In Circuit Testing

In Circuit Testing

In-circuit testing is one of the important types of PCB testing techniques employed to detect manufacturing and placement defects of the PCB.  

The printed circuit board assembly or PCB manufacturing is a complex process, which involves various intricate tasks. Most of these tasks are automated, still, they may go wrong at times. To avoid this, today PCB assembly services and OEMs are employing various types of testing methods to ensure the appropriateness of these tasks. In-circuit testing is one of the important types of PCB testing techniques employed by PCB assembly services companies such as Sierra Assembly to detect manufacturing and placement defects of the PCB.

Equipment Used for In-circuit Testing

At Sierra Assembly, we utilize the following equipment for testing:
  • GenRad 2283 Board Tester
  • GenRad 2280S Board Tester
These board testers feature the following:
  • Bed of nails with a fixture
  • Boundary scan capable
  • OpenExpress equipped
The board tester system features a matrix of several sensors and drivers, which may amount to hundreds at a time. They are used to perform the test measurements. The fixture is designed to interface with the board tester system, and the part of the PCB being tested. Comprising several sensors, this fixture is commonly referred to as “bed of nails” due to various contact pins. Each nail is designed to connect to the relevant points on the PCB. Through this connection, it sends information to the tester. These contact pins help speed up the process of testing, and help check the functionality of the product. The tester system is controlled by software. It instructs the type of test to be performed on the board, and allows users to set parameters for a fail or pass. The software is always unique for each assembly to be tested.

Benefits of In-circuit Testing

Our advanced capabilities and vast industry experience coupled with following benefits of this testing have helped us assure quality products to clients.
  • Offers 100% Coverage: The in-circuit testing offers 100% coverage, and they are used to detect the following:
    • Part Placement: ICT equipment are designed to check for part placement. They can easily identify substituted or improperly placed components.
    • Condition of Parts or Components: As PCBs are populated with fine components, which are not visible to human eyes. These components may be damaged by electrostatic discharge. The damage may not be immediately recognizable during a visual inspection or standard operational testing of the product. During the testing, our experts measure the reaction of components at various current and voltage values, and this helps them identify and replace damaged components on the circuit board.
    • Perfection of Printed Circuit Board Assemblies: We regularly design several denser printed circuit boards. The individual traces of these circuits may get heavily damaged. ICT helps determine the presence of any short circuits or opens on the board.
    • Electrical Requirements: Our advanced ICT equipment helps identify electrical parameters of the board. They help understand capacitance or resistance of the board, electricity leakages, wrong polarities, and other issues. In short, the equipment enables us to assure if the PCB meets desired electrical requirements of an application.
  • Reliability: Owing to the clarity that in-circuit testing assures, it is one of the highly reliable testing methods available. It helps identify different manufacturing defects, design flaws, and faults.
  • Can be Used for Testing Ball Grid Arrays: This method enables the testing of ball grid arrays, as well as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), which are difficult to verify with flying probe testers and AOI.
  • Saves Time: This testing has helped us identify the defects and minimize the wait times. Thus, we also recommend it to clients who may be working on tight deadlines.
Being at the forefront of the PCB industry, we are committed to delivering quality products. This commitment has kept us going all these years, and as a result, we have built a huge list of happy and satisfied customers. To know more about our in-circuit testing capabilities, please contact us at the earliest.

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