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Functional Circuit Test in PCB Assembly

Functional Circuit Test is the last inspection before PCBA products come into market. Unlike other inspections like AOI, AXI and ICT, FCT aims to keep the UUT (Unit Under Test) working under simulated environment and inspect the actual performance with the output data.

Functional Circuit Inspection

Functional Circuit Inspection

As one of inspection method in PCBA, FCT is usually placed after the ICT, AOI or X-ray inspection and before the system online testing, which is the most efficient way to inspect the quality of UUT. Other inspection methods, such as ICT, AOI and X-ray, are able to detect the components, soldering but they fail to ensure that the UUT can work well for the test coverage and components’ function. Functional circuit test is irreplaceable in some manufacturing processes that need the adjustment and calibration.

Functional Circuit Test has the advantage of intuitive and it is the only means to inspect that whether UUT can work normally. Its high credibility and high test coverage make it more competitive in PCBA inspection. But functional circuit test typically cannot provide in-depth data, such as foot-level and component-level diagnosis for process improvement. Besides, it also need the strong support of specific equipments and specially designed inspection process. Therefore, FCT is still not wildly used in most of PCB production lines.

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