Friday, 24 January 2014

Faulty PCBs in the assembly line taking up the over all costs?

In every PCB Assembly line, there is a fallout of PCBs which are assembled and then fail at the end of the line. It is proven over time that very few of the PCBs have failed because of the chipset. 

Causes of failure could be the following :
  • The raw PCB could be faulty
  • There could be a paste problem, causing a short or an open
  • There could be a silicon problem but this is rare. Brand new components straight from the factory are really well tested, and very few are faulty.
Solution for failed PCBs and how IC Recovery services can result in massive savings

When a PCB fails it is shifted to a debug area, here the fault is diagonised, repaired and then the PCB is re-tested. At this stage if the PCB passes it is shipped as normal, but in case if it fails again; it goes back round the debug loop. At the debug area each time the component is removed and replaced by a new one. After three attempts the PCB is often classed as unreliable and scrapped.

As the product life cycles are becoming shorter, the debug technicians are given less time to learn a new product, due to this it takes up the probability to wrongly diagonise the fault and this could lead to an increase of "end of line" failures. These failed boards as they have gone through the debug process atleast one time, the chipset have endured one reflow cycle, sometimes more if it has gone through the debug process multiple times. However if the PCB has been through 2 reflow cycles to assemble it, then the big components which are usually the most valuable  have had only one reflow cycle, the second one.

Looking at the standards laid out by component manufacturers - ICs are termed good for three reflow cycles. Many of the failed PCBs as described above have had one reflow cycle. The solution to achieve savings by having the components re-used, and also fall within the component manufacturers standards is using the IC RESCUE process which is a safe component recovery method. Moreover after the components are safely recovered, the components are electrically and mechanically tested 

Why is the above solution a practical approach?
These components which are within manufacturers specifications and tested, therefore trusted can be :
  • Put onto a new assembly
  • Used in a debug area to repair a failed assembly
  • Used in field return repairs in the future
  • Sold in the market place as refurbished but "Zero Hours" good component
For more information on the various solutions available; do visit our website www.retronix.com or email us on info@retronix.com. You can also use the contact us page to send in your queries directly (http://www.retronix.com/contact-us)

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