Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Troubleshooting and Repair Tips
Printed Circuit Boards Are Everywhere
Got electronic equipment? Then you’ve also got printed circuit boards (PCBs). PCBs have been a basic component of electronic devices for decades, and they can be found in everything from desktop computers, to televisions, to mobile phones, to automobiles, to electronic toys. Printed circuit boards aren’t limited to consumer goods, either. They’re also an essential component of commercial equipment and industrial equipment too, including medical equipment, manufacturing equipment, industrial controls, commercial printers, retail equipment, aerospace applications, and pretty much any other category of electronic equipment you can think of.
But while circuit boards are essential to electronics, they can also be quite intricate and sometimes even delicate. It doesn’t take much for a printed circuit board to be misprinted during manufacturing or to become damaged over time. You could choose to just replace your PCB, but that can prove to be costly. In most cases, printed circuit board repair is a better (and cheaper) option, particularly in the hands of a trained professional like those found at AES.
Why Should You Seek PCB Repair Services?
PCBs are sensitive components which can be damaged in the manufacturing process or can lose their effectiveness due to a range of factors. Printed circuit board repair services may be necessary for a number of circumstances; here are just a few:
Your PCB could have been part of an inadvertent flaw in the manufacturing process. A design flaw can be detected in your PCB. Your PCB may have been mishandled or dropped at some point. Your PCB could have excess solder, broken traces, or display some other performance-inhibiting issues. Something could have been spilled on your electronic equipment, which then seeped onto your PCB.
6 Common Manufacturing Defects Seen in PCBs
While there are several things that can lead to a PCB fault, some of the most common stem from original manufacturing defects. Here are issues we see with regularity in the course of our electronic repairs at AES:
1. Exposed copper edges
Copper is a great conductor, but it’s also soft and prone to corrosion. For this reason, copper used in PCBs must be coated with a protective material. Any copper edges that don’t get properly coated can end up faulting or shorting.
2. Slivers of solder or copper
During PCB fabrication, unintended slivers of copper or solder masks can be left on the board. These slivers can leave plating exposed or can end up wrongly connecting two different sections of copper. Either scenario can lead to a PCB fault.
3. Plating gaps
Gaps in plating can occur from the presence of air bubbles or contaminants during the plating deposition process. In addition, any faulty drill hit could result in damage to the printed circuit board.
4. Incomplete solder masks
Solder masks are intended to safeguard the copper connections, and to protect the copper from any potentially corrosive exposure. But if the solder mask isn’t properly applied between two facing pads, problems with the PCB can ensue.
5. Acid traps
Acid can be captured during the etching phase of PCB production in a phenomenon known as an acid trap. The presence of this acid can render a circuit essentially defective, and can result in further problems down the line.
6. Insufficient thermals
Thermals are placed around PCB pads to help disperse heat. But if thermals are applied in an inconsistent matter, the PCB can then display some connectivity issues. Insufficient thermals can result in PCB overheating.
Commonly-Needed PCB Repairs We’re Able to Provide at AES:
If you need electric repair services for your PCB, AES is well-poised to provide them. Here are just a few of the PCB repair services we specialize in delivering for our commercial and industrial clients:
• Gold Finger Contact Repair
The gold finger contacts on your PCB are vulnerable to solder splash or other potential forms of contamination. Our team is trained in repairing and/or replacing these contacts in order to prevent any related problems from occurring in the future.
• Laminate Repair
Imperfections in your PCB laminate are another common issue that requires professional attention. The process adjustment or solution we provide will depend upon the particular nature of PCB damage our trained professionals discover through our tried-and-true analysis procedure.
• Trace Repair
Copper traces are used to connect various elements on your PCB, making them some of the most essential elements in any PCB system. Our team is trained to conduct effective trace repairs; sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to make your defective PCB fully functional again.
• Circuit Modification
We can also make circuit modifications to address other design flaws, which will ultimately make your PCB more effective.
• Inner Layer Repairs
Our trained PCB repair specialists can provide needed inner layer repairs to correct and optimize your multilayer circuit board.
• PCB Equipment Sales
If a new replacement PCB would be the best solution for your particular situation, we’re able to provide those, as well. AES partners with preferred vendors to supply you with the exact PCB or other circuit board solutions that may be needed.
Printed Circuit Board Repair Services from Advanced Electronic Services
Repairing any faults found within your PCB is much more cost-effective than choosing to replace the entire circuit board. AES offers several PCB repairs and reworks services in order to help our clients recover their damaged circuit boards and get their manufacturing or other business processes back online.
cAES Provides the Best PCB Repair Services in the Industry!
There are other companies out there who say they can meet your printed circuit board needs, but none of them can take care of you like AES!
At AES, quality matters to us. We’ll do the job right for you the first time and every time. Each PCB repair project can present its own unique challenges, but our team is more than capable of meeting your particular needs!
Fast Turnaround Time
Quality electronic equipment repair does take time, but we’re committed to maintain a fast turnaround time for you. Not only can we get it done for you, but we can also get it done faster than our competitors.
Trained & Experienced
AES is short for Advanced Electronic Services – we’ve been providing electronic repair services for over 30 years! Our team of PCB repair professionals know what we’re doing!
Why replace an expensive PCB, when our team can repair it or rebuild it for LESS? AES comes alongside to meet your electronic equipment needs, while saving you both time and money!
Industry’s Best Warranty!
We believe in the quality of our services so much that we provide a 24-Month Limited Warranty for ALL REPAIRS! If a problem arises within that time frame which is related to the workmanship of AES, we’ll provide follow-up service at no cost to you!
AES has all your other electronic repairs, and other equipment repair needs covered! Give us a call today at 866-386-1001!