4 Signs It's Time to Test Your PCB Board

4 Signs It's Time to Test Your PCB Board


Printed circuit boards can fail in different ways, leading to complete or partial failure of electronic equipment. Read on to learn the signs and causes when a PCB board fails.

4 Signs It's Time to Test Your PCB Board
PCB Board
Printed circuit boards can fail or become defective in different ways, resulting in complete or partial failure of electronic equipment. This usually happens when the board has been mishandled. Sometimes you can fix a damaged PCB trace yourself, however, since it is such an integral part of the device, it is critical to know when to replace a faulty board and look for signs that it is beyond repair.

What Should You Do if You Suspect Your PCB Board Is Faulty?

- If electronics are installed, the test board should be live.

- If no electrical components are installed, turn off the power before checking the board. The connection wires should also be cut and stripped from the board using wire pliers. Unplug items that do not need to be clamped.

- Check the board for signs of damage such as crushed components, bulges, cracked wires, misplaced or excess solder, burn marks, and scratches, which could indicate that the board needs to be replaced or repaired.

- Scratches may expose and damage connections under the stack up. Misplaced solder can cause a short that can destroy other connections. Whenever you see signs of this, do not get further testing. Damaged parts are clearly defective and should be returned to the supplier.

- Turn on the board by connecting it to a regular power source. It is important to check the voltages of all connections on the board schematic with an oscilloscope. This can be achieved by applying a voltage probe at the end of each connection, which allows for faster isolation of the problem.

- Document the results of all connections according to the information in the board schematic. If the connection does not conduct the specified voltage, the board is damaged.

PCB Failure: 4 Signs and Causes to Watch Out For

Printed circuit boards can be found in all kinds of electronic equipment, from airplanes to medical equipment. Therefore, it is important to understand the causes of board failures and avoid them. Aging and weather can damage circuit boards, causing loss or complete loss of power. The following are the most common causes of PCB failure:

1. Components Burnt Out

Component burnout occurs when PCBs are exposed to high temperatures. When the area surrounding a component is insufficient, the likelihood of component burning increases significantly. The shape and size of a component also affect its thermal resistance. Microprocessors, capacitors, and other components can make up the assembly. If a component fails to function properly, it needs to be completely replaced. These components may overheat, which may cause operational problems and loss of power on.

2. Improperly Manufactured Components

During the design and manufacturing stages of production, power issues and improper component placement can arise. Issues encountered included welding issues, chemical spills, and barrier breakdowns. There are many requirements and variables to consider to minimize the risk of error. Human error, room cleanliness, and room environment all need to be considered.

During assembly and manufacturing, human error can also lead to PCB failures. There are various factors that can cause this problem, such as poor interlayer connections, poor soldering, and improperly installed components. Poor solder, loose components, and connection problems indicate a poorly built board. Automating the manufacturing process reduces the likelihood of issues that could lead to board failure.

If you suspect a board's SMT assembly is failing or has cracked or improperly sealed parts, you can use the stain and pry test to determine if the problem exists and how it affects your device.

3. Factors Related to the Environment

Assembling electronic components in a humid room can affect how the solder and components react. Therefore, environmental conditions need to be controlled. Additionally, PCBs are fragile and can be destroyed by contamination. PCB failures can be caused by sudden spikes and overloads, accidental drops, moisture, dust, and heat.

PCBs are affected by various environmental factors. Circuit boards exposed to harsh environments can become damaged by exposure to elements that interfere with their function. Submersion in water, electrical fires, and lightning are some other causes.

Board failures are often caused by these issues, which can be difficult to overcome even with the best-made boards. Debris and dirt can corrode circuit boards over time. Extremely hot environments can also shorten the life of the board.

4. Age

Due to the aging of certain components, the board may eventually fail. Over time, a PCB's vulnerability to failure increases. At the end of their useful life, components begin to fail, but this can be corrected by repair or replacement.

Faulty parts can be replaced with new ones as a sustainable and economically viable solution to several problems that arise due to aging. PCB failures due to aging are inevitable but can be replaced with new parts rather than creating an entirely new board. Even before circuit boards reach consumers, they can fail for a variety of reasons.

Board testing becomes more effective when you understand the cause of a failure. A thorough inspection and evaluation can reveal many PCB failure issues that can be resolved with repair and rework. You can visually inspect burned components, but to diagnose more complex problems, you'll need an experienced technician.

We Rely on Circuit Boards

Many people don't realize that their devices and electronics are made up of many internal components that contribute to the functions and features they need every day. For example, a mobile phone is made up of many components, each connected to the other. One of these basic components is the printed circuit board, which is the basis of many kinds of electronic products.

PCBs are necessary for the operation of various devices. If it malfunctions or malfunctions, some serious problems could arise. Over time, circuit boards can become damaged, reducing their overall performance and functionality. Circuit boards are affected by factors such as humidity, aging, and weather.

However, it is possible to rework or repair the boards to make them like new ones. In order to refurbish or repair a board, it is crucial to know what went wrong. Identifying and fixing problems on a circuit board is one of the ways to find out if a board is defective.

The above 4 signs that the board test time is up, if you have any questions or want to buy PCB boards, please contact us.

Singo is a professional custom circuit board manufacturer. Our company has specialized in electronic PCB assembly. Since 2006, it has been mainly engaged in PCB assembly and OEM/ODM electronic manufacturing services. The products involve home appliances, digital products, industrial control, medical equipment, etc. After years of hard work, we have established long-term cooperative relationships with some internationally renowned companies.