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No matter what brand or board type you’re working with, it’s impossible to escape the reality that PCBs are inherently failure prone. Planning for when, rather than if, your circuit boards will malfunction is an approach that reduces costs and relieves future headaches.
Shipping out your faulty PCBA for service can be stressful when you’re on a tight production schedule and board failure has already led to downtime, but it pays to have practiced technicians discover the root cause of a circuit board’s failure and analyze the extent of its damage.
In addition to physical damage to the circuit card, like cracks and corrosion, discrete and power components can deteriorate for a wide range of reasons, including extreme heat, over/under voltage surges and sags, and age; contaminants like grime and dust are also frequent sources of trace damage. Contacting a repair provider is the best way to ensure that your circuit board assembly functions properly once it’s reinstalled, and--more importantly--that your industrial electronics won’t fail again a few weeks down the road.
Even though factories save millions every year by repairing and/or reworking circuit boards, the guesswork associated with choosing a repair shop and anxiety about the quality of the craftsmanship they offer convinces many plant managers to purchase brand new replacement boards instead. This is a costly decision in the short and long term: In addition to spending an arm and a leg for new boards, OEMs don’t provide preventive and corrective repair recommendations and actions to help your electronics equipment (not just the circuit board part that needs to be replaced) exceed its performance expectations.
What criteria should guide your selection of a service provider if you've decided to repair or rework your circuit board? We recommend focusing on “Three Es:" Expertise, equipment, and economies of scale.Read the full article here.Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.