Quality Control for PCB Assembly
Qualified PCB board is the foundation of any electronic product. If the PCB quality is not so good, the whole project is definitely doomed to fail. But how can you know if your PCB has been assembled correctly? How can you tell if your product is made with the highest of quality? Here are some practical tips to let you know.
Has your PCB board been fabricated as per standard requirements?
You will need to verify if your PCB has been fabricated following the standard PCB manufacturing requirements. This means the physical form should match what the design was meant to look like. The dimensions and position of the interconnecting points should match up with the components. Besides, verify if there is enough insulation between the interconnecting points and the points that are not being used.
PCB components are soldered to the board through wave or reflow or by hand. Wave solder is mainly used for through-hole components, but not for surface-mount technology (SMT). SMTs will have a reflow solder. Check if the surface mount components on your PCB board have been adequately soldered to the PCB with solder paste. As to hand soldering, there is the highest discrepancy as it is not standardized by a computer.
Check who built it.
There should be a fab house logo verifying the manufacturer. This indicates the types of materials used by the PCB manufacturer. The handling and the materials used during fabrication can seriously affect the quality and the reliability of the PCB. The use of raw materials is the biggest factor in the material quality. You can evaluate whether their materials are suitable for the manufacturing requirements of a PCB.
Some PCBs will have a conformal coating, or thick paint-like coating to seal and protect the components on the board. This will keep out any foreign bodies, such as dust or moisture, from compromising the functionality of the board. The coating should verify that the PCB has been tested already to verify that it is functional.