made correctly. 


4. Functional testing

Functional testing mimics the PCB’s final electrical environment so it can see if it will behave as it should. This type of testing requires a lot of investment of time and money to ensure testing. 


Where’s the half? 

We here at Implementing ideas want our customers to have peace of mind! We encourage our customers to take advantage of our in-house testing before delivery so we can ensure that the boards have met expected functional criteria. We want you to be able to focus on generating great ideas for future work! Click here to get your free quote today! 


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