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PCB: REPAIR OR REPLACE?

“Your PCB is damaged.”

Does your mind go blank? Or you ask yourself “Huh? What is that? What causes it?”

Don’t worry about it. Let us go in depth about what this PCB is about.




WHAT IS PCB?

The term PCB is short for 'Printed Circuit Board.' These devices are comparable to the 'Motherboard' or CPU of a computer. It's worth mentioning that an AC still has a Motherboard.


A PCB is a greenish board that works as a wiring for various components like resistors, capacitors, transistors, and others. The connections between different components are called conductive trucks, and they are constructed of a copper layer that is masked with a fiberglass silkscreen.


A PCB's major job is to incorporate multiple components that allow it to conduct a certain instruction, data transfer, or compute the output to regulate the AC.



CAUSES OF DAMAGED PCB

PCB circuits are highly sensitive to a range of components including electrostatic discharge (ESD). It is important to recognize that even a little ESD discharge can damage PCB components. Other common causes of AC PCB failure include:


DEFECT

The most common reason for PCB failure is a defect. Defects frequently arise throughout the PCB assembly process.


PCBs are particularly vulnerable to electrostatic discharge (ESD), and while humans can only feel ESD at hundreds of volts, even the slightest discharge can cause a component fault. This can be latent (meaning the PCB is still working but has a lower dependability) or catastrophic (meaning permanent damage has been done.)


EXPOSURE TO NATURAL ELEMENTS

Circuit boards are also susceptible to environmental variables. Heat and humidity may cause PCBs to expand, which can lead to warping and potentially broken soldered junctions. As a result, PCB manufacture is often performed in a climate-controlled facility where humidity is managed at a safe level.


Foreign debris that comes into touch with a board might also have negative consequences. Many things can get into your assembly and cause it to overheat, including dust, moisture and heat.


SMALL INSECTS

Cockroaches, for example, are well-known for their preference for warm environments. As a result, they are frequently hidden in electrical and electronic equipment that generate heat. As a result, if a cockroach gets inside the circuit board, it is quite likely to cause damage through short circuits, static charges, and other means.


LIFESPAN

PCBs mature in the same way as people do, rather than in the same way that fine wine does. They start to break down as they become older.


After approaching the end of their predicted life cycle, components begin to break, and the PCB must be repaired or replaced. A board may frequently be repaired for a fraction of the cost of a new PCB, making contract manufacturers that provide aftermarket services an useful asset to have on hand.



TO REPAIR OR REPLACE?

The good news is that a PCB may be fixed; nevertheless, it is a procedure that necessitates technical expertise as well as proper diagnostic and repairing tools.


Some circuit boards, however, cannot be repaired on-site and must be repaired in a workshop. Following repairs, a test must be performed to determine whether or not the PCB is working.


It is usually preferable to replace a defective PCB than attempt to fix it. This is due to the fact that the repairing procedure may take longer and necessitate the services of a qualified specialist, which may prove to be costly for you. In fact, if everything else fails and the AC's PCB in question has been discontinued, experts and technicians propose repairs as a final resort.


Let's not forget about the risk factor in repairs. In other words, there is always a big threat of mistakes when it comes to repairs.



CONCLUSION

PCB can be damaged even in a fairly new system as it is highly sensitive. So, you now understand what causes a PCB to fail, and ideally, you've learnt how to avoid such failures. Replacing components and modifying designs are, at the end of the day, part of the job of working with PCBs. Having a technician that understands PCB testing, assembly, and remanufacturing can help you save time and money.


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