Among all the stages in PCB assembly, inspection and testing are the two most crucial stages. If you are a company that manufactures PCBs, you really have to give importance to these stages. These will have a huge impact on boosting your PCB service performance.
The PCB assembly process can be summarized into 6 steps. First the PCB will undergo the solder paste stage wherein solder paste will be deposited in areas of the board that needs soldering. Next is the pick and place. In this stage, components will be placed on their proper position. Parts such as transistors will be positioned on the holes of the board.
Third is the soldering stage where the parts will be permanently pasted on the board. The fourth and fifth steps are the inspection and testing. These two stages ensures the quality of the PCBs and tests if the boards are working. After that, the person in charge of the assembly line will make a tally of defective PCBs so that the management will be notified in case there is a huge production of malfunctioning boards. This will help address the problem immediately.
Why is PCB Assembly Inspection and Testing Important?
Now, the big question is, why are these two stages too important? Well basically, they are included in the PCB assembly process for quality control. Inspection is the process wherein the assigned technician has to use a machine called automatic optical inspection to find misplaced parts, poor joints and wrong components. It is best to use a machine than to do manual inspection because there are a hundred to a thousand number of components to check. And it would be hard to inspect it one by one. On the other hand, testing is the process of checking whether the PCBs are working. This is a very important stage before the boards are sent to packaging. Once they are tested, then they are ready to go.
Tips on how to have a high quality inspection and testing
There are three things you have to keep in mind: Customer Standard and Specification, Equipment and Dedicated Technician
1. Customer Standards and Specification
First, you have to focus on what the customer wants. When your customer orders a set of PCBs, make sure you have acquired the enough information about the boards to create. Secondly, always take note of everything the customer wants. Pay attention to details. Place an asterisk or a mark on those instructions that are very important so you would not miss that out during the process. Once the PCBs are created, double-check the customer’s specifications. Are the components properly placed? Did you place the right components?
There are a number of high quality equipment for inspection and testing. Invest in these machines because you will really need durable equipment especially when you are accepting hundreds of orders. Make sure that this equipment can thoroughly inspect each PCB. It does not matter if you spend thousands for it.
3. Dedicated Technician
Machines cannot do everything on their own. You will still need dedicated and well-trained technicians or people who really know how to inspect and test PCBs. They should understand electronics and should come up with a solution in case there are mishaps along the PCB making.
Inspection and testing are very crucial in building your reputation in this field. And investing in these assembly stages is beneficial for you and your company. It lessens the hassle of having negative feedback from the customers. Plus, you will surely acquire satisfied and loyal ones. Always keep these things in mind if you want to succeed in PCB assembly services.