Electronic assemblies have been produced for many years now and one issue increasingly facing the industry is replacement of old assemblies, often used in large expensive equipment or systems.
Many companies do not maintain the essential information for the manufacture of the PCBA.
Either due to companies closing or simply their document control departments have failed to maintain records therefore gerber and specification information for the PCB are not available.
Nor is an up to date bill of material or circuit diagrams available.
Failure to be able to replace old PCBA or maintaining a stock for servicing or replacement can be extremely costly with potential high value systems becoming problematic due to PCBA fails. This is where PCBA reverse engineering or “Cloning” can help.
In addition component obsolescence adds to the challenge where many components are no longer available or have been updated.
On occasion a suitable alternative component cannot be found and this then requires the component itself to be reverse engineered.
This can present additional difficulties and is a highly specialised task.
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