Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
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Testing is an important part of any PCBA manufacturing process. It is usually conducted at every critical stage of manufacturing. Even at the design phase, you will still need to conduct some tests so that you can find out whether the design will be perfect for the PCBA. It is through testing that you will be able to find out the reliability, performance, and compatibility of the PCBA modules to their relevant application areas.
How is PCBA testing conducted? Testing can be done manually or automatically. Manual testing methods entail examining every aspect of the PCBA physically. On the other hand, automated testing procedures are characterized by the use of machines and systems to test the modules. Each type and mode of PCBA testing has advantages and disadvantages. In this article, our attention is on the automated methods. We will look at some of the benefits of using automated testing procedures on PCBA modules.
High levels of accuracy
With automated PCBA testing, there is minimal reliance on human labor. Instead, machines are used for performing executing various tasks that are related to the testing procedures. Compared to human labor, machines rarely make mistakes. They are programmed to operate using specific sets if parameters hence making it hard to make mistakes when testing. In other words, they are more accurate than human testers.
We know that PCBA comprises tiny electronic components and circuit boards. A human tester will easily make an error or even many errors especially when they have to conduct vigorous testing procedures. The repetitive nature of the testing procedures also increases the probability of making mistakes when carrying out tests. Less human errors also directly translate to minimal losses associated with testing procedures.
Automated PCBA testing methods tend to reduce the overall cost of testing the PCBA modules. There are various ways in which automation makes it cheaper to test PCBA modules as compared to doing manual testing. Generally, you can assume that automated systems for testing are expensive. While the cost of buying these systems may be high, the long-term benefit of the cost will be immense.
First automated systems eliminate the cost of maintaining qualified and experienced PCBA testers. You will save some significant amount of money on the wages that you would have spent on the testing experts.
The speed of testing high volumes of PCBA modules within a short period will also a significant impact on the cost of production. Time is of essence when it comes to analyzing the cost of production cost. It is a common knowledge that lengthy testing procedures have a direct implication on the cost of production. Automated systems help to cut down on these costs. Also, the losses that are minimized due to the accuracy of the automated systems helps to lower the overall testing and production costs.
Ideal for mass production
Mass production entails producing large volumes of PCBA modules within a given short time frame. Using automated testing for PCBA is perfect for mass production. This is mainly because of the high testing rates that are supported by automated systems.
A typical automated system has the capacity to test many modules at a time. It is easy to incorporate such a system into a large-scale PCBA production facility and still attain the desired results.
Consistency and uniformity
The fact that automated testing systems are programmed to operate in the same way means that it is easy to achieve consistency and uniformity during the testing process. This is different from that of using human testers as you are likely to get different results from the tests.
What are the benefits of consistency? You may ask. One benefit is they make it easy to analyze the results of the tests. Since the results are the same on all the modules, you can easily make conclusions without having to analyze individual PCBA modules. Also, consistency helps to preserve the likeliness of the PCBA modules after the tests.
Remote testing and control
Thanks to the advancement of technology, automation of PCBA testing makes it possible to carry out remote testing and control the whole process.
PCBA equipment and systems are embedded with connectivity modules that can connect to each other through the internet. The actual testing procedure can be controlled from a remote location. Remote testing is an ideal solution when you have different testing stations and all of them need to be involved in the production process. T also increases the productivity of the testing process.
Scalability and adaptability
Scalability simply refers to the ability to enhance or expand the scope of PCBA testing. Most automated systems allow users to introduce new testing modules and components that will allow them to expand the scope of their tests. It becomes easier in case you want to test extra parameters on the PCBA modules.
Also, automated PCBA testing systems can be tuned and modified for performance. Perhaps you want to get detailed results from the tests, all you will need is to reprogram the testing system. We even have AI-powered testing systems that are powered by machine learning. They can be trained to deliver precise PCBA test results.
From the benefits that we have just discussed, it is clear that the future of PCBA testing is automation. Currently, automated testing systems are slowly but gradually manual techniques of testing PCBA modules. It is impossible for PCBA manufacturers to underrate the numerous benefits that come with automated testing methods.
If you are buying PCBAs for your electronic devices, you should ensure that they are fully tested. Ensure that all types of tests have been conducted on the modules, including stress tests, reliability tests, and even performance tests. Buying from reputable PCBA suppliers in China is the surest way of ensuring that the PCBAs that you want to use have been fully tested. You can also confirm from the datasheet and other relevant documentation that the PCBA modules that you want to buy from the manufacturer have been fully tested.
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