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PCB Assembly FAQ

Uncovering The Health of PCBA Board


With the widespread application of electronic products, printed circuit boards have become an indispensable component of home electronics and electrical equipment. However, with a variety of PCB boards emerging on the market, how to accurately evaluate their quality has become a focus of concern for many people. The following will discuss the importance of PCBs to electronics, how to check, and methods to maintain the health of PCB to help keep them in a healthy state.

1. The Key Role of PCBAs In Electronic Equipment  

Circuit boards are one of the necessary main components in many electrical appliances. They mainly include ceramic PCBA, alumina ceramic PCBA, aluminum nitride ceramic PCBA, and other materials. A healthy PCBA affects the use and life of electrical equipment. If there is a problem with the printed circuit board, it will affect the use of the entire electrical appliance. The importance of the PCBA to electrical equipment mainly includes:

(1) The health of the PCB assembly directly affects the performance of the equipment. Good circuit board design and maintenance can ensure the reliability of signal transmission and avoid signal attenuation and distortion caused by resistors, capacitors, and other components.

(2) Good PCB Assembly manufacturing is crucial to the power supply stability of the equipment. Proper design and maintenance of power lines can help prevent power fluctuations and ensure a stable supply of power to equipment under various operating conditions.

(3) Good printed circuit board assembly design and proper maintenance can extend the life of electrical equipment. Preventing components from being damaged due to wiring failures or overheating helps slow down the aging process of equipment.

PCB assembly manufacturing from prototype to production

2. Check the quality of the PCBA  

(1) Appearance Inspection  

Appearance inspection can initially determine the PCBA manufacturing process and quality.

First, visually inspect the components, solder joints and connections on the PCBA board to see if there are cracks, solder ball problems, poor soldering, and whether there are virtual soldering on the solder joints, desoldering, etc.

Secondly, pay attention to whether the surface of the PCB assembly board is flat, whether the location of the holes is accurate, whether the lines are visible, and whether the electronic components are aging or bulging.

Finally, check the printing quality, such as whether the writing is clear and whether the symbols are correct, etc.

(2) Functional Testing

Electrical testing can comprehensively evaluate the performance and stability of the PCBA, including resistance, capacitance, inductance, and other parameters.

First, use testing instruments such as a multimeter to measure the resistance, voltage and current on the circuit board to detect whether there is a short circuit, open circuit or component failure.

Check whether there is an open circuit in the circuit by using the "Beep Test" function on the multimeter to perform a continuity test.

Secondly, compare the test results with the circuit board design drawings and specification manual to check whether they meet the design requirements.

Finally, functional testing is performed, using special testing equipment to conduct actual functional testing to ensure that each part of the circuit board is working properly and that the connections between various components are normal.

(3) Parameter Performance Test

According to the specific usage requirements, parameter testing of the circuit board can more comprehensively evaluate the quality of the circuit board. For example:

Use a thermal imaging camera to detect heat distribution on circuit boards to find potential thermal issues such as overheating components;

Use X-ray inspection to inspect solder joints and internal layer connections of high-density circuit boards to ensure their quality

(4) Environmental Testing

Testing the PCB circuit board under different environmental conditions can evaluate the performance in actual usage scenarios, such as:

Apply additional voltage through the board to ensure it can withstand environments outside of rated operating conditions

Test the performance of circuit boards through temperature, humidity, and other environments

Test the performance of the PCB assembly board in electromagnetic fields to ensure that it is not affected by external electromagnetic interference and does not cause interference to surrounding equipment.

PCB assembly is being functionally tested

3. Effective PCB Assembly Board Maintenance Methods  

Regular maintenance and careful use are the keys to maintaining long-term stable operation of PCB assembly boards, from two aspects: seasonal maintenance and annual maintenance:

(1) Seasonal Maintenance

● Clean the dust on the PCBA every quarter and try to keep the surface clean to avoid dust and impurities from entering. You can use an air can, hair dryer, or soft brush to gently clean the surface, but be careful not to damage circuit components.

● PCBA is sensitive to moisture, especially metal components that are prone to rust. Avoid humid conditions when storing PCBs and use a moisture-proof agent to absorb moisture.

● Observe whether the electronic components in the circuit have any traces of high temperature. Long-term high temperatures will have adverse effects on the PCB and electronic components. Avoid excessive heating, especially during welding and repair processes.

(2) Annual Maintenance

● Regularly inspect PCBA surfaces and components for obvious damage, corrosion, or soldering problems. Identify and fix possible problems promptly to prevent further damage.

● Clean the dust on the PCBA board.

● Regularly back up the data on the PCB to ensure data security. When necessary, firmware and software updates are performed to ensure proper PCB operation.

● It is recommended to regularly spot-check the components of the PCBA board by using appropriate test equipment to ensure that they are still within the normal operating range. For example: If a random inspection finds that the capacity of the electrolytic capacitor is less than 20% of the nominal capacity, consider replacing it. Decreased capacity may affect the performance of the circuit board, so timely replacement is an effective means to prevent failure.

● Regularly replace circuit board components. PCBA components usually have a certain service life, and in some high-temperature environments, the service life may be shorter. Generally speaking, about 10 years or so for a full replacement is a reasonable time frame to ensure circuit board reliability.

To sum up

PCBA, as an important part of electronic products, is of great significance. Understanding the importance of circuit boards is of great help in choosing appropriate inspection and maintenance methods and improving the quality of electronic products.

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