This post will talk about one thing only: Printed Circuit Boards, or PCBs for short. You must know that the world of technology keeps expanding as new devices, gadgets, and equipment make their way into our lives. What keeps the electrical appliances and equipment running? Is there a core component without which your electrical device, like a smartphone, laptop, or vacuum cleaner, won’t work? Yes!
Printed Circuit Boards or PCBs are the core components of many electrical devices. In technical terms, a PCB creates conductive pathways to connect and mechanically support electrical components. We won’t be talking in purely scientific and mathematical lingo – don’t worry! Let’s find out what a PCB refers to and what it does.
What Do You Define a PCB in Technical Terms?
Here’s how you define a Printed Circuit Board or PCB:
“A PCB forms the board base for connecting and supporting multiple electrical components using the surface mount technology to run electronic products.”
Have you ever accidentally cracked open your phone or even an electronic toy? Did you see a green electric board with numerous wires attached to different parts of the individual item? Well, that’s a PCB! It has socketed or open components that transfer electrical signals and conductive traces through conductive pathways to run an electronic product.
Like animal and plant cells require a nucleus at the center to function and coordinate other mechanisms, nearly every electronic product requires circuit boards. A more technical term for circuit boards is “printed circuit boards”. Many standard devices like laptops, smartphones, and even vacuum cleaners won’t work without PCBs.
How Do Factories Make PCBs?
PCBs are electrical circuit boards in various shapes, sizes, and designs. Since PCBs fit many electronic product categories, they are not the same. Factories are the production houses for PCBs where electrical circuit boards get fused with electrical components to produce PCBs!
Every PCB is different yet vital to the functionality of the device it’s for. The most standard version of a PCB is a plastic board covered with fiberglass. Having a non-conductive plastic board is essential to make a high-quality PCB. The manufacturers create small conductive pathways on that board to mount and connect multiple electrical components.
The conductive traces (pathways) assist components in passing electric signals through the PCB. A PCB contains numerous holes to fit each component. First, manufacturers add a soldering paste to the board, passing it through the “pick and place” technique where components are attached to it.
Second, it goes through the soldering process to permanently attach every component to the board. Then, the board goes through physical and functional inspection (testing phase) to ensure high-quality production. Finally, the factories receive test feedback and performance reports before readying the PCBs for supply to the market.
What Happens When a PCB Corrupts or Malfunctions in a Device?
Printed Circuit Boards or PCBs are the core components of electronic devices. So, when you take out the PCBs or if it malfunctions, the device will probably stop functioning. Even if a single important component malfunctions on the PCB, the whole device could malfunction or stop working altogether.
Fixing PCBs as soon as they get damaged or malfunction is the best approach, especially when it’s an essential household or personal devices like a smartphone or laptop. There could be dozens of issues and reasons behind a PCB not functioning correctly, including:
- Poor soldering
- Low-quality soldering paste
- Damage in the assembling process
- Heat-up issues
- Poor-quality components
You will only have a limited range of electronic products if factories stop producing electrical products, mainly printed circuit boards. You can only imagine how far the effect of PCBs travels in our daily lives. PCBs are in numerous devices, from personal hygiene products to military equipment and navigational systems.