A printed circuit board or PCB is a board used to connect electrical components using copper tracks instead of wires. Perforated holes in the plate are used to secure the electrical components in position. They are then welded to hold them in position and the copper rails unite them in a circuit. The board and the components together are known as PCB assembly or printed circuit board assembly.
Nowadays, once the design process has been carried out using a computer-aided design and a plan is formed, the manufacture of PCBs can be quick as it is automated through machines and computer technology. The next part is the element of test and process quality control.
While many inventors had versions of PCBs, it was an Austrian engineer named Paul Eisler, who is credited with setting up the printed circuit in 1936. Moving on to the 1980s and the boards got much smaller and had more functionality and production costs decreased significantly due to the ability to mass-produce the plates and components.
The fact that the circuit is on a fixed board provides uniformity to the design and therefore finding and identifying problematic components is much easier. This means that they are much faster to repair and maintain. This also means that the chances of making a reconnection error are much lower, since the electronics are in a definite location.
There are several different types of printed circuit boards, ie double faces, single faces and multilayers. One-sided plates are used where costs should be kept low and the design is simple. Both sides are used for more complex circuits and are the basis for most manufactured PCBs. Multiple layers are for highly complex situations and are used to decrease the weight and volume of devices.