The Key Difference Between PCB And PCBA: What You Need To Know
Modern-day smartphones are doing wonders with the developed camera, higher refreshing rate, and hardware improvement. Similarly, contemporary warfare has seen tremendous use of drone helicopters to spy on enemies.
All these have been made possible because of the advancement of PCB and PCBA. These two technologies have changed the communication, electronics, military, medical device, etc. industries dramatically.
Yet we found that many people consider the PCB and PCBA the same thing. Hence, we decided to discuss the difference between PCB and PCBA in a way so everyone can understand it.
PCB is a bare circuit board consisting of only the signal transmitting and heat dissipation substrate. The PCBA, on the contrary, consists of different electronics components including ICs, resistors, etc.
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What Are PCB and PCBA?
PCB, as we all know, stands for Printed Circuit Board. It is the fundamental of modern-day and highly complicated electronic devices. It is made for both electrical transmission and mechanical support to the other components.
The base is made of different metals, ceramics, or other elements and it works as the substrate. It dissipates the heat to reduce the temperature of the components mounted over it. This is the mechanical support of the PCB. And electronic transmission refers to the data transfer from one component to another through the base.
However, the PCB is a bare electric circuit board. It has only the substrate and conductive parts. The electronic device manufacturer will mount the electronic components over the bare PCB. This process is called the PCBA which stands out for the PCB Assembly.
The PCBA has a different layout and uses a soldering process to complete the entire component mounting and assembly process.
The Key Difference Between PCB And PCBA
Although you might not understand, PCBA and PCVB comes with subtle differences. If you are in the PCB and PCBA industry or electronic device manufacturing, understanding these distinctions between the two essential parts of your electronic device production is important.
The key differences are-
- PCB is made to dissipate the heat generated during electrical signal transmission. It has a heat-dissipating layer and an insulation layer on its top. However, it doesn’t contain any wiring or electric components. The PCBA is the next part of device manufacturing that follows PCB production. It has various components including ICs, registers, transistors, SMD capacitors, etc.
- The PCB is made of scratch using various metal or non-metal surfaces. On the contrary, the PCBA is built upon the PCB. This is a key distinction between the two parts of device production. Once the PCBA manufacturer gets the PCB ready at his hand, he can work over it to assemble the various components on it.
- The printed circuit board is of various types and it is determined, mostly, by the material used in its substrate. Thus, you have to look at the substrate material to find the actual type of the PCB. The list includes FR4, ceramic, or metal PCB. PCBA, however, doesn’t have such classification based on the materials.
- PCB can also have single or multiple layers of substrate. Thus, it is also classified as single, dual, or multi-layered PCB. There are also flexible and rigid PCBs. Nonetheless, PCBA doesn’t have such types of variety. Its classification comes from mainly the components mounted over it.
- PCB has one standard manufacturing process. However, PCBA follows multiple ways to mount the components on it. You may follow the automatic reflow soldering or wave soldering for PCBA manufacturing.
- PCBA manufacturing needs a definite layout to mount the components according to the design. It differs due to the requirements of device variations. Also, the layout is a software-based design. PCB follows a generic design for all devices.
A Hint on the PCBA Manufacturing Process:
Different manufacturers follow a standard PCBA manufacturing process. The main difference comes in the soldering process primarily. Also, there are distinctions in the component types also mounted over the PCB.
The twocomponent types are-
- SMD components: SMD component refers to the standard surface mount electronic devices and components. Manufacturers use SMT or surface mount technology to mount the SMD components on the PCB. You have to count the number of actual pins attached to the components to identify the SMD ones.
- Through-hole components: It is also referred to as thru-hole components mainly because of their design. It has multiple leads on the base and these leads will be mounted on the PCB surface. You need to create holes using a drill machine to mount these thru-hole components on the printed circuit boards.
Another part of PCBA manufacturing is the soldering technique. Usually, the PCB and the required components to build the PCBA passes through the pick and place machine to initiate the actual soldering process.
When the PCB passes through the pick and paste machine, it places the components on the bar circuit board. It follows a design layout provided by the PCBA manufacturer to arrange the components in the proper way. The bare circuit board however has soldering glue pasted on it before it enters the machine for attaching the electronic parts.
These days, manufacturers like FX PCB usean automatic soldering process to mount the components safely over the circuit board permanently. It is also known as the reflow soldering system. It is a fast and safe process of manufacturing a bulk amount of PCBA without any faults.
Previously, manufacturers opted for the wave soldering mechanism. However, it has become outdated now. It has many flaws which have forced the PCBA producers to leave it forever.
The main difference between PCB and PCBA lies in the manufacturing mechanism and steps. PCB follows a generic manufacturing system. On the contrary, PCBA design varies according to the requirements of the device manufacturer. The layout is done in software and a machine is used to arrange the components according to the layout.
FX PCB manufactures both PCB and PCBA and also serves you with the design layout so you can build your device on it at ease. Also, our pricing is competitive and we offer delivery in any amount you need for the project.
PCBA Manufacturing Process
The modern-day electronics world depends heavily on the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) as its backbone. The miraculous invention has paved the advancement of electronics of all sorts. A PCB is a medium to transfer the current through its copper pathway and it dissipates the heat to keep the tiny yet highlycomplex electronic equipment on it in perfect condition.
The PCBs are arranged with various electronic components such as ICs, transformers, transmitters, etc. Once the PCB is mounted with these components, it is called the PCBA. Hence, the PCBA manufacturing process follows solder paste, picking and placement of the component, soldering, and final inspection stages.
If you are to get the best PCBA and PCB for your digital devices, you have to know this PCB assembly process thoroughly. FX PCB with its years of experience understands this need and thus, we present you the detailed guideline on the printed circuit board assembly process.
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What Is The Difference Between PCB and PCBA?
During our long working time in the PCB industry, we have seen a majority of people considering the PCB and PCBA the same thing. Thus, before we move to the PCBA manufacturing steps, let’s clarify the confusion you have.
The PCB is a bare substrate with copper or other metal on it working as a base to dissipate the heat. Also, it transfers and transmits data electronically. When a PCB is built, it is a bare component.
During the PCBA manufacturing, this bare PCB will be used as a base to mount various electric components. The list includes transistors, resistors, ICs, transmitters, etc. Once you mount the electric components on the PCB, it is called the PCBA.
You have to use soldering to complete the PCB assembly.
Steps to Follow For the PCBA Manufacturing Process
Almost all PCB and PCBA manufacturers follow a standard process to manufacture the PCBA. FX PCB is no exception to it. Our process includes solder pasting on the PCB base, placing the electronic components in the right place, soldering them with the PCB, checking the accuracy, final inspection, and delivery to customers.
The entire process is monitored closely to ensure 100% accuracy in the manufacturing process. Also, the automated engineering makes sure the entire steps are fast and quick for on-time delivery.
When you get the PCB at hand, the temptation is high to instantly add the components to it. But, it is not possible and neither is a practical idea. You have to inspect the printed circuit board and add solder where it is essential.
Typically, you have to add the solder on the component pads using the solder screen.
If you don’t know what solder paste is, here’s the short answer-
It consists of flux and small solder grains to form a paste. The deposition of the solder paste on the specific process is similar to the printing process. Firstly, the solder screen will be placed right where you want to add the solder paste. The screen has a hole in it to see through it into the PCB. Then, a runner will move over the solder screen.
Finally, a small amount of solder paste will go through the screen hole and sit right over the PCB substrate. You have to control the solder deposition to ensure that the component pad isn’t clogged with too much of the solder paste.
Pick and Placement Process:
This process has two steps to follow-
- Adding the solder paste properly to hold the components.
- Passing the entire circuit board into the pick and place process.
The solder paste uses its tension and adhesiveness to accommodate the components right in their positions without movement. Also, you have to ensure that the circuit board isn’t jolted or the components will move and get out of their positioning.
Then, at the final stage, the circuit board passes through the pick and place machine. It has reels holding the components. As the circuit boards pass through it, the reel will correctly position the electronic components on the board. It follows the pre-designed model for each PCBA.
Some machines will add glue in doted form for additional security of the components. It is especially essential for wave soldering. Although the connection between the components and the circuit board is made secure with the glue, it makes any repairing process difficult.
You will have to drive the PCBA design information and program it to the pick and place machine properly. Otherwise, the assembly won’t be accurate.
Once you have added all the necessary electric components on the circuit board using a pick and place machine, you have to solder them. Our engineers and workers will pass through the component added PCB through the automated soldering machine.
Many manufacturers will use the wave soldering process but these days it has become an outdated process. More importantly, the surface mount components (SMC) aren’t best for wave soldering. Hence, most PCBA manufacturers use the reflow soldering technique.
Note: If the assembly follows wave soldering, it doesn’t need any solder paste processing. The wave solder will add the essential soldering material to the circuit board.
Testing and Feedback:
Once the soldering is complete, the entire assembly of the PCB to its components is thoroughly observed and checked. The manual inspection isn’t a valid option here. The Surface Mount Components (SMC) has hundreds of various components and you can’t manually check them.
FX PCB uses automatic optical inspection (AOI) for the detailed and mostaccurate inspection of the soldered components. There are inspection machines that will check the soldering joints and report where the components need re-soldering.
Finally, the entire PCBA setup is tested before delivery. There are multiple ways and methods for testing the entire PCBA setup. Also, it is essential to monitor the component outputs after soldering. It will decide whether or not the entire assembly process is satisfactory.
The manufacturers use the optical inspection to find if the assembly has any connection failure. Once the inspection is completed and the performance is satisfactory, the PCBA is packed for delivery.
In this guideline, we have simplified the PCBA manufacturing process, thanks to our engineering output. The entire process is optimized to keep the defects at the lowest level. Hence, FX PCB follows the standard and exceeds it to offer you the highest-quality PCB and PCBA manufacturing at the most competitive pricing.
You can perform loads of device production with the PCB assembly and boost your business with flawless PCBAs for durable performance.
What Is PCBA? : Its Benefits and Difference with PCB
PCBA stands for Printed Circuit Board Assembly. Up to this meaning, it’s all fine. But the real problem starts right from here. Many, in fact, most people don’t understand the true meaning and purpose of the PCBA. And many would even confuse it with the PCB.
So, we decided to write on what is PCBA. Of course, it has a close connection with the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). A PCB refers to an electronic pad designed to transmit electronic signals while dissipating the heat generated due to the digital transmission.
And the PCBA refers to the complete electronic board after all of its components are assembled completely. It has several incredible benefits that make it a much sought-after element in the communicating and electronics industry.
However, it has key differences with the PCB. A PCB is void of any electrical components whereas the PCBA refers to the complete board assembly.
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Our Recommended PCBA
We are an industry-leading company which is best in manufacturing and assembly of printed circuit boards (PCB). Thanks to modern technologies used in production, we are able to fulfill orders in a short time.
Our company carries out the assembly and installation of printed circuit boards to order. During the development and manufacturing process, constant quality control is carried out.
We strictly follow your Gerber file and Bom list for your project, and we will also be glad to suggest you the alternative for your passive components to decrease your cost, but all replacement components need you to approve and make final decision whether you want to use them.
What Is PCBA?
A PCB consists of non-insulating and heat-resistant materials. It has a substrate that dissipates the heat to keep the entire setup cool and high-performing. The upper section has conductive materials such as copper to transmit the signal electronically from one part to another.
The substrate is made of different elements and it works to dissipate heat. However, the PCB is an incomplete construction as it doesn’t have the electronic components, not on it.
The PCBA, on the other end, is a complete assembly. You have to assemble the PCB, once it is ready. The assembling requires both passive and active components. The list of these electronic components include-
- SMD capacitor
You have to mount these components on the printed circuit board to prepare the fully usable circuit boards. And this assembled circuit board is the PCBA we are referring to until now. Also, note that the electronic components can be of two types. These types are-
- SMD components: It refers to surface mount devices. You have to use the surface mount technology to install these components on the PCB. You can identify the SMD components by measuring the number of pins in the package.
- Through-hole components: Thru-hole or through-hole components have leads in them. The leads are inserted through the PCB board surface. You have to drill holes on the PCB surface to insert the thru-hole components into it.
The assembly of the printed circuit board is done in two ways. You may opt for automated soldering to mount the electronic components on the PCB. The most popular soldering technology is wave soldering. It is used for the conventional thru-hole components.
Another widespread technology to solder the components on the PCB is the Reflow soldering technique. It is used for SMD components mostly. You may also use mixed soldering technology. Some expert professionals will use hand soldering too. But it is a quite difficult task.
When you complete the soldering or assembling of the electronic components on the printed circuit board, it is referred to as the PCBA or Printed Circuit Board Assembly. Until you prepare the PCBA, the PCB isn’t ready for any application. And when you have prepared the PCBA, you can use it for use on different devices.
Difference Between the PCBA and PCB
If you are in the electronics, communication device manufacturing, or PCB industry, you have to know the difference between PCBA and PCB. It would help you pick the right PCB for your purpose.
- The printed circuit board is a surface only with insulation and a heat-dissipating layer. The metal surface sits on top of the dielectric part. It is void of any electrical components.
- The PCBA is built on the printed circuit board (PCB). To prepare the PCBA you have to work over the PCB.
- The printed circuit board can be of different kinds. It depends on the material used to prepare its substrate. You can find metal, ceramic, or FR4 PCBs. Also, it can be flexible or rigid as well as single or dual based.
Many manufacturers will outsource the PCB from different companies and finish the PCBA on their own. Also, only a few companies are capable of completing the assembly of electronic components assembly on the PCB.
Nonetheless, you can depend on us to get your PCB and PCBA done. FX PCB with 10+ years of useful experience in printed circuit board manufacturing, we also prepare PCBAs. It will surely cater to your device-making needs.
What To Consider For the Best PCB for PCBA Manufacturer
When you outsource the customized PCB prototype to prepare the PCBA, you have to look at a few factors closely.
- The PCB company should be dedicated to manufacturing printed circuit boards, instead of a simple broker.
- Many companies will limit your order. It is called Minimum Order Limit (MOL). A good circuit board manufacturer will never limit your quantity to order the printed boards. You should be able to order as minimum or as high as you want.
- For PCBA manufacturing, the company has to know different PCB soldering techniques. It includes SMT, thru-hole, and hand soldering.
- The lead time is another important consideration. You must get the delivery of PCBAs on time. Also, the delivery must come with the details for DFM (Design for Manufacturability). The DFM is a must since you can’t manufacture your desired device without it.
- The pricing of the PCBA must be competitive and negotiable. You should be able to bargain with the manufacturer to get the best pricing.
Are you wondering where to get a PCBA supplier who puts tick marks in these requirements? Well, FX PCB is here to meet your demands. Our professional engineering and the working team prepares various PCBs and assemble them with electronic components.
Also, we have competitive pricing and no order limit. You can get from 100s to 100000s of PCB fully assembled. And last but not least. FX PCB guarantees you on-time delivery with every part tested and certified for quality.
You should now have the best idea of what is PCBA. It is the second part of manufacturing your desired devices. Once you have the PCB substrate, you can organize the various components such as a transistor, transformers, ICs, on the circuit board. And this assembly is the PCBA.
The two techniques for PCBA are the SMT and thru-hole. You have to cautious about the proper mounting of these components. And at FX PCB you are guaranteed to get the most accurate and precise PCBAs in competitive pricing and on time.
Cheapest PCB Manufacturer in China for 2021
We all love to get restaurant food hotel accommodations at a cheaper price. However, this same can’t be said when it comes to cheap PCB manufacturing despite its expensive price.
First off, the cheapest PCB manufacturer might delay the delivery time and slow down their circuit board manufacturing. Although it is tolerable, you won’t like to see the low-grade materials in your ordered PCBs.
The SFX PCB as the leading PCB manufacturer in China understands these problems and develops a way to minimize the PCB pricing without compromising the material and build quality of these copper, ceramic, aluminum, rigid or flexible printed circuit boards.
We focus on delivering the ordered PCBs on time while ensuring the best qualities in all possible conditions so that you don’t face problems with your production. There are multiple ways that a PCB manufacturer may apply to reduce the PCB costing so you can afford the circuit boards with your required quality.
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The Cheapest PCB Manufacturer: Ways to Minimize the PCB Costing
Although PCBs are, in general, highly expensive, at times you may want a budget PCB manufacturer. It may be due to cost-cutting device production or for some non-technical uses. Whatever may be the case, getting cheaper printed circuit boards aren’t as easy as you might imagine.
First off, lowering your budget means you are compromising with the circuit board qualities and it can be detrimental for smart devices such as smartphones, medical equipment, cameras, military equipment, and so on.
Luckily, there are different ways that a PCB manufacturer applies to reduce the PCB costing without any quality compromise. SFX PCB as the premier circuit board manufacturer has developed these key ideas to provide you the best-quality PCBs within a limited budget.
The larger the PCB will be, the costlier it will be too. It happens because you have to pay more for the increased circuit board materials and shipping costs. We understand that it might affect your budget. Hence, it is recommended that you get the PCBs at 100mmX100mm size for the best cost-cutting results without lessening the quality.
Although many people mistakenly consider that the shape of the PCB affects its costing, it is not true. Whether you want a square-shaped circuit board or a complex shape, the production cost remains the same. Thus, you won’t have to be concerned about the circuit board’s shape, luckily.
The rule of thumb for printed circuit board costing is linked with its production quantity. If the production quantity is low, the overall cost of the boards will increase. And similarly, manufacturing a huge number of circuit boards will reduce the cost.
It happens because when the production volume increases, it follows the economic scale of lowering the production cost. That’s why ordering a bulk amount of printed circuit boards will actually play in favor of your budget in the long-term.
Even if purchasing a massive number of circuit boards may seem an expensive investment at present, the cost-effectiveness becomes apparent in long-term plans.
Therefore, it is recommended that you always look to order in bulk amount for the different circuit boards. Also, these boards don’t get damaged with time if not use. So, you can securely store them without any headache.
Circuit Board Layers:
The number of layers a printed circuit board has directly affected its costing. Usually, you will see the printed circuit boards in 1-layer or 2-layer versions. These are the most standard circuit board versions for communication and electronic devices.
However, three or four-layered PCBs aren’t uncommon either. The higher the circuit board layer number is the costlier it will be. Thus, you may choose the 2-layer boards and still expect the same performance without paying more for it.
Material and Its Class:
FR4 laminated fiberglass is one of the most common circuit board materials. The other materials include metals such as aluminum, copper and some high-end boards are made of ceramic. The FR4 fiberglass is the least expensive while the ceramic and polyimide-made circuit boards are the most expensive ones. So, it is advised that you stick to the FR4 materials unless you need the ceramic or metal boards for specific device production.
Next, the material class has an impact on its costing. It is linked with temperature resistance and durability. For instance, manufacturers generally use TG 130-140 materials for the temperature resistance of the boards.
If you want enhanced resistance, you have to go for higher TG numbers, and eventually, it would increase the cost.
The thickness of the circuit board and its substrate varies widely and it also affects the costing. The standard PCB thickness is 1.6mm, although the thickness actually varies from 0.4mm to 3.2mm. it depends on the specific needs where the circuit board will be used.
Also, thick PCBs usually accumulate larger shipping space which eventually increases the overall billing. So, be aware of it.
The quickest delivery time for the PCBs will actually be the costliest ones too. If you want an express or overnight production and shipment of the ordered circuit boards, be ready to pay a handsome amount for it.
Therefore, if you don’t need emergency circuit boards, you should allow the PCB manufacturer to produce and ship the circuit boards within their regular timeframe. It enables you to get the desired number of circuit boards on a lower budget.
SFX PCB Manufacturer: The Cheaper Alternative
SFX PCB has been in the PCB manufacturing industry for over ten years now. Over the years we have developed a one-stop solution for all your circuit board requirements. Whether you want the standard FR4 fiberglass boards, special ceramic circuit boards, or metal circuit boards with one or multiple layers, we manufacture them all.
But it’s only the tip of the iceberg…..
We also promise to deliver you the cheapest PCB in China and around the world. We guarantee you-
- On-time delivery even for the least amount of PCB orders. We ensure that you don’t see any delay in our production and shipments unless any emergencies happen. So, you remain happy and calm to receive the orders timely.
- We offer customized orders to meet your PCB requirements. So, you won’t have to pay more without discussing the PCB manufacturing process and its estimated quality.
- Our engineers and technicians have streamlined the printed circuit board manufacturing process with their long experience in the sector. It also helps us to avoid unnecessary costs while manufacturing these boards.
- We have developed an automated circuit board manufacturing line. It helps us reduce the labor cost which affects the lower price of the boards.
- We always look for the cheapest shipping method to deliver you the manufactured circuit boards. It is a great cost-cutting technique. Nonetheless, we make sure you get the delivery on time.
Previously, the PCBs were thought to be a luxurious investment. However, the scenes have changed dramatically. You can quickly get the cheapest PCB manufacturer in the market. But not all of these circuit board manufacturers will meet your quality and delivery schedule.
Hence, getting cheaper PCBs can be a real headache. Nonetheless, SFX PCB comes forward to help you with the cause with its streamlined and automated production line to offer you the highest quality PCBs at the lowest possible price.
Best PCB Manufacturer in China
SFX boasts of being a leading PCB manufacturer in China with tons of options including regular PCB, copper-base PCB, rigid-flex PCB, special PCB, etc. SFX PCB tailors their printed circuit board production with customer’s requirements that fit their necessity with perfection.
You will get customized offers, quickest delivery time, quality assurance, and recheck and emergency orders in bulk amount from SFX. Also, SFX’s priority to deliver quality PCBs across China and worldwide helps SFX to stay ahead of others.
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PCB Manufacturer in China: What To Look For
It is estimated that the global market for PCBs will grow up to $76 billion by 2027. And it is also presumed that China will be the biggest producer and consumer of these printed circuit boards. SFX as the largest PCB manufacturer wants to lead this booming market with quality, service, and consumer satisfaction worldwide.
We acknowledge that there are hundreds of printed circuit board manufacturers in China and other locations as well. However, we also have to admit that not all of these PCB producers will be able to meet your extreme requirements.
They may not able to meet your bulk orders and also, lack versatility. So, when you select a PCB manufacturer, you must consider a few things. These factors include-
- A top-class PCB manufacturer should be confident of delivering bulk orders always on time. Also, the company must have the capacity to manufacture huge orders. Thus, you may ask the company to inform you about their capacity.
- There’re huge variations in printed circuit board types. You can get metal-base PCB, ceramic PCB, standard PCB, single or dual-layer PCB, etc. A good-quality PCB producer should have the facility to produce most of these PCB variations, if not all.
- Also, a reliable manufacturer should always meet the delivery time. While delivering the ordered numbers of PCBs on time is essential, they should also ensure quality with every circuit board.
- You must lookout for a producer who can successfully handle mass, medium, and small orders without confusion. It is crucial because at times you may need a few hundred pieces of circuit boards and at times, you may want thousands or more circuit boards on short notice.
- Printed circuit boards are delicate equipment. Thus, you should ask the company to inform you about their work process while they generate the circuit boards. They must follow the well-established and followed methods to produce these boards.
While meeting these requirements isn’t so easy, SFX PCB always tries to step up its quality, service, and technologies. Thus, it boasts of manufacturing the most dependable and durable circuit boards in China.
SFX PCB Benefits and Offers:
We offer both PCB and PCBA production directly from China across the world. We have been in the printed circuit board industry for a little over 10 years now. From manufacturing the standard Fr4 PCBs to producing heavy-duty copper 12oz, we excel in all types of printed circuit board production.
10+ Years of Experience:
You can’t buy an experience in the market. This age0old saying is even truer for the PCB industry. A company with several years of experience in printed circuit board production knows the ins and outs of all accuracy and faults of the boards.
We boastfully announce that we have been in the PCB market for 10+ years now. We have seen different problems that may occur during the production. Thus, we have already fixed these problems to offer our clients satisfactory delivery as the leading PCB manufacturer in China.
Also, our experienced engineers and workers know how to build high-quality circuit boards without the least faults.
Served Over 6000 Customers:
Over our 10 years of presence in the PCB manufacturing industry, we have worked with over 6000 individual clients and companies on good terms. We have over 99% satisfactory compliments from our clients. We take pride in our professional team who engineers the best circuit boards in the market.
Accordingly, our customer care offers you great negotiation for customized orders of different circuit boards.
Wide Range of Circuit Board Manufacturing Capacity:
SFX PCB also takes pride in manufacturing all types of printed circuit boards you may find in the market. Whether you need circuit boards for simple electronics, communication devices, medical equipment, or aeronautics and military applications, we can build every PCB variety right now. Our manufacturing range includes-
- Standard PCB: Our standard manufacturing offers you Fr4, single or dual-layer, rigid, flexible, etc. printed board delivery.
- Rigid-flex and FPC Boards: You can quickly get your required rigid-flex PCB, Flex 4-layer PCB, and rigid PCB from us.
- Special PCB: Whether you want ceramic PCB or thick copper PCB, we manufacturer them all. You will also get transparent display boards and BT PCB from us.
- Metal PCB: We produce all types of metal-based PCBs. The list includes copper, aluminum, 3D printer PCB, 100W PCB, and more.
You can quickly browse our PCB product list here.
Own SMT Factory:
We have built an SMT factory to offer the highest quality circuit boards in the shortest possible time to our valued customers. Thus, we have automated manufacturing complemented perfectly with our experienced and dependable engineers and workers.
Our excellent knowledge of PCB and experienced workmanship help us to provide the customers’ fast service with quality assurance. You have the luxury to choose from our multiple delivery plans or you can even customize orders to fit your necessity. We guarantee quality service and the fastest delivery in every situation.
Our PCB manufacturing process is crafted by highly-skilled engineers and electronics specialists. Our production steps cater to meet the delivery schedule while rechecking the PCBs for quality assurance.
Experienced and Skilled Manpower:
Our workers are highly skilled in their respective PCB manufacturing industries. Also, our production line ensures that each person has detailed knowledge of the manufacturing steps. We regularly arrange workshops to inform our engineers and workers about the latest updates in PCB technologies.
Therefore, our workers always remain up to date with the happenings in the PCB industry.
Over the past 10 years, we have earned the faith of the clients through continuous communication and quality service. Also, we schedule our manufacturing steps to meet your delivery deadline. We rest assure you to deliver your orders always on time.
Also, we have offers for emergency delivery. You may contact us and have a meeting for customized orders of different PCBs.
SFX PCB boasts of being one of the leading PCB manufacturers in China. Our automated factories are ready to meet the extreme PCB requirements worldwide with our skilled manpower. We guarantee you the best quality SFX manufacturing directly from China with our SMT factory.
Thus, you will appreciate SFX’s effort to provide you with various printed circuit boards to help you leap into the electronics and communication industry.
What is Copper Base PCB: A Detailed Discussion
There’re mainly three types of metal PCBs. These PCBs are-
- Aluminum PCB
- Copper-based PCB
- Iron-Based PCB
Copper base PCBs are the most demanding and expensive of all the three types of printed circuit boards. It got the name because the circuit board substrate is made of copper. The use of copper makes these circuit boards highly thermally conductive and versatile.
Its less thermal resistance makes it high-demanding in projects where you need significant current carrying capacity. The copper foil used as the substrate typically has a thickness of around 35μm~280μm. Its thermal conductivity is further assured with the use of aluminum oxide and silicon powder. The manufacturer also usesepoxy resin to connect the substrate and the leading copper circuit. The epoxy resins are often filled with polymer for the secured connections.
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Copper Base PCB Classification
The copper-based PCBs are classified depending on their substrate and manufacturing design. In general, you will see four kinds of copper printed circuit boards. These types are-
- Immersion gold copper-based PCB
- Silver plating copper-based PCB
- Anti-oxidation copper-based PCB
- Hot air soldering leveling (HASL) copper-based PCB
As you see, the manufacturer uses various metals to work with the copper printed circuit boards. The gold immersion plus copper PCBs are the most expensive ones and are used in high-demanding jobs. You will see their applications in the medical and military industry mostly.
HASL copper PCBs are special ones thatare soldered using hot air. It reduces any impurity of the copper and makes the copper base PCBs flawless.
Advantages and Use of Copper-Based PCBs
Copper-based printed circuit boards, as we previously mentioned, are the most demanding among all metal PCBs. But what are the benefits of the copper PCBs that make them so important and expensive?
Firstly, copper has one of the best thermal conductivity among the easily found metals. Thus, it dissipates the heat across the circuit board evenly. It is essential where the circuit board may quickly get heated due to challenging applications. Also, it has high-frequency and the ability to cope up with the changing heat of the device.
Furthermore, copper will withstand better against thermal aging and stress. It means the device made using this printed circuit board will be more durable and reliable in challenging conditions. Another benefit of these PCBs is theirviscoplastic property. Therefore, it will have the least deformity enhancing the device longevity.
Also, copper is readily available, and so you won’t have to find it challenging to get the copper in bulk to manufacture these circuit boards. But the benefits don’t end here. Copper has excellent stress-resistance and expansion capacity. You will only require 1.4 thousand 1-inch thick copper to manufacturer an entire 1-foot of the copper substrate. Thus, it brings down the production cost to a minimal level.
Thus, in short, the main advantages of copper-based PCBs are-
- Outstanding thermal conductivity with only 0.15 resistance
- Withstands thermal and mechanical aging and stress
- Excellent viscoplastic property
- Great expandability
- Less expensive and easy availability
The benefits of using copper printed circuit boards have made them the most popular and reliable metal PCBs in the market. Henceforth, you will see its uses in various industries.
The most common applications of copper-based PCBs are-
- Architectural industry
- Communication equipment
- Medical devices
- Aviation industry
- Military equipment
The use of copper PCB is on the prowl nowadays. You can hardly find any communication and electronic device where these printed circuit boards aren’t used.
SFX PCB Manufacturers the Best Copper Base PCBs
SFX PCB is ready to manufacture and supply you with the most dependable and durable copper-based printed circuit boards. We have both mass production and prototype manufacturing facility to meet your customized needs.
Also, we have excellent packages to offer you for bulk purchases and repeat orders. Therefore, you can tailor your order to meet your budget and requirements.
Our PCBs made of the copper base has the following key benefits-
Single-side prototype: 9 days Double-side
prototype: 16 days Mass
production (Single-side):10-12 days
Mass Production(Dual-side):18-20 days
SFX Thermo-electrical Separation Copper Base PCB Manufacturing Flow
Thermoelectric copper-based PCB has high density. So, it has an incredible thermal and electrical load-carrying capacity. It extends the lifespan of the lamp bead lights. It has great demand thanks to its versatility
We have a definite process flow for this-
- Firstly, we cut the copper substrate into a suitable size for working over it.
- After that, we apply micro-etching and brushing techniques to roughen the board. It helps the base to become rugged and durable.
- After that, we attach the photoresist base with the base film. The attachment is made under proper temperature and pressure. Ultraviolet light is used to eliminate flaws, and then the polymerization is applied over the film.
- Using an aqueous solution, we remove the dark or unexposed area on the film to develop the final printed circuit board.
- Finally, we clean and check the photo-resistant dry film for the copper base printed circuit boards.
Copper base PCBs are high-demanding. These circuit boards are versatile and easily customizable for catering to different devices. When you want to get these printed circuit boards in bulk amount, you can contact SFX PCB.
You rest assured to get the best PCBs for copper base ones here. These boards are customizable with different thicknesses for your necessities.
What Is Rigid Flex PCB and Its Benefits
Rigid flex PCB combines both flexible and rigid circuit boards for different electrical and communication device applications. Since it has both rigidity and flexibility, it often serves the 2-in-1 purpose for industrial applications.
The circuit board’s flexibility allows you to bend the board wherever necessary while maintaining the rigidity at the edges, so it doesn’t get damaged. These circuit boards have slim-profile, and their use is seen mostly in smart jackets, pacemakers, smartphones, etc.
This discussion includes the ABC of what is rigid flex PCB. Also, it consists of the advantages and practical applications of the flexible, rigid PCBs.
So, let’s begin the journey of knowing these ultra-demanding printed circuit boards.
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What Is Rigid Flex Board?
Rigid flex printed circuit boards were initially developed to bypass the limitations of only rigid PCBs. These circuit boards are a hybrid manufacturing with a combination of both rigidity and flexibility at the same point.
The rigid circuit board is converted to the flexible ones by adding multiple layers of flex boards on the rigid substrate. The flexible boards can be attached both externally and internally. The actual attaching design depends on the printed circuit board application.
The flexible substrates are designed in such a way that it retains the optimal flex capacity. Manufacturers use its flexibility to bend it into different curves to meet their project necessities. Since it has both flexibility and rigidity with the same circuit board, it is usable in versatile sectors. The most common use of these circuit boards is seen in electrical, communication and medical devices where you need miniature forms.
Types of Rigid Flex PCB
You will see two kinds of rigid flex printed circuit boards. These are:
- Dynamic flex
- Flex to install
The flex to install has minimal flexibility, and you can use it to flex only once during different applications. The flex can be done either during the removal or attachment of the circuit board with the device. The flex board also maintains its stability throughout the entire application. However, when you use the flex to install PCBs for high-vibration uses, it may have the least movement.
The dynamic flex, unlike the flex to install boards, has multiple bending capacities. So, you can bend and fold the circuit board at various times. While manufacturing the dynamic flex circuit boards, you have to be extra cautious to ensure the edges’ rigidity. SFX Rigid Flex PCBs are bent with an appropriate radius circle. You can use it for at least 100 times flex applications. So, our dynamic flex boards are meant to last for extreme usage without issues.
Benefits of Using Rigid Flex PCBs
Rigid flex printed circuit boards are incredibly versatile, although it comes in an expensive budget. However, you can customize these circuit boards for multiple applications in different industries because of their versatility.
The best benefit of these boards is that they are used for both commercial and susceptible applications. It includes commercial applications in cameras, cell phones, etc. On the contrary, you will also see its application in the medical sector, military devices, and aerospace.
Its benefits include-
- These boards are incredible shock-resistant. Also, it is protective against high-vibration uses. Thus, the circuit board will survive extreme conditions with big shock and vibration resistance and assure greater durability.
- Manufacturers, including SFX PCB, develop these printed circuit boards with high accuracy and precision. Thus, industry experts prefer these boards in dangerous situations where a connection failure can be hazardous. Also, high-precision manufacturing ensures better reliability.
- These printed circuit boards are space-saving since it features highly dense design. So, it is usable in the smallest space. It results in lower cost and more margin for other parts for assembling into the device.
- The rigidity of these boards makes the assembly safer and easier than the regular flex boards. Thus, you can be more assured with these boards for assembly.
- The assembly of these printed circuit boards has been made simple. Its rigidity and flexibility combine for such an easy assembly application.
- Rigid flex boards will reduce the overall cost for the assembly applications in different devices. Thus, you will see its use in daily life too.
- You can improve the optimization and customization of these circuit boards with developed mechanical complexity. Its tailored application means it is usable in sensitive industries.
Rigid Flex PCB Applications
These circuit boards improve the controlled impedance. Also, it boosts the signal transmission ability of the circuit boards. Furthermore, you will see a considerable reduction in connection problems, including cold joints.
Thus, you will see its use in regular commercial products. Furthermore, you will see its aircraft weapons applications with the guided systems, electrical devices, and medical sectors. The most common uses include-
- Guided aircraft weapons
- Cell phones
- Digital cameras
- Smart jacket and cloths
- Pacemakers and CT scanners
Rigid Flex Circuit form SFX PCB Comes with Maximum Customization Facility
SFX PCB manufacturers some of the most advanced and innovative rigid flex circuitry in the market. With over 10+ years of circuit board manufacturing experience, we bring the most detailed works on these boards. You can use them directly on your components instead of spending time building them unnecessarily.
Some of the best capabilities of our rigid flex PCBs are listed in the below table.
|Product Details||Essential Features|
2 to 16
Inner layer thickness
Outer layer thickness
Impedance control ability
10:01 for mass production; 16:01 for low-volume production
OSP, immersion silver or tin and ENIG
The electronics and communication worlds have advanced leaps and bounds. Similarly, the medical, military, and smartphone industries have seen unimaginable developments. All these improvements have been possible due to the severe progression of the printed circuit board industry. A fair share of such excellent contribution will go too rigid flex PCBs.
We understand their critical applications in compassionate projects. Thus, we always put our best expertise to provide you with the best rigid PCBs in low-volume and bulk amount to meet you project necessities
Can A Motherboard Get Wet
Many people, especially beginner PC and laptop users, ask, “Can a motherboard get wet?” Sadly, I have to say that, yes, water can dampen your computer motherboard or circuit board.
A motherboard will get wet with water, and a damp motherboard is a major cause of the damaged motherboard. So, what happens when a computer gets wet?
The answer is pretty simple- a wet computer with a motherboard will most have damaged components or parts that will ask for fixing. However, if you are lucky, a computer will survive a spill of water without much damage.
Then again, you need to know how to dry the motherboard.
The following discussion will help you in this cause.
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Can A Motherboard Get Wet?
Yes, spills of water can easily make a motherboard wet. And trust us, using a damp motherboard is like inviting a bull to attack you for a final assault. Hence, it is necessary to identify a wet computer ASAP to start fixing it.
When a drop of water on the motherboard happens, you have to consider two things-
- Firstly, if your computer is turned off and the components aren’t energized, there is the least chance of damaged motherboards. Also, it becomes easy to wipe out the water and keep the PC in dry condition.
- Secondly, if your computer is turned on, a water drop can have severe complications from damaged components to entirely destroy the circuit board.
But have you ever asked yourself why water damages circuit boards like these two are arch-nemesis? Well, water often comes in contaminated conditions and carries electrolytes. Hence, as soon as it touches any energized electric component, water becomes a highly effective conductor. So, electrons try to pass through it and the wet parts.
The sudden flow of excessive electrons causes short circuits that eventually damage your PC or laptop.
Computer water damage symptoms:
When your desktop computer got wet, it may start acting strangely. You need to know these water damaged symptoms of the computer to fix it. The most common and apparent signs of a malfunctioned computer due to water spills include the following.
1. Spilled water on pc won’t turn on:
When water drops cause malfunction on desktop computer parts, it won’t turn on properly. And even if it starts, you may experience irregular functioning of the PC or laptop. It may include abrupt turn on and off of the PC.
2. Sticky keys:
You will observe that the desktop keyboard is feeling sticky or watery. It happens mostly when you spill sugary liquids such as coke, juices, wine, or soda on the keyboard. The good news is that most laptop keyboard comes with a protective backing.
The backing prevents water from dripping inside the main components. So, your laptop should be fine with small water spills.
3. Water-detection stickers:
These days, many desktop PC manufacturers use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect water drops on the essential parts. These PCs or laptops will then highlight a water-detection sticker on the monitor. Some have a pre-activated sticker that changes color ASAP. It detects any water damage in the PC circuit boards.
When a part of the computer is damaged due to water, it will act rather strangely. For instance, it will start and then turn off automatically after a few moments or minutes. Also, you may see problems on the screen if it gets damaged.
How To Dry Motherboard
To prevent water damaged motherboard, you need to act in the fastest and quickest possible ways. The steps to dry and fix a wet motherboard of a PC or laptop include the following steps.
Step 1: Safety first
As soon as you drop water, turn off the computer to prevent extreme damage. It may help your laptop survive the cracks, and you might not need to replace any components. Please turn off the computer switch and unplug it from the electrical sources.
However, make sure you don’t have water on your hand. It is crucial since a wet hand may cause you electric shocks.
Step 2: Preparing the outside
Your desktop exterior has a few components attached to cables. First off, you need to remove them safely. Detach the keyboard and mouse from the PC (in a laptop, you will only need to remove the keyboard).
Then unplug the speakers if you have any and the modem too.
Step 3: Inspection
Now, inspect the exterior components thoroughly. If you see any water spillage on it, quickly wipe it off using a dry towel or microfiber clothing.
Step 4: Getting into the components
Now, follow the laptop user manual to break down the parts carefully to investigate the inside. The process is relatively easy with a standard desktop PC. Remove the nuts and bolts of the casing using a screwdriver.
Then carefully detach the motherboard and take the parts out of the casing. Hold them in bright light and inspect where the liquid has dripped. Once you find the water dripping areas on the motherboard and other parts, use a microfiber clothing to wipe out the wetness.
Step 5: The final drying process
If you have spilled sugary liquid on the motherboard, use distilled water to remove the stickiness. You don’t need to worry about the use of distilled water since a little amount of it won’t ardently do any harm to the computer parts.
If you are yet too concerned, you may drip a microfiber rag in distilled water and use it to wipe out the components. Then, use a hair blower from a distance to pass dry air and remove the computer’s final dampness.
Even after drying your wet computer motherboard, it continues to show signs of damage; you must contact the technician and sort out the issue. It will help you eliminate the risk of costly repairs and fixing at ease.
We hope ardently and sincerely that by now you have got the answer to ‘Can a motherboard get wet?” Well, the most elusive good news is that you won’t have to repair the desktop or laptop even if you have spilled water on it. Most likely, your machine will survive the spillage without much damage if you dry the components ASAP.
What Are The Parts Of A Circuit Board
If you are a beginner in the electronics and electrical industries, a printed circuits board parts diagram will seem overwhelming to you. Also, it might seem intimidating even to some professionals. And it is natural since a circuit board will at least require 13 components to build up the entire circuitry board for different purposes.
When you know what are the parts of a circuit board and their primary usage, you can identify the faults in it and also, use the PCB with enhanced effect. Hence, we will discuss these essential components to build a circuit board for commercial purpose properly.
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How To Identify SMD Components In Circuit Board?
SMD components most commonly refer to the Small Mounted Devices and are electronic parts. These are used on a circuit board with soldering. It uses surface-mount technology for the soldering process.
Depending on the SMD components setup, they serve different purposes. The industry experts have setup different SMD components sizes standard for various purposes. The most common SMD components include Chip Resistor(R), Network Resistor (RA/RN), Capacitor, Transistor (Q), LED, Diode and so on.
These are also the fundamental parts of a circuit board that we will discuss in the following detail.
What Are The Parts Of A Circuit Board?
Many people continuously ask us about circuit board components and what they do to understand the circuit board diagram better. And it is a worthwhile question since without knowing the parts and their applications, you may not use the circuit board properly.
So, in the following sections, circuit board components explained briefly.
All types of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) use resistors as the current control foundation. Resistors are two ends of electronic components and allow a controlled current flow through them at ease. As the two terminals permit current flow, it generates the required voltage for the circuit board operation.
A resistor controls the current flow or restricts it by converting the voltage into heat. Once converted into heat, the resistor dissipates it to cool off the entire circuit board diagram. You can find several materials used for resistors manufacturing, but the most common is a carbon film. It is often found in the axial style, and the different color coding means various levels of resistance from the component.
|Color Codes||Resistance Level (In Thousands)|
A capacitor of the circuit board functions as the location to store energy. While PCBs use the resistor to control the adequate electric charge, the function of a capacitor is to keep the charged energy temporarily.
Hence, many people compare them to batteries. Also, a capacitor I fully charged and emptied within a spilt of seconds. The capacitor uses two metal conducive ends and store both positive and negative charges. It releases the temporarily stored charge when the circuit board needs electricity supply when need be.
Depending on the conductive metal plate used to build the capacitor, you will find several types of capacitors in the market. However, most PCB builders will use radial, polyester or ceramic capacitors for the circuit board.
The transformers in a circuit board do what they meant to do- transfer power or electricity from one source to another. They do the power transformation with the use of induction technology. The PCB transformer continuously decreases or increases the voltage as part of its electricity transformation into different parts of the circuit board.
Likewise, the resistor, a transformer also regulates the flow of the electricity. But the difference between a resistor and transformer lies in their functioning. A transformer isolates the electricity flow to control it.
There will be ardently at least two or more separate windings or inductive circuits in a PCB transformer along with a soft iron core. The primary winding works as the source terminal to dissipate the energy. The secondary winding works as the energy receiver.
The circuit board transistor works as the foundation block for the most modern-day electronic components. A PCB transistor works to amplify the small charge coming from the batteries and enables the PCB to work finely.
You will most usually see a bipolar transistor in the circuit board. It has three pins and three locations to store and amplify the electric charge. NPN and PNP are the two kinds of transistors. These consist of the following parts:
- Base: it works as the foundation of the entire transistor.
- Collector: As the name suggests, the collector accumulates the charger carrier.
- Emitter: The charge is emitted or released in this area.
There are both N-type and P-type areas on the transistor.
The purpose of the diode is to redirect the electrical energy in the circuit board. It works similarly as the one-way street to shift the power from one end to another. The component has two terminals. One end blocks the electricity flow, and the other end forces the one-directional flow of the electricity.
The flow direction is from the anode (positive terminal) to the cathode (negative terminal). The diode has a similarity with the resistors since it controls the electricity flow. The most common diode system is a Light Emitting Diode or LED.
We all know the purpose of using a battery on the circuit board. The PCB battery stores the energy in the chemical formation and then converts it into electrical energy. The battery uses an external circuit. It permits the flow of the electrons from one end to another.
In this way, an available current is produced, but it is constrained. The transistor then amplifies the limited electrical power.
The most recommendable battery used in the PCBs is a rechargeable battery.
The flow direction is from the anode (positive terminal) to the cathode (negative terminal). The diode has a similarity with the resistors since it controls the electricity flow. The most common diode system is a Light Emitting Diode or LED.
7. Integrated circuits:
It is the powerhouse most commonly used for the PCBs. An integrated circuit board comprises of resistors, transistors and capacitors in millions and has a tiny wafer shape.
Since it has millions of transistors, capacitors and resistors, the integrated circuit works as an oscillator and amplifier for the PCBs. The ICs are integrated into the PCB base with the miniature technology that has seen widespread use lately.
ICs have silicone construction and plastic housing. Ideally, you will see analog and digital ICs and both have widespread use in the PCB manufacturing industry.
Working as a linear passive component, the inductor is another integral part of the circuit boards diagram. It is a two-terminal component, likewise the capacitors. It uses a magnetic field to store the energy before dissipating it to other parts.
Inductors are also widely called as reactors, chokers and most popularly, coils. The insulated wire is wrapped within the core. The higher the core wrapping or coiling of the insulated wire, the higher the magnetic field and energy will be.
The inductance promptly of the inductor is formulated by the ratio of voltage and current rate change within a certain period.
The oscillators work like a clock or programmable timer in the PCBs. It generates an electronic signal periodically. The piezoelectric material used within the oscillators produces resonance, and it dictates the electric signal frequency or oscillation.
The most common piezoelectric material used to manufacture the oscillator is the quartz crystal.
The primary function of a switch in the Printed Circuit Board is to control the electricity flow through on/off functions.
When pressed down the switch open ups the entire circuit board and permits the other functions to take place within it, and when you turn off the switch, the whole of electrical operation comes in a standstill.
Manufacturers choose from literally tons of options for switches used in the PCBs.
A potentiometer has three terminals and serves as a variable resistor. It dictates the voltage or electric potential of the PCBs and allows you to control the voltage flow. There two main types of the potentiometer in the market.
These are, firstly the linear and secondly, the rotatory ones. Rotatory potentiometers are more familiar than the linear ones. Also, these use a knob to control the variable resistance. The potentiometer controls the amplifier voltage.
You will see them mostly in the volume control mechanism of any devices.
12. The SCR:
The Silicon Controlled Rectifier or SCR has four silicone layers and is placed in a PCB to control the high amount of electricity and voltage. The easiest way to define an SCR is to imagine two transistors which are cooperating for the voltage control.
However, manufacturers will use them where a regular transistor may not work. One such example could be the circuit boards used in the ACs.
The sensors are placed in a PCB to dictate the minimal changes in the surrounding and act accordingly. It senses heat, noise, motion, moisture, light, etc. The changes are carried to the PCBs through an electrical signal. Also, some programmed sensors display these changes in a display with readability for humans.
Where Can I Buy Circuit Board Components?
You will get the components for circuit boards, mostly in the nearby hardware and electronics shop. So, sourcing the elements is pretty easy. Also, you can choose any reputed online store to buy these components.
Since now you know what are the parts of a circuit board, you should find it pretty straightforward to collect them and build the first circuit board of your life. The best part of these 13 circuit board components is that they are easily gettable and none would cost you much. So, what’s your plan on manufacturing a circuit board with these parts?
How To Check A Circuit Board For Faults
A circuit board is a major component in all electronics and electrical instrument. It has changed the world forever. However, a faulty printed circuit board is prominent, even if you are not using it for technical requirements.
So, for the proper use of your instruments, it is beneficial to know how to check a circuit board for faults. A circuit board is made of many components, and so, an array of defects may appear on the board diameter.
Generally, you will see the below-mentioned faults in a circuit board-
- A brunt circuit component
- Fluid leakage
- Connection shorts in the PCB
- Power related issues
- Soldering problems
Although the list may seem a long one, you can quickly check the faults with a multimeter. So, we will discuss the methods of using a multimeter to inspect the PCB for electrical faults.
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How To Check A Circuit Board For Faults
A multimeter is a piece of dependable equipment to check for shorts and electronic faults almost in all electrical devices. Using the multimeter circuit board, you can inspect for resistance, capacitance, current, fuse shorts, AC and DC voltage, etc.
Since it performs so much testing jobs at once, it is widely known as a combination of multimeter, ammeter and voltmeter.
Before you can use a multimeter for the electronic fault finding methods, it is necessary to go through two more inspections of the printed circuit board. These are:
Method 1: Visual Inspection
Thorough visual checking of the entire circuit board will reveal any burnt or damaged components at ease. The burnt and eroded component is a sign that there are either chemical fluid leakages or severe overheating issues on the board. Also, it signals the most apparent reasons for a PCB malfunction.
Method 2: Physical checks
You can find more useful and practical insights into the malfunctioning PCB with an in-depth physical inspection. It is helpful to identify the burnt or damaged components, which otherwise would be impossible with visual inspection only.
You can use an oscilloscope for even better results.
Method 3: How to check PCB with multimeter PDF
Before you start examining the PCB for any malfunctions, could you turn it off for safety precautions? Find the AC outlet and disconnect the cord from it. It will ensure there is no direct electricity supply in the PCB anymore.
Start with the checking of the fuses of the circuit board. You can use nose pliers to pull out the fuse and check for its damage. Also, check the filament inside for a glass fuse. You will see a broken filament within a damaged fuse.
You will need to use the multimeter to check the ceramic fuse. At first, set the multimeter promptly in the continuity function. Then, touch the probes of the multimeter with the metal ends of the fuse. If the fuse is in ideal condition and continuity, the meter will beep.
Once you have checked the fuse, you may proceed to inspect any shorts in the PCB. Although at times, people say the steps of how to test a circuit board for a short is complicated, you can quickly accomplish it with a multimeter.
Connect the multimeter socket with the multimeter ‘s lead plug. The lead plug is colored red for easy identification. The black colored lead plug needs to be connected with the ‘COM’ socket. Finally, set the multimeter effectively in its continuity test.
The continuity test position is easily identifiable with a diode icon and few parallel lines on the multimeter display.
This is the continuation of the shorts finding procedure on the PCB. At first, please turn on the multimeter and check its continuity position. If appropriately set, the multimeter will beep when you connect the two probes (lead plugs).
If you fail to hear any beep sound, it may be due to either of the following reasons:
- The continuity position isn’t set correctly.
- The multimeter battery is finished and needs replacement.
Once you sorted the issue, check for the continuity position again. If all goes planned, you can quickly proceed to the next step.
Now connect the two probes with the first and last position of the problematic trace. Many people say you need to touch the negative pole of the multimeter with connector and positive pole with the NPN transistor base.
However, it doesn’t matter. No matter, which probe is connected with which end, you will get similar readings. You need to press the probe firmly with the traces to set the electrical connection correctly.
A beep sound means there are presences of shorts in the PCB trace. You may repeat the process for all the susceptible traces.
Now, you can check the wires and cables attached with the printed circuit boards. At first, set the digital multimeter in ‘resistance’ mode.
Then, connect the two terminals of the multimeter with the cables and wires. Check the readings. An ‘OΩ’ suggests that the cable connection is in good condition. On the other side, ‘infinity’ reading means the cables are malfunctioning.
What to Do With a Faulty PCB?
A faulty PCB may be hazardous for all types of electronics devices. So, you need to either repair the damaged circuit board or replace it with a new one to avoid any hazards from the damaged parts according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
So, it is recommended ardently that you consult an expert electrician to replace the circuit or the copper traces with shorts for the proper functioning of the unit.
A printed circuit board is made in a smaller copper trace and is connected with precision. So, even the slightest defect may ruin the whole device. That’s why for user’s safety and long-lasting performance of devices, you should know how to check a circuit board for faults.
And when you identify any malfunctioning, you can quickly resolve it on your own or consult an expert for further assistance.