Common Failure Modes of Printed Circuit Board Assemblies

Green Circuits PCB Assembly and Manufacturer

Printed circuit boards are integral components in all electronics from medical devices and wearables to satellites and airplanes. This is why understanding the causes of PCB failure and how to avoid them are critical. 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
  • Chemical (Fluid) Leakage
  • Component Barrier Breakage
  • Bad Component Placement
  • Burned Components

Poor Quality Components: Closely placed traces and pathways, bad soldering to cold joints, poor connectivity between circuit boards, insufficient board thickness, and use of counterfeit components are common examples of inferior PCB quality.

Related Issues:

  • Material Defects
  • Bending and Breaking

Environmental Factors: Exposure to heat, dust and moisture, accidental impact (drops and falls), and power overloads/surges can be causes of circuit board failure. However, the most damaging cause of premature circuit board failure is electrostatic discharge (ESD) at the assembly stage.

Related Issues:

  • Thermal Stress

Age: Failures caused by age cannot be avoided, but the costs of replacing components can be controlled by swapping old parts for new ones; which is more cost-effective than new PCB assembly.

A majority of failure issues can be addressed through rework after thorough inspection and analysis. However, the best way to reduce the risk of PCB failure issues is to partner with an experienced PCB assembly company.

About Green Circuits: an Experienced PCB Assembly Company

Green Circuits is an experienced ITAR and ISO-9000 Certified PCB assembly company, specializing in quick turn PCB prototype design, assembly, inspection, and rework. Green’s experts ensure product reliability and accuracy by performing thorough inspections and tests, using state-of-the-art equipment in our ESD-controlled facility, procuring premium quality PCB components, fully understanding manufacturing requirements, and actively communicating with all product-involved teams throughout the manufacturing process.

Green Circuits enables firms of all sizes to improve their production cycle while reducing manufacturing time and costs by providing an array of turnkey PCB assembly and manufacturing services to meet the needs and requirements of all production sizes.

For additional information about Green Circuits’ Failure Analysis Lab, engineering services, or other services required for your next project, contact Green Circuits today.