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Control board and Connectors Control board and Connectors

Summary

  • Failure mode PCB or connector design faults and programming issues can lead to picture and sound faults.
  • Durability feature Good PCB design, firm fixing to the chassis to prevent flex and thorough inspection/ testing. Firmware upgradeability is also desirable.
  • Cost

Good practices

  • Good practicesTV rigidity to reduce PCB flex/connector strain when TV moved
  • Good practicesPCBs supported on metal chassis
  • Good practicesSurface mounted components
  • Good practicesSoldered connections
  • Good practicesFlex resilient connectors
  • Good practicesUse of heat sinks
  • Good practicesSelf-diagnostic fault codes
  • Good practicesPCB inspection/QC procedures
  • Good practicesTV testing

Bad practices

  • Bad practicesPCBs supported off plastic case
  • Bad practicesPoor quality PCBs
  • Bad practicesSpade connectors without solder
  • Bad practicesConnectors that cannot flex
  • Bad practicesThrough hole components
  • Bad practicesNo heat sinks on PCB
  • Bad practicesNo fault diagnostics
  • Bad practicesNo PCB inspection
  • Bad practicesNo TV testing

Key facts

  • People expect TVs to last 5 to 10 years.
  • Barriers to buying own-brand products is the perception that they are less reliable. 

Icon key

  • Failure mode Failure mode
  • Durability features Durability features
  • Cost saving Cost saving
  • Low cost Low cost
  • Cost neutral Cost neutral
  • High cost High cost

Specification for improved performance

The specification below provides the recommended improvements needed to improve product durability. They are ranked from bronze to gold based on the effectiveness of the change in improving durability, with bronze being the minimum and gold being the maximum.

Better design and manufacture of PCBs and connectors

  • Provide good TV rigidity to reduce PCB flex/connector strain through stronger case materials (e.g. PC-ABS); firm attachment of PCBs to chassis
  • Key components to be surface mounted on the control board PCB
  • Soldered connections to be used where this will not inhibit replacement of the control board PCB or key components on it
  • Ribbon connectors to be used between components/PCBs where possible  
  • Critical components on control board PCB to be well spaced and/or with adequate heat sinks to prevent overheating
  • Easily accessible / replaceable control PCBs without special tools
  • Replacement PCBs available in the UK at a reasonable price (<25% of new TV) for at least 5 years after the last unit manufactured. 

PCB inspection to IPC610E / IPC-J-STD-001; ZIF connectors

  • PCB inspection to comply with IPC610E and IPC-J-STD-001
  • Chips/integrated circuits (ICs) to be connected via a ZIF (zero insertion force) connector to the PCB 
  • Firmware to be upgradeable using a USB or cable connection, SD card or internet connection without the need for tools.

Self-diagnostic fault codes on TV display where component fails

  • Self-diagnostic fault codes on TV display where component fails; codes to be publically and freely available

Testing to demonstrate performance

Ask for clear evidence of meeting the requirements listed above, e.g.: technical specifications, drawings, photographs; test data (ideally from an independent test house), quality control data.

* Lifetime test: 10 TVs to be tested to operate without failure in 100% of cases, in normal operating conditions for 4 hours per day on-mode for a simulated 3 years of operation, with 30 min cool down between sets.   

Cost implications

Improved reliability of components can reduce early returns and improve brand reputation which, in turn, can lower business costs and increase long-term sales.

To calculate overall cost savings for your business, use the WRAP cost/benefit analysis tool (currently in draft form and available on request).

Saving

Neutral

Increase strength and rigidity for  TV casing
Small changes to mouldings and material specification should only add a few pence,  assuming tooling change is minimal.

Firmware upgradeability
This is largely a programming /design issue and should add very little cost  

Low cost

Surface mount technology

The use of surface mounted components could add a significant cost depending on the volumes made and production techniques available in the factory.  

Use of steel chassis to support PCB

Extra drillings in a steel chassis should add minimal cost.  

PCB testing and inspection 

Any testing and inspection will add cost in terms of rig time and labour costs.

IC/Chip ZIF connectors

These are a little more expensive than regular connector blocks but reduce the risk of IC damage.  

High cost