PCB Reverse Engineering | PCB Obsolescence Services

PCB Obsolescence Services | PCB Reverse Engineering

Why PCB Obsolescence Service maybe useful to your organisation?

In some industries, such as Semiconductor, Oil&Gas, Transport (Trains), the lifetime of equipment extends longer than it was designed for. This can create a replacement parts issue, where not enough parts have been made to sustain the equipment for the extended life. This is potentially disastrous, where expensive and impossible to replace equipment fails because there are no replacement PCBs.

For mechanical parts, such as metal formed ones, the problem is not so bad. Mostly the drawings are still available so the parts can be created new quite easily

However with PCBs it’s not the same. Often the components are obsolete, and cant be produced again as the manufacturer stopped making them a long time before. Very often the PCB files are not available either, as the manufacturer has been bought out/closed and the files long gone

Retronix offer a number of services to fix this issue, each one depending on the unique circumstances of each case, some examples:

  • If there is a large amount of failed PCBs in the supply chain. We can collect and repair these, supplying them as replacement stock
  • If the components are obsolete, we offer a unique service to recover some from sacrificial PCBs to use on other PCBs
  • If there is physical damage on the PCB (substrate/pad/track damage), we can repair this
  • We can reverse engineer a raw PCB from a sample, or the schematic, if the original data is not available
  • We can source alternative components for the ones which are obsolete, or harvest them safely from elsewhere

Factors that have a bearing on finding the best solution :

  • What size is your future need- large, medium or small?
  • Do you have the raw card data to hand, so PCBs can be easily produced?
  • If not, do you have the schematic?
  • Do you have a test programme for it, or a means to test it in a machine?
  • How complex is the PCB?
  • Are there obsolete components on it?
  • What is the likelihood of finding them new?
  • Do you have programmable parts?
  • Does the supply chain contain a lot of previously damaged PCBs?


Do Contact Us for more information.