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The Significance of Circuit Board Testers and Methods for PCB Repair

PCBs that are newly manufactured aren’t usually apt. This means that manufacturers could weld some of the parts poorly and the components would fail. This is why it is important that you understand how the circuit board tester works. This allows you to understand when there is a fault beforehand. This is why it is important to know the tests to conduct and the instruments to make use of.

Advantages of the Circuit Board Tester

  • Reduces repair costs: Any faults can be reduced before you start enjoying the use of your PCB.
  • You can make bulk purchase of PCB products knowing well that you can reduce the quantity of returned products
  • PCB components that are poorly assembled can result in much risk when handled. When you check beforehand, it could serve as a lifesaver to you as well as everyone around you
  • Manufacturers know that they could lose their businesses as well as their customers. Therefore proper testing and care strategies are very important to them.
  • Reduces wastage: Testers make use of small-scale prototypes and assemblies rather than complete products. After full testing, you can throw the prototype away without having to lose the full-scale crowd.

Categories of Circuit Board Testers

Circuit Board Tester
Circuit Board Tester

Circuit Board Tester for Visual Inspection

This is the easiest and simplest type of inspection because it deals with a visual check. What this means is that the PCB distributor or buyer only needs to check the board of the product with his or her bare eyes or utilize a magnification tester or equipment.

Note that this inspection method is the cheapest, so far you don’t use magnification equipment. Things are done easily and the shortest time is taken. Considering the downside, you may miss out on important components like hidden solder joints.

Check for open circuits and short circuits

Handling open and short circuits could be frustrating. This holds true most especially when they disturb the average PCB current flow. Therefore, with early detection, future disturbances are prevented. Circuits can be quickly inspected virtually. All you need to do is have an accurate view of the OCB’s entire surface

V/I Test Signature Analysis

This is a troubleshooting non-powered inspection technique for a complete faultiness in a PCB. To do this, you can make use of a current/voltage tester. Here, you will be measuring the current and voltage response of the network. On a waveform, there would be a vertical deflection for the current, while horizontal deflection is seen for voltage.

Methods for Circuit Board Testers

PCB distributors or buyers have to know the different test methods. These testing methods are very important to the electronic contract manufacturers. They provide different testing methods to customers because they know the consequences that come with failed printed circuit boards. Here are some of the reliable circuit board tests.

Circuit Board Tester for In-Circuit Test

This is also called bed-of-nails test and it is utilized by the PCB operators and ECMs for powering up and stimulating any discrete circuitry present on the circuit board. The most recommended PCB testers type is the in-circuit testing. It is expensive; however the prices might vary from one of the PCB fixture size and board to the other.

Also, in-circuit test checks for capacitors, resistors, open circuits, as well as other components. The circuit board users would understand if your assembly is right.

Circuit Tester Board for Flying probe test

This is also called fixtureless in-circuit test. It is a cheaper testing method in contrast to the in-circuit test. This reduced cost could be due to the fact that they don’t have fixtures. These fixtures are referred to as the costliest equipment used. The fixtureless testers feature scarce limitations on the board contact.

These boards could be tested with different nets. In addition, they could let test developers finish programs quickly.

Automated Optical Inspection

This is another important technique applied by the ECMs during the process of manufacturing and then testing of the equipment with the printed circuit boards. This allows for precise and quick inspection of the PCB products. This leads to an overall improvement of the overall quality of the board. However, it does not power the board up, let alone all the parts that don’t have full coverage.

Aging Test

The manufacturers usually carry out this test in determining a PCB board’s operational life. The thermal aging testing is the best-known aging test type. The TAT tests a board components’ aptitude to hold back harsh environmental conditions even for long periods.

TAT could help in stimulating high temperature as well as a full PCB assembly analysis chamber. Due to the placement of the components under harsh temperature conditions, the method helps in the acceleration of the process of aging.

X-ray Inspection

The technological steps used in PCB creation have resulted in the sophisticated products that are sold in the marketplace. With respect to these circumstances, you won’t miss out on densely populated products. Therefore it is impossible to see some solder connections that are hidden. Therefore, for this case, the X-ray inspection equipment can be utilized. It comes with benefits that other methods of testing don’t provide like the detailed inspection of the solder joints.

PCB components are known to absorb x-rays with respect to its atomic weight. What we mean is that heavier elements usually absorb more, while lighter ones usually drink less.

Circuit board tester for functional tests

From the name, functional testers help in testing the circuit’s functions. The staff handling the testing will make use of the test in confirming that the product will work. This is usually conducted at the concluding stages of manufacturing. This ensures the parts manufactured won’t fail instantly or soon after testing.


We hope the information provided on the circuit tester board has allowed you to choose the different testers and carry out your inspection. Some of the circuit board testers are higher than others. After going through, you should have your own experience to enable you to verify the article.

As regards clarifications, queries, or comments, you can contact us. As usual, we are always happy to share our knowledge and discuss with you.




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