How to Identify the Ideal PCB Repair Service Provider?
The PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) are crucial for the success of every electronic equipment. The fact, however, remains that PCBs are subject to physical damage such as cracks and corrosion. In addition, PCBs can deteriorate on account of extremes of temperature, voltage fluctuations, contaminants like dust, and more.
It is imperative that planning for malfunctioning PCBs, therefore, be an important part of your overall approach. You cannot be looking around for a PCB repair service provider at a time when your production schedule is tight and you are already facing downtime on account of board failure. The right repair and reworking of the PCBs can result in saving millions of dollars.
How exactly do you choose the service provider for circuit-board repair or rework? Here are three important aspects to look out for:
- Expertise level of PCB Rework and Repair service provider
- The kind of equipment they have
- Cost advantage
Let us look at each of them in some detail:
Expertise Level of PCB Repair Service Provider
To repair and rework a PCB requires tremendous technical expertise. It is important therefore to look for a company that has skilled engineers and technicians. The number of years the company has been in business can be a good indicator of this. If a company has been operating for a long time, its technicians are likely to have in their arsenal, industry best practices that will come in handy in the PCB repair and will ensure that you do not have to re-invent the wheel.
Another aspect to look for is the kind of industry standards the company adheres to. If the company adheres to IPC standards in PCB Manufacturing, for example, you can rest assured that you are safe. In the absence of this certification, it will not be prudent to allow them to handle advanced microprocessors and digital signal processor circuits. The kind of training that technicians are given is also a good indicator of the company’s reliability.
It will also be good to check out the value-added services the company has on offer. These could include:
- Improving the PCB Design
- Remanufacturing obsolete components
- Replacing parts
- Implementing end-of-life strategies, and more
PCB Repair Equipment & Tools
A service provider who is equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art equipment can go a long way in not only offering quality repairs but also significantly reducing turnaround time.
A mix of equipment that can address digital, analog as well as power section of circuit cards is ideal. Some of the equipment to look out for, include:
1. In-circuit testers
These can go a long way in testing digital as well as analog ICs. The tests check for Boolean output of the chips.
2. Data I/O programmers
These can read and store data in programmable logic devices.
3. Hot-air IC installation and removal systems
These are helpful for reflow solder as they ensure temperature controlled warm air.
4. Signature analysis
This is a diagnostic tool that forms a unique impedance signature that determines the health of the junction. The deflection signature can help in the analysis of whether the component is good, bad or does it lie in between these extremes.
These are useful to analyze voltage waveforms.
6. Digital voltmeters
They help in measuring voltage with precision in the selected range.
7. Cap and inductance meters
They help analyze capacitors, ESR, dielectric leakage and frequency response.
These help in the adjustment of temperature and pressure.
These are hand-held devices that help check ICs
10. Simulation testers
They test the functionality of the PCB assembly.
A service provider equipped with such equipment is definitely in an outstanding position to offer you quality PCB repair and rework.
PCB Repair Cost
A large service provider can offer repair and rework services at cost-effective price points if they enjoy economies of scale. Besides larger setups have the necessary bandwidth to offer a host of value-added services related to PCB redesign. With smaller setups the cost is likely to be extremely high. In turn, the cost will not justify the rework and make it inefficient.
To sum up
The choice of the right service provider will ensure that your PCBs are as good as new and adhere to industry specifications. It is therefore extremely important for you to be able to make the right choice of a reliable partner that will lead to major cost advantages and ensure that your project remains efficient.
As a leading electronics manufacturing company, we have 4 decades of solid experience in assembling printed circuit boards and PCB assembly rework and repair service through innovative tools and technologies. We ensure effective resoldering or desoldering of certain surface-mounted components on the printed circuit boards. With the increase in lead-free requirements, the PCB repair process has become even more complex, but we have trained personnel to work on lead-free assembly, rework, and inspection.