PCB Assembly Standards, Testing, And Development

After all the components are attached to the circuit board, the PCB assembly is tested if it’s functional or not. Testing is done through visual inspection, and by running tests on the circuit board to determine whether the parts function the way they should. Its complex connections are also checked to determine if there is a smooth flow of electrical current within them. All manufacturers do this for the end-users’ satisfaction, as they expect the PCB’s to be of good quality.

Different Testing Technologies Of PCB Assembly Are Follows:

Printed Circuit BoardsThe board must meet the standard specifications under JEDEC. The material composition of the vital components, and the patent included in the package must be disclosed to the council. The overall circuit board framework must also comply with the drawings specified by the council. Since the safety of the end-user is also considered, it must meet the safety standards, too. The board is checked for leaks from metals, and if lead is used in its assembly.

Standardization helps eliminate disputes between the different sectors that are connected with the manufacturer. There is also a memory storage specification, involving memory speeds and signals, which should be within the hardware limits for a high-speed and flawless performance. In addition to the testing of the discrete components on the PCB, the inner components or blocks of the integrated circuits are also analyzed, specifically their input and output signals. This test is done through a boundary scan.

When the PCB assembly stage is done, the board is tested for its components’ electrical emissions, whether the quantities of their capacitance, voltage, etc. can create a smooth electrical flow, or not. This test is done by using electrical probes that every electronic industry has. In general, testing determines whether the board is properly assembled of its parts, the specifications of components are correct, the inter connectivity of its parts are good, or the components can receive and send electric or data signals.

If a component fails to function, it needs to be desoldered, or a rework may be required. Reasons for a rework may include faulty component, solder bridges, misalignment of the component, wrong thermal cycling, and many more. As mentioned before, soldering is a crucial step in making the PCB assembly resistant to damage.

A component that is not proportional to the pad size where it’s going to be mounted can create shorts. The application of a more than usual amount of solder onto the pad also can create shorts, or solder bridges. These can be hardly visible that can make visual inspection ineffective in detecting that’s the root of the problem. To prevent shorts, manufacturers apply solder mask on the circuit boards. This is useful for mass-production of PCB’s, because it protects the boards from oxidation and solder bridging.

The manufacturer should not just only be responsible during the PCB assembly stage, but also in the board fabrication. Creating a stencil that will meet the users’ needs, and at the same time, will match the actual PCB will create no issue, like shorts. The soldering technique must be effective to meet the quality of PCB the users deserve.

There are manufacturers out there who have been manufacturing PCB’s for years, and they are the ones from which well-known companies order bulks of boards. Electronic hobbyists are able to create board circuits, too. There are different ways of soldering, protecting, and testing the boards the manufacturers and hobbyists apply. The evolution of PCB’s made it possible to mount more integrated chips on to the board resulting to miniaturization of electronic devices, especially mobile phones. Manual placement of PCB components has been replaced by the fast-paced automated mounting of these parts, making the board fabrication and assembly better in quality and quantity.