Bed of Nails Circuit Board Testing

At Bittele Electronics, we guarantee 100% electrical testing on all PCBs that leave our facilities. This policy ensures that the quality of our PCB Fabrication service is always top-notch, and our clients will always be satisfied that their finished boards match exactly with their designs. Electrical testing provides this level of assurance by checking the electrical conductivity of a board against the Netlist file that is generated from the project schematic. This file contains information about all of the intended connections that should be present on the board, allowing us to catch any errors that might occur during production, PCB layout, or Gerber File generation.

How Does Bed of Nails Testing Work?

The first step in bed of nails testing is to design and build a test fixture for your specific PCB design. The fixture contains a multitude of small spring-loaded test pins that protrude from a wide base that can secure the PCB; the bed of nails test method gets its name from these protruding pins. Once the fixture is ready to go, the fabricated PCBs are pressed down one-by-one onto the test pins, which check for electrical conductivity and compare the results to the project’s Netlist file automatically.

Advantages and Application

The fact that a custom fixture must be developed for each project does add some labour cost to the PCB Assembly Process, but for many orders this cost is far offset by the extremely low per-board testing time Bed of Nails testing offers. The alternative test method is the Flying Probe Test, which tests the pads on a board sequentially, rather than concurrently, making it inefficient at higher volumes. For Mid-Volume PCB Assembly or greater, the Flying Probe method would take an extremely long time, especially for complex designs with a high number of nets. Even for Low Volume PCB Assembly, Bed of Nails testing is often more economical, so we often use the Bed of Nails test for anything more than Prototype PCB Projects.

The Best of Both Worlds

At Bittele Electronics, we are happy to offer our clients both Bed of Nails and Flying Probe testing, and our highly trained PCB Customer Service Experts will work with you every step of the way to determine which of these is right for your specific project. In general, our team will select the method that is least costly and most efficient by default, but you can also get in touch with us for any questions or suggestions.

To send in those questions, or to send us your PCB Design Files and get your project started today, you can Contact Us any time. We can be reached via email at, or toll-free at 1-888-812-1949.


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