Introduction to ICT testing in PCB assembly

ICT testing overview

ICT (In-Circuit Test) test, which is a circuit test performed during the circuit board assembly process, is a key link to ensure the quality of PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly).

ICT testing uses specialized test fixtures and testing software to test the electrical performance of every electronic component on the PCBA to ensure that it meets the design requirements and works normally.

Purpose of ICT testing

The main purpose of ICT testing is to ensure the assembly quality of the circuit board by testing the electrical characteristics of each electronic component during the PCBA manufacturing process, such as the electrical parameters of resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, ICs, etc. Through ICT testing, potential electrical faults can be discovered and eliminated in time to avoid problems such as unstable performance or damage to the product during use.

Principles of ICT testing

The principle of ICT testing is to use special test fixtures to connect each electronic component on the PCBA to the test equipment, and use test software to excite and measure the circuit. The test equipment will send test signals to each component in the circuit and measure its response signal. By comparing the preset electrical parameter range, it can determine whether the electrical performance of the component is normal.

ICT testing process

  1. Test fixture design: Design a special test fixture based on the circuit diagram and component layout of the PCB to ensure that the test points on the test fixture correspond to the component pins on the PCBA.
  2. Test program writing: According to the circuit diagram and test requirements, write the corresponding test program, set test parameters and judgment standards.
  3. Test fixture production: Make the actual test fixture based on the designed test fixture drawings.
  4. PCBA placement: Place the PCBA on the test fixture to ensure that each component pin is in close contact with the test point on the test fixture.
  5. Test execution: Start the test equipment, run the test program, and test the electrical performance of the PCBA.
  6. Test result analysis: The test equipment will automatically determine whether the electrical performance of each component is normal based on the preset judgment standards and generate a test report.
  7. Fault location and repair: For PCBAs that fail the test, locate and repair the faulty components based on the fault information in the test report.

Advantages of ICT testing

  1. High efficiency: ICT testing can automatically test the electrical performance of every component on the PCBA, greatly improving testing efficiency.
  2. High accuracy: Through specialized testing equipment and testing software, ICT testing can accurately measure the electrical parameters of components to ensure the accuracy of test results.
  3. Accurate fault location: ICT testing can generate detailed test reports, accurately pointing out the location and type of faulty components, which facilitates fault repair.
  4. Reduce the rate of defective products: Through ICT testing, potential electrical faults can be discovered and eliminated in time during the production process, thereby reducing the rate of defective products and improving product quality.

Limitations of ICT testing

  1. The cost of test fixtures is high: Since special test fixtures need to be designed for each type of PCBA, the production cost of test fixtures is high.
  2. Difficulty in maintaining test fixtures: As products are updated, test fixtures also need to be constantly updated, making maintenance difficult.
  3. High skill requirements for testers: ICT testing requires specialized testing equipment and testing software, which requires high skill requirements for testers.


In general, ICT testing is an indispensable part of the PCB assembly process. It can effectively ensure that the electrical performance of PCBA meets design requirements and improve product quality and customer satisfaction.

Although ICT testing has certain limitations, with the continuous advancement of technology and reduction of costs, it is still one of the most commonly used electrical performance testing methods in the PCB assembly process.

The above is a detailed introduction to ICT testing in PCB assembly. I hope it will be helpful to you. For more information, it is recommended to consult a professional PCB assembly and testing service provider.

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