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I want to unambiguously refer to an assembled PCB that has been tested. I am familiar with the terms:

  • PCB - unpopulated printed circuit board
  • PCBA - PCB assembly, a PCB with all the parts fitted and soldered

Does anyone know a standard term for a PCBA that has been through test (assuming a single testing procedure)? I would probably refer to it as a tested PCBA (TPCBA) but this seems clumsy.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Even PCBA is unknown to me -.- \$\endgroup\$
    – Dzarda
    May 18 '16 at 9:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could even go further with this as there are usually several levels of being tested... \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    May 18 '16 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH this is true - I have worked at places where we had pre-test, HV pre-pot (encapsulation) test, post-pot test and final test. Hence I mention assuming a single test :) \$\endgroup\$
    – stefandz
    May 18 '16 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ TPCB would be as unambiguous as TPCBA (since bare-board test will be a manuracturing step in your case, and not observable) \$\endgroup\$ May 20 '16 at 19:37
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If the purpose is for colloquial reference, say in a meeting, I've heard sayings like "installation ready", "customer ready", or "programming ready". More generically, "Foo ready" implies that all steps needed to get to step foo have been completed and Foo can commence.

If this is for a production process then the only safe procedure is to have a paper or electronic work order attached to that serial number and a work culture that sticks to it. A good shop order process and a tight chain of custody between work cells should be the only proof that it's ready for an installation or shipment. No amount of stickers, ambiguous names, or labeled buckets will replace the history and pedigree provided by a work order with testing results, rework orders, and QA sign-offs attached to the back.

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My place of work uses the terms PCB and PCBA. We generally have the manufacturer do the testing, so we never see the untested parts. However, I expect it would work similar to how we treat non-programmed parts vs. programmed parts: I think your best bet might be to use a different part number to call out a tested PCBA vs. an untested one. For example, PCBA #11111 could be untested, and PCBA #11112 could be tested. The tested P/N would be put on a sticker and placed somewhere on the board. I would think this would be the standard way of doing it.

EDIT: I was just thinking about this further and there are actually some parts we build and test in-house (not my department though). They do indeed use different part numbers throughout the process.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the insight - always interesting to hear how others do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – stefandz
    May 18 '16 at 12:45

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