14 June, 2022Posted by Sivaranjith Sivaraman
PCB testing is one of the most critical processes in electronic manufacturing to ensure product quality, apart from quality control in designing, material integrity, and process inspection. Various forms of testing are performed in PCB manufacturing during the fabrication process to assure the quality of the electronic product by ensuring the quality of the PCB within. But how much the testing counts on the product quality? Continue reading...
Obviously, testing a PCB adds an extra cost to product manufacturing. Manufacturers usually ask electronic manufacturers whether they need to conduct tests on PCBs being manufactured or on completed PCBs. Here they have to think twice since there is a clear chance to go with the answer NO for financial reasons. Testing must be done with quality in mind, boosting the product's and company's credibility. There are various tests, like the automatic optical inspection to find defects visually, the flying probe test to check the circuit, the In-circuit test for verifying with schematics, and the inspection with infrared rays to generate the heat map of a PCB. These tests verify that the product being manufactured accurately satisfies all quality criteria throughout the manufacturing process.
All these tests increase manufacturing costs, but the product will be profitable in several ways at the end of the pipeline. A lack of testing in mass production will result in a large number of damaged items (which creates a massive loss for the company). If buyers return defective items that the firm must replace, the financial loss will be higher. Manufacturers can lower the cost of free maintenance and product replacements by using robust testing procedures. Furthermore, it contributes to the brand's trustworthiness.
PCB testing indeed provides the financial benefits and building brand value that we discussed in the previous section. All of these tests must be done by or monitored by certified technicians. In this section, we will see how it benefits the quality of the product.
The primary goal of testing is to detect any errors in the PCB during production and after assembly. Visual monitoring, circuit testing, component location confirmation, and so on are all part of the testing. The design layout and circuit schematics are checked using software tools. And any other possible errors must detect in the prototype itself before going to mass production.
A defective PCB could cause malfunctions in the electronic product and may even cause a fire. The PCB should test for signal integrity and resistance, and most importantly, it must be thermally mapped in working conditions to detect the thermal hotspots and install coolants. Failure of lifestyle and essential electronic gadgets may lead the company to face lawsuits. Proper testing can avoid such damage.
Helps to meet the standards:
PCBs are manufactured for a variety of industries, each with its own set of standards and testing procedures. Military-grade PCBs, for example, must have the best signal integrity and be subjected to extreme temperature and stress testing to assure their durability. Certain or all of the tests are required in order to obtain such standard certification.
Eye on the smallest things:
Apart from functional tests, visual inspections using optical cameras let the manufacturers monitor the minute details regarding soldering joints, overflows, trace length, and assembly problems, such as shorts, open circuits, thinning soldering, scratches on traces, etc. Each one of them has critical importance to product quality, especially in HDI, micro PCB fabrications, etc.
Testing is difficult to avoid in PCB production, even if the designer has taken great care in PCB design. In reality, it has an impact on the PCB's quality, durability, and reliability. mefron offers separate testing services for the convenience of our valuable customers.
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