Printed Circuit Board Repair | Tools, Equipment, Process
Learn about Printed Circuit Board Repair – Tools, Equipment, Soldering Consumables and Process to Repair any PCB of Mobile Phone, TV, Laptop Motherboard.
Printed Circuit Board Repair will continue to be always there since PCB Manufacturing and Assembly Process is Not a Zero-Defect Business. There are going to be defects either at Production Level or Later.
Here I will discuss about all the tools , equipment, soldering consumables and soldering process to repair any PCB including that of a Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Tablet, Laptop, Computer Mother Board, TV or any other PCB in the world. Remember the Basics of Electronics and all the Electronic Components are more or less the same. It is just the PCB Design and placement of electronic components that are different in different Types of PCB.
Basic Requirements to Repair any Printed Circuit Board
1. Confidence NOT Qualification
I have seen many many experienced technicians who are illiterate and still they can repair almost any Circuit Board. Even the boards that they have never seen in their life. This proves that confidence is more important that qualification to do this job.
2. Desire to Learn
Irrespective of qualification, if a person wants to do PCB Repair Business, then he must have the desire to learn from within. You should be able to handle all types of electronic gadgets, disassemble them and assemble them back.
3. Basic Knowledge of Circuit and Components
In order to do PCB repairing, you must understand How Electronic Circuit Works and Electronic Components and their Function. Until and Unless you know these Basics, you will never be able to do this job. You should know How to Identify Parts & Components on PCB.
4. How to Use a Multimeter
This is the most important requirement to do Printed Circuit Board Repair. You must know How to Use a Multimeter. There are Online Tutorial and Videos on YouTube to learn it quite easily.
5. How to Use Soldering Iron
Finally you must know how to solder using a soldering iron or a soldering station. Though this is very easy and one can learn it pretty quickly with little hands-on practice.
Tools and Equipment Needed for PCB Repairing
You will need following tools and equipment to do soldering and repairing of a PCB:
- For Mass PCB Repair, a Company will need a Selective Soldering Machine. This machine selectively Picks and Places all the Components and does soldering automatically.
- Soldering Station or Soldering Iron: You will need a Good Quality Soldering Iron or Temperature Controlled Soldering Station. Goot Soldering Iron is the Best.
- Desoldering Pump and Desolder Wire: A soldering iron is used to melt solder from leads of the faulty component and this molten solder then sucked-in using a desoldering pump. Desolder wire or wick is used to remove excess solder that remains on the board.
- PCB Holder and Magnifying Lamp: A PCB Holder is used to hold the PCB form easy of soldering and desoldering. A magnifying lamp is used to see tiny components enlarged.
- Multimeter: A multimeter is needed to check the Tracks and Faulty Components.
- Electronic Repair Tool Kit: Instead of buying all the tools separately, a technician can buy a Tools Kit that has all the necessary items to do PCB Repairing.
Soldering Consumables Needed
You will need following soldering consumables:
- Solder Wire: For hand soldering, you will need good quality solder wire. It can be Leaded solder wire or Lead-Free Solder Wire. Alpha Cookson Solder Wire is the Best.
- Solder Bar or Paste: For dip soldering you will need a solder pot and solder bar. If you are doing repairing SMD Components, then you will need Solder Paste and a Hot Air SMD Rework Station.
- Flux: It is needed to remove Oxide and other impurities from the Copper Track of the Circuit Board and Component Leads. A Good Quality Flux is a Must.
Printed Circuit Board Repair Process
Using a Multimeter, identify the faulty component. As I told earlier you need little experience and practice to understand how a circuit and electronic components work. With little training and practice anyone can do it easily.
Using a Soldering Iron, remove the faulty thru-hole component. For SMD Components, use a hot air blower to remove it.
Clean the circuit nicely using a desoldering pump and desoldering wire.
To Replace a faulty thru-hole component, insert the component in the holes. Apple Flux at the Junction of the Hole and Component Lead. If you are Using Flux-Cored Solder Wire then there is no need to use flux. Now using the solder wire and soldering iron do the hand soldering. Cut extra length of the component if required.
To Replace a faulty SMD component, apple Flux on the circuit and then apply Solder Paste. Hold the component at place using a Tweezers and Apply Heat using a Hot Air SMD Rework Station. Solder paste will melt and form solder joint. Don’t worry there won’t be any solder bridging.
- Active and Passive Electronic Components
- RoHS Guide in Electronics: RoHS, WEEE and Lead-Free FAQ
- PCB Manufacturing Process
- Electronic Circuits for Beginners
- What is Printed Circuit Board?
- Electronic Components Name Abbreviations and Symbols
- Basic Electronic Components – Types, Functions, Symbols
- Soldering in Electronics
- SMT Surface Mount Technology
- Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers