Accelerate and Optimize PCB Troubleshooting MethodsPosted on 2020-07-17
What Are the Ways to Troubleshoot PCB
Due to the continuous modernization of technological trends, PCB assembly is more complex and intricate than ever in the current era. With this, PCB troubleshooting is becoming one of the important pursuits of specific expertise, technology and R&D. Fortunately, there is no need to panic or frown, because there are some simple PCB troubleshooting methods that can help speed up the detection, verification, and testing of troublesome components and functions in damaged printed circuit boards. The following content will guide you to use simple methods to optimize and accelerate PCB troubleshooting.
When troubleshooting multilayer PCBs, the results are more challenging for signal analysis, size, component type, and number of layers. Some complex PCBs require special mechanized equipment for PCB troubleshooting, and in many cases, PCB rework and repair are performed by basic electronic instruments to provide current, signal, and trace mechanisms smoothly through the circuit.
Some common tools for PCB troubleshooting mainly used by PCB manufacturers include multimeters, LCR meters, logic and circuits. Power analyzers and oscilloscopes have a specific foundation for handling complexity, and the root cause of the operating behavior of affected circuits needs to be investigated.
Discrete component inspection
Discrete component detection is one of the centralized methods for PCB troubleshooting, which helps to test each component individually. This type of test is done with the help of various tools. Using LCR meters or multimeters, you can test the piece-by-piece values of transistors, capacitors, resistors, inductors, LEDs, and other active components. The component is well stated, with values equal to or less than the standard component. On the other hand, if the component value is indicated as being higher than the standard component value, it is detected that the solder joint is defective or the component is indicated as bad.
By powering each component individually. Another option that allows a unique comparison between current and voltage measurements is node analysis.
Vision inspection technology
A simple method of tracking and controlling to identify and locate PCB damage through magnification and thorough visual inspection technology. This method helps to detect overlapping marks, overheated, cracked or damaged high-mark components and missing components on the PCB. In many cases, the magnified visual inspection technology can immediately find very few scorched or expanded parts.
The visual inspection technology is one step ahead, and the physical inspection is performed on the power applied on the circuit. This technology is used to detect hot spots and the surface of printed circuit boards and components on circuit boards without using cameras that prove to be quite expensive. Then, with the help of compressed canned air, the detected thermal element is cooled to reduce the temperature to test the circuit mechanism.
There is no doubt that physical inspection is one of the simple and effective ways to optimize PCB troubleshooting. But at the same time it is also considered a dangerous method that requires many precautions. This method is only applicable to low voltage circuit boards. On the other hand, touching the power supply circuit and various components on the PCB will bring about changes in the circuit impedance, which in turn will change the system behavior. Because of this change, finding the affected circuit that requires additional capacitance for smooth operation becomes effortless.
Integrated circuit analysis
Another simple method to optimize PCB troubleshooting includes integrated circuit analysis. Some ICs are analyzed and identified by logic analyzers or oscilloscopes, while many ICs are only detected by tags. In addition to complex PCB layouts, there are more and more challenging special types of ICs with different configurations. Here, a simple way to deal with damaged PCBs is to compare the behavior of the affected circuit with the behavior of a good circuit to track abnormal behavior on the circuit.
When the PCB document or its component signature has been lost, analog signature analysis is one of the effective techniques for PCB troubleshooting. It is used to test the PCB without power supply, crash or failure.
There are other methods for speed detection and optimization of PCB troubleshooting:
- Function test.
- Use PCB troubleshooting software.
- Check solder joints.
Finally, some simpler hackers can effectively diagnose faults in the PCB: By alternating voltages, the unknown high pin count can be tested. You can also use the required equipment such as a multimeter to obtain all signatures, inductance and voltage resistance of each component, so as to calculate and compare with the characteristics of the defective PCB.
Kingford is an experienced professional who provides optimized PCB troubleshooting, PCB rework and PCB repair services. With a wide customer base from different industries, it is possible to adjust, modify and change defective, dead and “out of order” PCBs. On the surface, we have launched a PCB troubleshooting project and developed an intelligent plan for all issues that require attention. Some of them include the time it takes, the cost of materials, the type of inspection required, and the demand for lead-free PCB solder. After determining the PCB troubleshooting parameters, Kingford adopted the upgrade technology and took the next step toward the PCB rework process that was clearly determined.