Weed Out Unreliable Automotive PCB Manufacturers with these 5 Clever Tricks

As we continue to evolve our automobile technology, we need reliable printed circuit boards to do the dirty work of processing all our demands. Our vehicles nowadays are becoming reliant on technological processes that involve printed circuit boards (PCB). The electronic automotive industry is growing at an incredible speed, with profits now reaching into the billions every year.

Obviously, in our free market system, there are many different providers for this type of technology, but not all of them should be assumed to provide impeccable products. Reliable providers of automotive technology have a few different ways they make sure that their products are up to standard.

Here are the five ways you can tell if your automotive, printed circuit board manufacturer produces a high-quality product or not.

Quality Control System

Any automotive PCB manufacturer worth their salt will be abiding by a quality control system that is in compliance with the regulations of ISO/TS16949, which is a global quality control system put in place at the turn of the century. This new standard focuses on preventing defects in automotive PCB technology and requires many different steps to be taken before a product is to hit the market.

Products need to meet customer approval. This requires additional quality plans and analysis and the implementation of methods to prevent product failure. Statistics are then used to measure the reliability the products and the methods used to test them.

Performance Requirements

When it comes to reliability of automotive PCB’s, they need to be resistant to environmental factors and have a long lifespan. Automotive PCBs should last at least ten years without malfunctioning.

They should be able to withstand:

  • Cold and hot temperatures
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Sunlight
  • Vibration
  • Humidity
  • Fog
  • Power surges
  • Electromagnetic interference

With the increase in demand for smaller/denser PCBs, these units need to be sufficiently lightweight and small in size.

Automotive PCB Categories

Not all PCBs used in automobiles are the same. For an automotive PCB provider, there should be different categories for the various types of PCBs.

A few types include:

  • Inorganic ceramic-based PCBs
  • Organic resin-based PCBs
  • Flex and Rigid PCBs
  • Multi-layered PCBs
  • HDI PCBs
  • Component-embedded PCBs
Reliability Requirements

Aside from the normal product reliability requirements, automotive PCBs need to be put through extensive reliability testing to ensure they do not fail customers on the road. PCBs should undergo a thermal cycling test, thermal shock test, and a temperature-humidity-bias test.

Manufacturing Characteristics

Automotive PCBs need to be built with the highest quality materials to ensure proper function out on the road.

These materials include:

  • High-frequency substrate boards
  • Thick copper
  • Component embedded PCBs
  • HDI technology

This additional quality check will ensure that the automotive PCBs never fail and can communicate with smartphones and other PCBs throughout the automobile.

Automotive PCBs are some of the most important pieces of technology we make today. Ensuring their quality is crucial to providing functional vehicles to the public. If an automotive PCB manufacturer does not comply with these five guidelines, they are probably unsafe and not worth your time.

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