Guide to Circuit Board Repair
Circuit board repair is important when things break down. As an inventor, manufacturer, or distributor of circuit board technology, you need to know that you’ll have the help you need when you need it most to repair your machinery and get it up and running again.
Circuit boards are made of several small working parts. Finding the materials, tools, and resources to get your PCB board running to peak efficiency is a “must have.”
What do you do when things break?
Anything that is based on intricate machinery or small parts is going to eventually need repair. While you hope that the problem is minor, even minor problems can slow down your production and manufacturing process.
There are a number of things you can do to prevent disaster when it comes to preparing for the worst. Below are some of the tips on circuit board repair recommended by experts in the field of technology regarding IT products.
1. Have lots of spare parts. If you have a good, positive cash flow for your business and you keep hundreds of spare parts of different kinds around, great! But you are probably in the minority. Most manufacturers of PCB boards and circuit boards do not keep enough fresh spare parts on hand to be able to do a quick soldering job or a fast repair so that they can get up and running again.
This is why many businesses that deal with today’s electronics and IT products go out of business. You don’t want to be one of those! Be sure to keep many spare parts in stock if you plan to do it yourself and even if you decide to outsource it, in the event that you need a repair fast. You can’t afford the downtime and your customers don’t want to wait.
2. Know your industry including the engineering aspect. The more educated you are about your industry including the engineering component, the better you will be able to repair the circuit board yourself of have someone in your organization do it. Keep up with the latest techniques and tools or resources that you have at your disposal to make sure you keep things up and running efficiently. If things do break down, have an emergency plan on how you are going to keep things going with your manufacturing and distribution plan.
3. Train in-house experts to be there at a moment’s notice. No business owner, inventor, or expert can be all things to everyone at the same time. If you own tech business, make sure you have plenty of in-house experts who can help with the mechanical end of things to avoid spending too much out-of-pocket expense on fix-it jobs.
4. Have a plan for repair to minimize your down time. You need experts who can help you at a moment’s notice if you are going to scale up and keep things moving forward. You can’t afford the downtime when you are trying to get a product to the market fast. The market is volatile, but one thing that you can always count on is the need to have a contingency plan.
5. Estimate the stop loss estimate that you will have if you were to have to stop production for 24 hours or more. Most businesses have an emergency plan which includes how they would handle the downtime should their production stop for a 24-hour period. There may not be a major problem for the small innovator just starting out. But when you need to crank out 10,000 units per day or more, it can mean a major loss.
Planning how to handle the downtime as well as the results of this setback is important. Estimate the amount of money you could lose based on the setback and have a plan in place to take care of this in a fast and efficient manner.
Mixed technology is often used in today’s modern PCB assembly, it’s a method that combines both Through-Hole Technology (THT) and Surface Mount Technology (SMT). Advanced technology has led to a demand in complex PCBs, which has made it barely possible for PCBs to use only one method of mounting components. Therefore, the emerging of PCBs with both SMD components and THT components has brought about three ways of using mixed technology in PCB assembly.
In a single-sided mixed assembly, a single-side of the PCB goes through both THT and SMT assembly processes. In this method, both SMT and THT are on the same side. Another application for both one-side THT and one-side SMT is a process whereby one of the PCB’s surface is an SMT attachment and the opposite side is a THT assemblage. It’s also referred to as a split assembly, and the normal-sized components are mounted on one surface and mini-sized parts on the other.
Finally, in the double-sided mixed assembly, both PCB’s sides go through THT and SMT assembly processes. This type of PCB has a mixture of microscopic and delicate parts as well as standard-sized components on each side. Mixed technology blends the best features of both processes. To produce a mixed board, the PCB undergoes the SMT assembly process first, and then it’s subjected to THT.
Partnering with a PCB designer is always the recommended approach for proper PCB assembly in today’s everchanging technology.