Sensor-enabled PCBs to aid right first time manufacture through defect prediction

© 2014 IEEE. Prevention of defects can reduce waste and aid lean strategies such as right first time manufacture. The prediction of defects leads to prevention; however accurate prediction requires a high understanding of the domain and mechanics of each defect. For a prediction simulation to adapt to a manufacturing line's conditions requires timely information about the products being manufactured. In this paper, research into the addition of a sensory circuit to a PCB in order to monitor defects through its manufacture into a PCBA is outlined. Manual handling and the number of thermal cycles are attributors to many of a product's potential defects. The use of an accelerometer and temperature sensor in a circuit alongside a processor and RFID chip is presented. The use of RFID allows the board to communicate to the manufacturing line, increasing the current state of intelligence for this type of product. The use of an RFID chip also allows data storage for both manufacturing information as well as sensory information. This intelligence capability could be added to the PCB in one of two ways; embedding within the layers of the board or by integrating into a pallet or carrier which the PCB will be associated with throughout its manufacture.