Manufacturing printed circuit boards through mass production is a very expensive operation. So aside from the intricate process of circuit board assembly, PCB manufacturers also conduct various printed circuit board testing operations to ensure good quality and functionality. These tests are done throughout the entire process of fabrication to address any issues before mass production takes place. To give you an idea with regards to the various tests and how they are done, here’s a complete guide.
Introduction to Printed Circuit Board Testing
Printed circuit board testing is done at various levels. First is the Bare-Board Tests and then the Assembly Level Tests. These levels ensure that the board passed certain requirements or standards to prepare for mass production.
- Bare-Board Tests - These are the tests done on unpopulated boards to make sure that the netlist defined circuit connection is properly verified on the circuit board.
- Assembly Level and Functionality Tests - Once the circuit board is assembled, these tests are done to check its functionality. These tests are done manually or using several automatic test equipment.
Major Test Types
- In-Circuit Test (ICT) - This test is done to look for short circuits, open circuits, and component values. This test can also check the operation of integrated circuits (IC).
- JTAG Boundary Scan - A test that uses the integrated circuit’s built-in dedicated test logic to see if each device is properly soldered and inserted onto the circuit board.
- Functional Test - The final test done to circuit boards. This test is done to check if all the parts of the PCB are there and if the PCB is correctly assembled. Most importantly, this test is done to check if everything works together and if everything on the board works fine. It checks if every component of the board is well connected.
Printed circuit board testing is the final process before mass production takes place. It is a crucial step for manufacturing PCBs and making sure that they are of good quality and with excellent functionality.