3 Different Methods Of Testing Printed Circuit Boards

When you are manufacturing something that requires the use of printed circuit boards (PCB), you need to make sure you have the equipment to test the PCB to make sure that the circuit boards will work in your end product. When it comes to testing the PCB, there are various types of tests that you can run, and each requires different types of equipment.

Testing Method #1: X-Ray Inspection

With an x-ray inspection, you will use a special x-ray that will allow you to generate both 2D and 3D AXI tests. These tests will be analyzed by an equipment x-ray technician and can be used to determine if the circuit boards have any defects. Things such as internal traces, barrels, and solder connections can be viewed with this process. With x-ray testing, you will be able to identify elements that you can't see by just visually checking the circuit.

An x-ray inspection is a time-consuming process, as you need a specialized technician to read the x-ray, and it requires the usage and ownership of special x-ray equipment.

Testing Method #2: Burn-In Testing

Burn-in testing is a way to test out and figure out your circuit board's load capacity and figure out what the circuit board limits are. With this type of testing, there is a risk that the circuit board being testing could be destroyed, as the testing is designed to test the limits of the board.

With this type of testing, power is run through the board for a set number of hours, based on the number of continuous hours your board should be able to operate. This will let you know if the board has a fail rate or defects. This is not a test you would run on all the circuit boards; this is a targeted test to figure out your custom circuit board's capacity and limits.

Testing Method #3: Flying Probe Test

A flying probe test is an affordable way to test out a circuit. With this type of test, needles connected to a probe will be attached to the board. This is an easy way to test for things such as resistance, inductance, shorts, and opens. It is a quick and easy test to run, with affordable equipment. It is a cost-effective way to test large orders and make sure the order was correctly made. 

If you need to use PCB in your product, you need to have printed circuit board analysis equipment that you can use to test the circuit boards effectively. This will allow you to make sure that the PCB works correctly and will not cause your end product issues.