Quality Control for PCB Assembly
A printed circuit board (PCB) is the foundation of any electronic product and if its quality is not up to par, the entire machine will not be operational. But how can you know if your PCB has been assembled correctly? How can you tell if your product is made with the highest of quality? Here are some ideas to let you know.
What does the PCB do?
A PCB provides an automated method of wiring, allowing components within an electronic device to communicate with each other. The boards are both large and small and the specific wiring can vary depending on the board’s purpose.
Has Your PCB Been Constructed With The Standard Requirements?
You will need to verify that your PCB has been made following the standard PCB manufacturing requirements. This means the physical form should match what the design was meant to look like. The dimensions and position of the interconnecting points should match up with the components. If there is any question to how well it fits, it may not have been built correctly.
Additionally, the PCB is meant to provide insulation between the interconnecting points and the points that are not being used. Verify that there is an adequate insulation. The interconnection of the components however is key. If the points do not match up, the PCB will not do its job and the entire electronic unit will not be able to function.
How Was It Put Together?
Components/parts are soldered to PCB There are three types of soldering that is used in a PCB: wave, reflow, and by hand. Wave solder is mainly used for through-hole components, but not for surface-mount technology (SMT). SMTs will have a reflow solder.
Looking for a quality reflow solder will show that the surface mount components have been adequately soldered to the PCB with solder paste. In hand soldering, a solder iron is used. There is the highest discrepancy with hand soldering as it is not standardized by a computer. The mounts with any method of soldering should be secure in their place.
Check Who Built It
There should be a fab house logo verifying the manufacturer. This indicates the types of materials used by the PCB manufacturer. This logo and type for the manufacturer are given by the Under Writer Labs after testing the samples that had been provided by the PCB manufacturer. The handling and the materials used during fabrication can seriously affect the quality and the reliability of the PCB. The company access and use of raw materials is the biggest factor in the material quality. Companies will need to have evaluated whether their materials are suitable for the manufacturing requirements of a PCB.
Some PCBs will have a conformal coating, or thick paint-like coating to seal and protect the components on the board. This will keep out any foreign bodies, such as dust or moisture, from compromising the functionality of the board. The coating should verify that the PCB has been tested already to verify that it is functional.
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