Author Topic: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper  (Read 1414 times)

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Offline annaschmidtTopic starter

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Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« on: April 09, 2023, 10:53:09 am »
Does anyone know of alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper and do not require as much investment? maybe something with AI...
 

Offline redkitedesign

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2023, 12:20:54 pm »
Replacing under warranty (i.e. let your customers do the check).

Depending on your failure rate, this can be cheaper, and certainly does not cost a lot of investment.

On the other hand, inspection (by a person) does not require a lot of investment compared to automatic test stations. But in general, more information is needed to advise a proper quality assurance methodology.
 
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Offline annaschmidtTopic starter

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2023, 01:20:10 pm »
Sure, the idea is to automate as much as possible.
 

Offline annaschmidtTopic starter

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2023, 01:22:33 pm »
 :wtf:
 

Offline redkitedesign

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2023, 07:06:51 pm »
Sure, the idea is to automate as much as possible.

It depends on the numbers...

I've got a design here, one 44 pin TQFP, two SOIC's, a few SOT23 and about 20 0603 passives. And two connector blocks.

For a single prototype, the cheapest option is to let me build it manually. Costs $200 in hours, done. An far-east supplier might solder it for less, but the hassle to give them instructions, parts, wait for it, etc cost me more time than to build it myself. But no automation at all.

For a small (10 pieces) test run, there are a few european assembly houses that can do it for $50-$100 per board. Not cheap, but better than doing it myself. Some small automation, they'll probably place the SMD automatically, reflow, and solder the TH connectors manually.

For larger runs, the numbers change again. Then the connectors will be wave soldered. Too hard to setup for a small run.

Automation is nice, but only works in volumes.

For testing, the same  principle applies.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2023, 11:01:04 pm »
There are a few things you can do that help optical (machine or human) inspection:

- Create different silk screen outlines for SMT passives. In my designs resistors have 90 degree corners, capacitors have 4 rounded corners, inductors have 2 rounded / 2 90 degree corners. As these components look different, it is easy to spot if something ended up in the wrong place.

- Place 2 pin components with a polarity (like diodes and capacitors) in the same direction. If one is placed wrong, it will stand out.

- Don't put traces directly between pads from SMD chips because it will look like a solder bridge. Take the trace out of the pad under the solder mask and connect to the next pad. Prevent copper pours from connecting IC pads directly.

- Have clear pin 1 markers (like a small circle) on the silkscreen of chips which fall outside the package.

Last but not least it is also very helpfull to have clear pin 1 markers (again a small circle) for connectors but this is not so much for inspection; more for making it less error prone to connect the board.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline annaschmidtTopic starter

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2023, 07:36:51 am »
I understand, it's true, it only works with high volumes. Thanks for the info.
 

Offline annaschmidtTopic starter

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2023, 07:41:06 am »
Sure, it's true that optimizing the process is important, although you would need to not rely so much on detection by the human eye. Thank you!
 

Offline miguelfdez

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2023, 09:09:50 am »
Hi Anna, googling I found this. I don't know if it can help you for what you ask: [Removed Spam Link]
« Last Edit: April 12, 2023, 07:06:42 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2023, 09:18:04 am »
...and the AgnosPCB shills are back...
 
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Alternatives to PCBA inspection that are cheaper
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2023, 07:06:50 am »
...and the AgnosPCB shills are back...

Yep, banned.
 
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