PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) involves a large number of circuits and components, that’s why the test on it looks so crucial, which obviously determines the delivery pass rate and quality. Now the top 5 popular PCBA (PCB) testing methods are:
1. Manual Visual Inspection (MVI)
MVI means to compare the components on board by eyesight with golden sample, which is using widely in electronic manufacturing industry. However, this method does not work since many compacted and tiny chips populated onto PCBA. Low expected cost and no testing fixture are MVI’s advantages, but long-term cost and discontinuous defects, data collection difficulties, no electrical testing and visual limitations are the main weakness of MVI.
2. Automated Optical Inspection (AOI)
This testing method is a new defective analysis and generally used after reflow soldering. AOI has excellent ability to inspect the polarity and soldering effect and is a non-electrical, fixture-free online technology. It’s main advantage is easy to diagnosis, program and not use fixture, but the poor identification of short circuit is AOI’s weakness. AOI is designed for shape
3. Function Test (FCT)
FCT is the earliest method of automated testing and basically customized for PCB and unit. FCT can work on various devices and includes final product test and hot mock-up. We can write program into MCU on PCBA first and then switch on the PCBA. Then all functions can be simulated by input/output of this circuit board, including voltage, current, load, signals etc.
4. Flying Probe Tester (FPT)
Flying probe testing is widely known in mechanical accuracy, speed and reliability. In addition, quick prototype manufacturing, low-volume production and no fixture needed drive flying probe test to be the top choice. The best advantage of FPT is short time-to-market, automated testing, no fixture and good diagnosis and programming.
5. Manufacturing Defect Analyzer (MDA)
MDA is a perfect tool for inspecting manufacturing defects in high-volume/low-mix environments. The main advantages of MDA are low up-front cost, high outputs, diagnosis flexibility and quick inspection of short-circuit and open circuit. But MDA’s defects include inability of electrical test, low testing coverage, application of testing fixture and high cost.
With rapid development of Automated Test Equipment (ATE) Industry, there will be more competitive and cost-effective testing method rather than the above top 5 PCBA testing methods.