Top 5 Common Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Repairs - EMSG (2023)

Many are unaware that the electronics, gadgets and items they own are based on various internal components that work together to provide the necessary functions and features they use. A mobile phone, for example, is more than just the case, the buttons and the screen that you see from the outside. Inside the device are several parts that house and connect the necessary components. One of these key parts is called a printed circuit board, or PCB for short.

Circuit boards are the basis of most electronic devices. Only at the end of 2018, the value of global sales of PCB products should be achieved$82 billion🇧🇷 That should give you an idea of ​​how often PCBs are used in manufacturing.

contents disguise

1 What are printed circuit boards?

2 What devices do you use?

3 Why do circuit boards fail?

(Video) PCB Inspection Methods & Common PCB Defects

3.1 Diagnosis and Repair

3.2 Diagnosis and Repair

3.3 Diagnosis and Repair

3.4 Diagnosis and Repair

3.5 Diagnosis and Repair

4 What is circuit board repair and remanufacturing?

5 What materials are needed for circuit board repair?

6 Why is cooperation with EMSG so important?

(Video) Chase EMS - Electronics Manufacturing

Top 5 Common Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Repairs - EMSG (1)

Without them, many devices would simply stop working. In the event of a major breakdown or malfunction, this can cause some pretty serious problems. Circuit boards aren't invulnerable either. Over time, they are subject to severe wear and tear that can affect their performance and functionality. Things like weather, humidity, age, and even altitude can affect a board's condition.

Fortunately, it is possible to repair or recondition the boards back to like-new condition. This does one of two things. Or the card in question can be returned to its original device to get it working again. Or it can be used on a completely different device if you like, as a way of recycling.

Obviously, before a circuit board can be repaired or rebuilt, engineers must identify and understand why it failed in the first place. You're not good at solving a problem if you don't know what went wrong, right?

It is very beneficial to know and identify some of the most common problems related to circuit boards so that when a device fails you at least know what went wrong. Let's look at some of the most common circuit board problems and explore ways to solve them.

Finally, let's examine what a printed circuit board is and actually does.

What are circuit boards?

A printed circuit board or PCB is a core component of almost all electronic devices. All but the simplest electronic devices use some type of circuit board to mechanically connect and synchronize all product elements. For example, a coffee maker may have a small internal circuit board to connect the electronic control system, heating element and display.

In the early days, long before design software existed, printed circuit boards were planned.using mylar sheetsthrough hands-on development and were often four times the size of the PCB itself. Designers arranged pinpads, traces, and components into a proposed layout, which was used as a storyboard to test and explain the circuits. Everything is overflowing todaydesign and manufacturing software.

PCBs are mechanically required to support and connect all components within the device, which are synchronized via traces; this allows the free flow of current through the board and from one component to another.

Circuit board components are soldered to the board, which electrically and mechanically connects them to the circuit. These "components" include things like the battery, resistors, LEDs, transistors, capacitors, and more.

Circuit boards are usually made in layers that include different levels of conductive and non-conductive layers. They can be single-sided with a single copper layer, double-sided with a double copper layer on each side of a substrate layer, or multi-layered with different copper and substrate layers. It's worth noting that multilayer boards offer a number of advantages, such as greater component density, but they are much more difficult to analyze, repair, and modify.

It is important to understand that circuit board repair parts and practices are often made with the same materials and components that were originally used to build the hardware. There are very few substitutes or alternatives, especially when it comes to reliable and conductive materials. This underscores the need to find a suitable professional repair team with the right resources and connections.

What devices are they using?

Circuit boards are used in almost every electronic device you can find, from smartphones and computers to televisions and vacuum cleaners. Any time a device requires an electrical connection to function, there is likely to be some kind of circuit board inside it, sometimes incredibly small and thin.

Top 5 Common Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Repairs - EMSG (2)

Over the years, technology has advanced, as has the design and development of printed circuit boards, allowing for smaller, more complex components and thinner, less bulky boards. This makes circuit board repairs particularly difficult as there are so many different types of different sizes and designs. You can't go to just anyone to fix, modify, or rebuild a circuit board. It is crucial that you use an authorized party that has the experience and equipment necessary to make this possible.

Why do circuit boards fail?

Like anything that deteriorates with time and prolonged use, printed circuit boards can have a variety of problems. From trace damage that affects the conductivity of the board and circuits to component failures where capacitors or diodes die, there are many hot spots on a board.

It helps you identify and understand some of the most common PCB issues so you can solve them in a meaningful way. This can also help people who don't have direct experience with circuit boards to keep them in better condition.

(Video) Oven Not Heating, Selector Switch Fault on Oven

1. Physical damage
This is the most obvious choice when it comes to damaging a circuit board. In fact, the most common causes of circuit board failures are due to physical damage to or within a device. This can be just about anything involving physical pressure or shock. The device in question may have been dropped from a great distance. Perhaps you were hit or violently hit by another object? There is also a possibility that the device was disassembled for some reason and the circuit board was directly damaged.

How to diagnose and repair

Unless the scenario is a total failure (the board fell to the ground and cracked or cracked completely), the physical damage can be repaired through the remanufacturing process. This usually involves melting down damaged sections of the board or repairing it by disassembling and reassembling it. Due to the nature of most physical damage, it is highly unlikely that someone without PCB repair experience would be able to undertake it as a DIY project. Repair of physical damage should only be done by a trained and experienced professional. In most cases, this requires redesigning the board, re-soldering the components, and rerouting the beads.

2. Component failure
Besides physical damage, faulty components are the second leading cause of circuit board problems. If there's no physical damage but a device isn't working or won't turn on, you can almost guarantee it has something to do with one of the components connected to the board.

The component itself can be anything from a capacitor to a diode to a microprocessor. If the component is the problem and it has died or stopped working, it may need to be replaced entirely. However, the actual component is not always the problem. Due to aging, overheating, and voltage dips, the trace may have degraded to the point where it is no longer conductive. It is also possible that one or more components have become completely disconnected from the circuit board and need to be resealed.

How to diagnose and repair

You might be wondering how to fix a circuit board when a component fails. Again, the process of repairing and remanufacturing faulty components is best left to professionals. There are voltage tools and various devices that can be used to test the conductivity of circuits on a circuit board. They can also be used to determine if power is flowing to a component or if a board element has completely failed. You can often see the faulty components simply by opening up the device. Its outer casing may appear burned, cracked, or broken, or the component may have completely detached itself from the circuit board and has come loose.

Top 5 Common Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Repairs - EMSG (3)

Repairing a faulty component may require the application of heat, usually with a heat gun, soldering, and rigorous testing.

3. Track damage
The traces on a circuit board are the conductive paths, which are made of silver or copper. You can usually spot a problem on the road with the naked eye, but not always. When a trace is damaged, whether from regular use or physical damage, it can cause significant conductivity issues on the circuit board, components, and device in question.

Some of the most common causes of trace damage include lightning, severe power surges or short circuits, metal dust contamination, overheating, and normal wear and tear.

How to diagnose and repair

As long as the trail isn't incredibly thin and difficult to see, you can usually detect damage simply by examining the trail. Copper and silver are naturally clear and shiny, making breakage or damage easy to spot. Please note that this is not always the case, but it is a sure thing.

To repair faulty or damaged rails, simply re-solder or repack the board with the necessary material. This reconnects the broken circuit and allows current to flow freely through the board.

4. Bad design
As much as we praise every engineer or product developer, this is not feasible. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a team can compromise when it comes to designing a board or manufacturing the necessary components. This can lead to poor board design and construction, leading to problems later on.

Unfortunately, poor PCB design can lead to a number of things, many of the errors that occur have already been discussed here.

How to diagnose and repair

You will know right away if you have a bad or faulty circuit board because your device will continue to fail even after repair or service. The best solution for a bad circuit board is to completely replace it by visiting an official or licensed repair center.

The easiest way to identify a poorly designed board is by the number of failures or issues it has experienced over time. Aside from significant physical or electrical damage to the unit, if you take the board somewhere for repair or analysis and there are some issues, there is probably something wrong with the way the board was designed. In some cases, this simply means that the original manufacturer used cheap or unreliable components, but the board itself is fine.

Top 5 Common Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Repairs - EMSG (4)

5. Power failure
In most cases, a power outage is remarkably similar to a component failure, and may even be the same thing. The final problem arises from the fact that there has been a major power failure across all or part of the board. One of the circuit board components may have been subjected to higher than normal stresses, causing heat damage and explosion. Or maybe there was a tracking error that caused a short circuit somewhere? In either case, a power meter can be used to test each individual component and the overall conductivity of the board.

How to diagnose and repair

All professional repair kits have a power or voltage meter that can be used to identify electrical problems with a circuit board and its components. Tension tools are really the only way to diagnose a problem outside of visible damage to a component. Repair is best left to professionals, but it often involves reseating or replacing components.

What is circuit board repair and remanufacturing?

There are several ways to repair or maintain a printed circuit board, requiring different levels of skill. However, for the most part, anything that involves the inner workings of an electronic device or device requires engineering and mechanical knowledge, as well as basic electrical circuitry. With some of the biggest devices on the market, you can be seriously injured or even killed if you don't know what you're doing.

For fingerprints and traces, it may be necessary to cover, remove or replace the necessary material: copper or silver. This usually requires tools like a soldering iron or heat gun.

Physical or visible damage to a circuit board requires motherboard repair. This may involve melting down similar materials to reshape or modify the board, or sometimes require complete disassembly.

Lead and component repairs can require knowledge and skills in soldering, desoldering, BGA rework and the utmost precision. If you've ever worked with or held a soldering iron, it's not as easy to keep your hand steady and distribute the material evenly. You need extensive experience with a soldering iron and a desoldering iron just to make sure the components and parts are properly seated on the board.

of course they exista variety of IPC and ICO standardsbe followed by professionals to ensure electronics and components are designed and serviced using proper protocols. If you don't know or don't know enoughabout these rules, you may find yourself in hot water later on.

Make sure any EMS or electronics manufacturing services you work with are aware of and follow the necessary procedures.

If you don't know, an EMS is typically a PCB repair company that designs, manufactures, tests, distributes, and repairs electronic components and internal assemblies. They typically service components and devices for OEMs or original equipment manufacturers. An OEM is the company that originally developed and owns the product in question.

This entire process is known as electronic contract manufacturing, or ECM for short.

What materials are needed for circuit board repair?

Unsurprisingly, most repairs require the same materials, or improved materials, used in the official design of a board. It may be necessary to redistribute copper or silver to repair trail paths. PCB substrates are usually made of fiberglass or epoxy with copper foil bonded to the conductive layer. They can also be made from reinforced phenolic resin, a material more paper-like and thinner than fiberglass.

Gold is also used by many manufacturers or repair centers, most notably when plating or enhancing soldered segments of a circuit board.

Top 5 Common Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Repairs - EMSG (5)

The best service and repair teams can reassemble or fix a damaged board to the point of restoring it to its original state, so there is almost no difference between an older version and the updated version. This certainly requires a lot of sensitivity and experience that you won't find outside of an experienced and professional environment.

An important part of researching and hiring a professional repair service is making sure they have the right PCB repair materials and tools to get the job done. Some service repair crews don't have everything in place or on site, which can add to the time it takes to repair or assemble parts. You have to wait until they get the necessary materials or tools.

It's no secret that many of the materials used are not environmentally friendly or increase safety. We are still a long way from that, but scientists and state-of-the-art equipment are working.on biodegradable PCBswhich degrade naturally after removal.

Why is it so important to work with EMSG?

For PCB repair and remanufacturing and industrial PCB repair service options, it doesn't get any better.emsg inc.(Electronic Manufacturing Services Group). We are well equipped to handle board level mounts and full box build mounts, including any custom packaging you may have created or used.

we have astate-of-the-art installationusing the latest manufacturing and repair technologies that allow us to get the job done with incredible precision, yet efficiently. This, along with our incredibly experienced staff, state-of-the-art equipment and excellent management team, means we can be fast, reliable and complete any repair or development within your chosen timeline.

Our ultimate goal at EMSG is to help you enter the market successfully, but also in a competitive and reliable environment. We understand that every business is unique and that the design and specifications of your components require personalized attention. We can and will give you the absolute focus and dedication you need to ensure every job exceeds your expectations.

We are very confident that EMSG will play an integral role in your product design and development. The information presented here barely scratches the surface of what it takes to undertake and run a professional repair and overhaul service. You can be confident that we have the skills, experience and tools to get you to market as quickly as possible.

If you are interested in our fabrication or repair services, please fill outthis contact formand let us get to you. You can alsocall usspeak with a company representative at any time.


How do you repair a PCB circuit board? ›

HOW-TO: PCB Trace Repair With a Wire Jumper
  1. Step 1: Scrape away resist from repair areas. ...
  2. Step 2: Clean and tin exposed contact areas. ...
  3. Step 3: Choose a strip of wire to replace the conductor. ...
  4. STEP 4: Strip and tin each end of wire jumper. ...
  5. STEP 5: Solder one end of the wire. ...
  6. STEP 6: Form wire as needed.

What are the 7 types of PCB testing methods? ›

7 PCB Testing Methods You Need to Know
  • In-circuit testing.
  • Flying probe testing.
  • Automated optical inspection (AOI)
  • Burn-in testing.
  • X-Ray inspection.
  • Functional testing.
  • Other functional testing (solderability, contamination, and more)
Jun 13, 2022

What are the common faults in a PCB? ›

Common PCB assembly defects and faults from poorly manufactured components include connection issues and loose parts. Additionally, residual flux, a substance used during soldering, left on a PCB panel can do major damage and can lead to the need for circuit board repairs.

Can a damaged PCB be repaired? ›

Luckily, it's possible to repair or remanufacture boards to make them like new again. This does one of two things. Either the board in question can be returned to its original device, making it function again. Or, it can be used in a completely different device, as a form of recycling if you will.

What is main PCB failure? ›

Typically, the most common causes of PCB failures can be attributed to: Component Design Failure: Incorrect placement of components, power failure, and overheating due to lack of space on the PCB, are just a few examples of things that can go wrong at the design and manufacturing stage. Related Issues: Soldering Issues.

What are the four 4 types of systems tests? ›

There are four main stages of testing that need to be completed before a program can be cleared for use: unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing.

What are the 5 testing methods? ›

There are many different types of testing, but for this article we will stick to the core five components of testing:
  • 1) Unit Tests. ...
  • 2) Integration/System Tests. ...
  • 3) Functional Tests. ...
  • 4) Regression Tests. ...
  • 5) Acceptance Tests.
Jun 6, 2017

What are two common problems when troubleshooting a circuit board? ›

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) are two issues that are common on PCBs.

What is the 7 factors making some common causes of failure in an engineering material? ›

The chapter assumes that all failures, without exception, belong to one or more of the seven cause categories or failure-cause classifications—namely, (1) faulty design, (2) material defects, (3) fabrication or processing errors, (4) assembly or installation defects, (5) off-design or unintended service conditions, (6) ...

How do you diagnose and repair circuit boards? ›

  1. Inspect Visual Elements. When troubleshooting circuit boards, the first thing you should do is carefully look over the circuit board. ...
  2. Inspect Physical Components. ...
  3. Test Individual Components. ...
  4. Test Integrated Circuits. ...
  5. Inspect The Power Supply. ...
  6. Compare a Defective Circuit Board With a Good One. ...
  7. Signal Probing.
Aug 10, 2022

What are the four basic circuit faults? ›

There are a total of four possible failures that can take place in an electrical circuit: an open circuit, high resistance, short-to-ground and short-to-power.

What are the 4 electrical faults? ›

Types of Faults
  • Open Circuit Faults. These faults occur due to the failure of one or more conductors. ...
  • Short Circuit Faults. ...
  • Symmetrical and Unsymmetrical Faults.
Nov 12, 2015

How do I troubleshoot a bad PCB? ›

How to Test a Circuit Board
  1. Key Takeaways. A list of basic tools for circuit board testing. ...
  2. Start with a Visual Inspection. Look for burnt components during your visual inspection. ...
  3. Check the Power Module. ...
  4. Check the Input/Output Ports. ...
  5. Check Communication Ports.
Mar 17, 2022

Can rubbing alcohol damage PCB? ›

Isopropyl alcohol is a great circuit board cleaner because it is cheap, widely available and evaporates quickly. Compared to other cleaners, alcohol contains fewer chemicals. It is also relatively non-toxic. Isopropyl alcohol used to clean PCBs should be 90% grade or better.

How long should a PCB board last? ›

The right PCB manufacturer will provide you with a quality product that is made from durable materials. But even if you get the best PCB on the market, it still won't last forever. On average, PCBs get about 50-70 years of use, under the right conditions.

Is it worth replacing PCB board? ›

The main benefit of replacing a PCB, particularly if it is an OEM part, is that it will restore the function of your electronic device to its original specifications. For safety equipment, medical devices and avionics, replacing PCBs may be the only way to meet industry standards.

How do you know which component is bad PCB? ›

Visual Inspection: Visual inspection is the most common type of inspection during PCB assembly. Specific equipment for conducting visual inspection can be done on the basis of inspection targets. Reflow solder joints on a PCB are commonly inspected using a prism which helps in identifying various manufacturing defects.

What are the most essential common causes of circuit failure? ›

Failures can be caused by excess temperature, excess current or voltage, ionizing radiation, mechanical shock, stress or impact, and many other causes. In semiconductor devices, problems in the device package may cause failures due to contamination, mechanical stress of the device, or open or short circuits.

What causes PCB board to fail? ›

PCB's are sensitive creatures. Exposure to heat, dust and moisture, accidental impact (drops and falls), and power overloads/surges can all be causes of circuit board failure. However, the most damaging cause of premature circuit board failure is electrostatic discharge (ESD) at the assembly stage.

What are the 6 types of tests? ›

Six types of assessments are:
  • Diagnostic assessments.
  • Formative assessments.
  • Summative assessments.
  • Ipsative assessments.
  • Norm-referenced assessments.
  • Criterion-referenced assessments.
Sep 24, 2021

What does SDLC stand for? ›

Definition. The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a structured process that enables the production of high-quality, low-cost software, in the shortest possible production time.

What are the 7 principles of testing? ›

The seven principles of testing
  • Testing shows the presence of defects, not their absence. ...
  • Exhaustive testing is impossible. ...
  • Early testing saves time and money. ...
  • Defects cluster together. ...
  • Beware of the pesticide paradox. ...
  • Testing is context dependent. ...
  • Absence-of-errors is a fallacy.

What are the 5 most important components in test plan? ›

Planning Resource Allocation. Planning Setup of Test Environment. Determine test schedule and estimation. Establish Test Deliverables.

What is the most common testing method? ›

One of the most common software testing methods is black box testing. As the name suggests, it is like treating the software product as a black box. Testers perform testing without knowing the overall content of the software. The testing process is a simple input-process-output paradigm.

How do you repair a circuit board without soldering? ›

First, heat up your glue gun. Once heated, hold the glue gun perpendicular to the twisted wires and squeeze a glob of glue onto them. Next, with the nozzle of the glue gun or a pencil, swirl the glue around the wires. Swirling the glue forms a better bond then just leaving the glob of glue how it is.

Can you put glue on a PCB? ›

It is an adhesive central to attaching electronic components to a PCB board. There are two common types of PCB glue include the RTV super glue, which essentially does not release an acid during curing. Also, cyanoacrylate super glue (CA) is helpful in instant gluing applications.

How do I know if a PCB fuse is blown? ›

Remove the fuse from its holder. In some cases you may need a small screwdriver to unscrew the fuse holder cap. Look at the fuse wire. If there is a visible gap in the wire or a dark or metallic smear inside the glass then the fuse is blown and needs to be replaced.

Is there a glue that works like solder? ›

If you've ever soldered or welded, you'll know that things get pretty hot. MesoGlue intends to fix that.

What is the alternative for soldering? ›

You can use anything that is able to heat a piece of metal up to the melting point of your solder (between 400°F / 200°C and 700°F / 370°C). Butane lighters work the best. But you can also use candles, oil lamps, alcohol burners, or even open camp fires.


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