Why Should I Test PCBs?

The testing phase of PCB manufacturing is one of the most important stages. Without testing your PCBs, there may be errors and problems that have been overlooked during the production stage. These problems may eventually cause failures and defects in the field. In order to reduce the chance of failure and maintain customer satisfaction, it’s important that testing procedures are implemented to ensure that the printed circuit board and the components are fully functioning. Having testing procedures throughout the production phase allows you to identify errors and issues earlier on, rather than at the final testing phase.


PCB Components Tested

The testing phase is often a thorough stage which needs great attention to detail. There are various complex components that a circuit board consists of. These may include capacitors, resistors, transistors, diodes, and fuses. These are the main components that need to be tested for any signs of irregularities and malfunctions.


Capacitors – Capacitors are small electronic devices which store energy in the form of an electrostatic field. A capacitor is responsible for blocking the flow of direct current and enabling the flow of indirect current whilst storing energy. To test these capacitors, voltage is applied to test if it is functioning as required. If not, there may be different outcomes which may indicate either a short, a leak or the capacitor does not work.


Diodes – Diodes are small electronic devices that transmit current in a single direction. When it transmits current in a single direction, it blocks the current in the opposite direction. A diode is a very sensitive device and testing it requires care. It’s recommended to consult an expert before testing sensitive components to prevent damage.


Resistors – Resistors are one of the main components of a PCB. These small electronic devices have two terminals that enable currents to produce voltage. For testing of these resistors, you can use an ohmmeter. Once the resistor is isolated, you can use a digital multimeter and connect the leads to the resistor to test it. If the readings are too high then this may be due to an open resistor.


As printed circuit boards are made of various complex electrical parts, it’s important to test the PCB for any possible faults or errors which could cause the board to malfunction. Each component should be monitored and tested to maintain a functioning PCB that works to its full potential.