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46 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 Feature by Jeff Beauchamp NCAB GROUP In our daily lives, we constantly interact with electronic products, and all of these products contain a printed circuit board (PCB). Because the PCB serves as the interconnect for all the various components required for the electronic system to function reliably, it is often referred to as the key component. Thus, it comes as no surprise that PCB reli- ability is a critical factor right from the start of the PCB production process. If a PCB has a reliability issue, the end product itself is at risk. The important thing is getting it right the first time. Trying to improve reliability once the product is designed and in production can lead to massively high costs for the product owner. In some cases, such as medical equipment or motor vehicles, it could even become a matter of life or death. Creating reliable PCBs is an outcome of con- sidering all aspects that can affect reliability as early as possible in the design process. The fur- ther down the design process, the more expen- sive and risky it can be to fix. Because its de- sign has been tailored to a specific function and application, you can't compare a PCB to other components. As a custom component, the PCB's role is critical. A good board design improves the reliability of the end product and lessens the risk of failure. Furthermore, as technology advances, design solutions become increasingly complex, which requires more comprehensive planning in terms of design and manufactur - ing. It follows, of course, that the more complex the function of the PCB, the more complex both construction and manufacturing becomes. A Guide to High-reliability PCBs From Design to Specification

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