Printed Circuit Board Repair vs Rework, what is the difference?
Printed Circuit Board Repair and Rework are common terms we use today. They refer to modifying hardware to bring existing or newly manufactured products to market. In this blog, we’ll share the difference and general use cases.
What is ” Printed Circuit Board Repair”?
At Renova, we refer to “Repair” for ongoing support to extend the product life cycle of equipment in the field. In most cases, “Repair” is fixing an electronic device or module due to normal wear or other contributing factors such as a power surge, moisture, poor soldering, etc. Renova normally replaces components that we believe may have contributed to the failure or may contribute to a future failure.
In most cases, the repair is supported –by a supply chain program such as advanced exchange (AEX). In AEX, units that were previously repaired (safety stock) can quickly be deployed back to the field for warranty support. Repair/AEX programs can be used for maintaining warranty and out-of-warranty equipment.
Manufacturers are turning to printed circuit board and aftermarket programs (Article by Deloitte) to quickly deploy product back to the field.
At Renova, we handle “Warranty Support” for internal repair and field service teams. We also use the term, “RMA” otherwise known as Request Merchandise Authorization. Depending on our manufacturer’s customer needs, warranty support is either for in-warranty products coming back from the end-user.
Ok, so “Rework”?
Since repair generally speaks to in or out-of-warranty support, “Rework” is a different level altogether. Typically “Rework” is performed before a new product is even deployed. Perhaps it is a modification of this new product to enable it to function differently. Perhaps Engineering determined these changes were necessary or to help extend the product lifecycle of an existing product that was recalled from the field. Often, Contract manufacturers and even the manufacturer need to make a product change to a new and existing piece of equipment.
As mentioned, Rework can stem from a variety of factors such as a configuration change, a troublesome capacitor/part, replacement of ball grid array component (BGA), or the need to upgrade a processor. In some cases, the definitions can blur, however, at its core, we are still performing a “Repair.” The difference is the product has been modified.
In some situations, new products can be quickly modified to replace a defective part than perform an entirely new contract manufacturing run. At Renova, “Rework” results from our customer using that well-known phrase, “Houston we have a problem!”
Our customers are just not set up to bring all this equipment back to the contract manufacturer, the OEM, or the responsible party. Bringing product back in, testing it, sorting and categorizing it – all that can be pretty gnarly. But that is our specialty. Therefore, our customers know that the most effective way to solve this challenge using a partner like Renova Technology to get through either a small batch to a volume-based repair production line.
Repair is mostly for in or out-of-warranty support and RMA support. Rework is how we help solve manufacturer and contract manufacturer challenges with a newly manufactured product or reconfiguring or upgrading an existing product (from the field) instead of starting from scratch.
Still, Stumbling on the differences?
Check out our full breakdown of “PCB Repair” and “PCB Rework” service lines at Renova Technology to learn more and everything in between. Regardless of the differences, the first step at Renova is to bring in a small sample and share our best practices for building the above programs