A printed circuit board (PCB) undergoes several different stages before it hits the market. PCBs are made up of a number of different components—such as transistors, resistors, diodes, relays and capacitors—all of which need to function optimally to ensure that the product is performing as expected.
The three common stages in the design and development of a new PCB—that is, manufacturing the prototype, testing its usability and ensuring that it’s compliant with regulations—require methodical design testing by experts. Testing helps validate and verify the quality and functionality of a product against the parameters and standards provided by the designer and ensures that the product meets or exceeds industry norms.
Here are the three stages explained concisely and crisply to help you understand the basics of PCB assembly design and development.
Circuit board testing during prototype manufacturing
This stage of testing is done by your PCB manufacturer and involves testing the fabrication and assembly of the prototype to ensure that it meets the specifications provided by you and that the various components are a good fit for the end product.
During the assembly phase, the circuit board is subjected by the PCB design company to even more testing so that the final product meets set standards while also allowing for acceptable tolerances.
Circuit board testing for functional accuracy
Once the prototype is ready, it has to undergo further testing to ensure that its performance is up to the mark. Qualified professionals test the prototype to determine if it is capable of performing the intended tasks and with what level of accuracy.
The most essential aspects that must be tested at this stage include but are not limited to checking pin voltage levels, circuit board temperature, trace currents and power supply. Functional testing is an important part of PCB design testing as it eliminates the risk of failure once the product is in use by your clients.
Circuit board testing for regulatory compliance
The third important stage of circuit board testing involves checking whether the prototype meets the regulatory and security requirements that apply to the usage of a product by the end users it is intended to serve.
Regulatory testing is generally carried out by an independent electronics systems testing laboratory, which issues a testing certificate to the manufacturing organization. Aside from this, a new PCB product may need to meet additional standards laid out by the local government body.
To sum up, circuit board design testing is an essential part of the PCB development process and serves as an assurance to all stakeholders that the product is safe to use and meets or exceeds the required industry standards.
Regardless of where it is going to be used, every PCB will require some form of testing during the design phase. Hiring a professional and reliable company for developing and testing a circuit board prototype can help you create a high-quality product that meets your specifications as well as industry guidelines and regulations.