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Circuit Board Assembly Inspection
Based on an original publication by O.C. White
Beyond the Naked Eye
Some circuit board assembly defects, such as surface board damage, misaligned components and soldering flaws, can easily be seen with the naked eye; others require more sophisticated equipment.
Visual inspection (about 80% accuracy) still serves as a primary way of inspecting completed printed circuit boards (PCBs). Highly trained inspectors look for many things when examining PCBs and know how to spot small flaws the untrained eye may miss. They also may be able to compare a series of matching boards side by side to identify defects. Not all defects, however, can be seen with the naked eye and with components becoming smaller and smaller, inspection requires more sophisticated equipment, like the microscope, to view miniaturized parts and assemblies.