You must already know that almost every modern equipment uses Printed Circuit Boards also known as PCBs. Hence, PCB failure is a situation that occurs and is hard to avoid. Although many PCBs are different in some or other manner. Analyzing all failures can tell about various root causes. These PCB failures are said to be of two different types. One is known to occur while in the manufacturing process and the other happens while the delivery to the end-user of it.

It becomes important for various manufactures to set up various internal processes that help to decrease any such failures and provide good PCBs. Although, manufacturers do follow various standard processes and parameters before going ahead with further PCB processes, adding a few more analyzing steps decreases the chances of failure. Here are a few ways in which one can avoid common PCB failure modes.

  • Visual Inspection

Visual Inspection
  • The visual Inspection process is said to be the most simple and common testing method. This is preferred for finding out the possible defects or problems that are mainly associated with either assembly or soldering. Using the manual inspection approach involves optical Microsoft or visible light which is useful in case of denser boards. Through this method, one can easily detect problem areas and various ways to counter them.
  • Electrical Testing

Electrical Testing
  • visual inspection is an efficient method of testing the PCB and its top surfaces, it isn’t capable of doing the inner layers inspection. Here is when electrical testing helps. It is one simple method of conducting a test on the inner layers. This test is mainly focused upon checking for various opens and shorts and the possibilities of their occurrence. It is said that a good PCB helps to establish this and fix it with the help of probe tests as it compares the readings. Besides, this test can’t be termed as conclusive because it traces on just the outer layer for the testing.
  • Micro-Sectioning


It is a detailed examination of a particular section of the PCB to investigate factors like raw materials, opens or shorts, processing failure, component defects and much more. This method involves the use of a thin slice of the sample which takes out various hidden troubling features in a PCB. However, this micro-sectioning is one destructive method of testing but, is a precise technique for uncovering the defective part or section present on the board. Even the nature of the defect can be found through this testing process.

  • X-ray Testing

X-ray Testing

the testing method is the tx-ray testing method. This method helps in conducting testing for all those areas that aren’t accessible or even visible. X-rays have the power to penetrate through multiple substrates and show all the inner buried features. During the testing, a video camera records it all for viewing later. This testing helps to detect any soldering defect present under a fine component like BGAs or a gull-wing.

  • Solderability Testing

Solderability Testing

A PCB is said to be useless until the soldering component isn’t allowed on its surface. Various possible factors involved in the failure of the PCB are said to be removed through this testing during the manufacturing process. This test ensures the quality of the PCB by wetting balance method that measures the wetting force and evaluating the total time it takes from the contact till going forward to generate a compulsory wetting force.

All the above points are some ways that can avoid the common possible PCB failures. It is best to take control of the quality, in the beginning, to ensure there isn’t any problem during the time of final usage. Also, since there are various ways to do it, checking quality control becomes a lot easier.

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