In search of the perfect board

Perfection is an elusive goal, but staffers throughout the supply chain are always striving to get as close as possible to the ideal assembly. One way to move closer to the goal of zero defects is to constantly search for new techniques that will eliminate or reduce problems.

Though quality levels have advanced greatly over the past several years, volumes have also risen steadily, so even when a small number of boars are defective, the numbers are still significant.

“Approximately 2.8 billion circuit boards enter the European market every year. Assume that 10% of all these have some sort of fault over time. This means that roughly 280 million electronic products will die an early death or need to be revived by making extensive and expensive repairs,” said Lars Wallin, IPC European Representative.

Next month, a two-day conference in Budapest, Hungary will provide a wealth of information for those who design and produce circuit boards. The Conference on Electronics Assembly: Soldering, Assembly & Inspection, which runs March 20-22, features a number of subject matter experts who will provide updated information on a number of different aspects of circuit board design and production.

Wallin noted that the financial benefits of improving quality can add a lot to a corporation’s bottom line. “Assume that you and your company have an article of 10,000 units per year with a unit price of 200€ and that the total scrap rate is 5%. In total, this will cost you 0.05 x 10,000 x 200 = 100,000€,” he said.

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