PCB Quality Control

PCB Quality Control


Almost every electronic device now a days is powered by one or more printed circuit boards (PCBs). Simply, we can say PCBs are the heart of electronic devices.

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Hence, the quality and reliability of PCB are directly correlated with the quality and reliability of the electronic device.

For example, flaws in defining characteristics such as size and power consumption not only directly impact the individual boards on which they are found, but they also harm the entire manufacturing process and supply chain.

In high volume production runs, even an occasional deformity will undermine manufacturers’ fundamental goal of achieving higher yields with lower defect rates and reduced costs.

Therefore, it is very important to implement quality control in the process from PCB design to PCB manufacturing.

The quality control of PCBs should take place in monitoring and measurement on PCB design, PCB manufacturing, and PCB inspection.

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Quality Control in PCB Design

In order to ensure the quality of a PCB design, the following three aspects must be covered.

Validity of PCB design file has to be ensured

The project leader should check the PCB design file and approve it to ensure the validity of the PCB design file.

Manufacturability of PCBs has to be ensured

In order to ensure manufacturability of PCBs, project leader and technologist should strictly conform to technological requirement.

If the technological requirement is simple, it can be directly listed on design drawings or it has to be summarized into a text that is saved in additional file.

The technological requirement should be explained accurately, clearly and resonably.

Technological requirement after checking should not only meet the present production craft level with high cost effectiveness but also leave much convenience to implementation of subsequent assembly, debugging and checking.

Testability and Normalization has to be ensured

To ensure the testability and manufacturability of PCBs, standardiser implements normalization checking such as test points, structural style, dimensions, routing, through-hole via and characters which should meet the requirements of national and industrial standardization.

Quality Control in PCB Manufacturing

In order to ensure quality in PCB manufacturing,  the following three aspects must be covered.

Capability of PCB manufacturers has to be ensured

Quality department, together with the sourcing department should investigate and approve aptitudes and manufacturing capability of PCB manufacturers in order to ensure their sufficient manufacturing capability on the design project.

Checking and confirmation have to be constantly done prior to manufacturing

PCB designers have to check and confirm the design drawings that will be applied by PCB manufacturer for many times prior to manufacturing.

Since PCB design can’t be successful just after one trial and modifications have to be made time and time again, PCB manufacturers will hold multiple versions of design drawings.\

So it’s necessary to carefully check and confirm the final design drawing provided by PCB manufacturer prior to practical manufacturing so that manufactured PCBs conform to the requirement of the last version.

Much attention should be paid to the key procedures of PCB manufacturing

The key technological procedures formulated by PCB manufacturer have to be monitored and checked including etching, via mentalization etc. so as to ensure the absence of burr, gap, bridge defect, and void.

Furthermore, quality control has to be overtaken on stacking of multi-layer PCBs in order to ensure the thickness, adhesive intensity, and positional accuracy.

Since gold plating is usually required by high-frequency PCBs and micro-strip boards, specific gold plating operation instructions have to be made in order to ensure the thickness and purity of plating plane.

Quality Control in PCB Inspection

Quality control in PCB inspection refers to monitoring and measurement of PCBs in strict accordance with inspection through visual inspection or the application of professional equipment.

The inspection result has to be stored.

If you want to know how world-class companies like PCBWay.com are ensuring Quality Control then check out their PCB manufacturing process. You’ll see a brief outline of the 20 steps in which they ensure the quality of their PCBs.