Suggestions For Outsourcing PCB Assembly and Prototype Manufacturing
It often does not make sense to invest in highly-priced production gear if you just want to spin a couple of prototypes and instead outsource your PCB assembly and prototype manufacturing to a reliable vendor. I will give some suggestions as to what to watch out for when searching for a contract manufacturer.
Several contract manufacturers will offer an immediate quote mechanism on their website for manufacture of circuit boards and assembly of prototypes. This will save you time when comparing unique vendors. Make confident that the quote method allows you to enter all of the information, such as board material, thickness, copper thickness, milling and so forth. so that you can get an precise quote with no any surprises later on.
Typically the cost per board will decrease as quantity increases. This is due to the pretty higher setup expense of circuit board manufacturing and component assembly. Some vendors will use a method exactly where they combine boards from numerous shoppers. This way the setup cost will be distributed amongst several customers. When you manufacture a product, you of course do not want to have to manufacture a substantial quantity of boards appropriate away when you refine your style.
One particular limitation with compact-quantity prototypes though is that the option of materials and material thicknesses will be restricted. If you are utilizing a particular material then chances are there will not be any other customers applying the identical material. In addition, lead time plays a massive function in determining expense. A longer lead time permits the manufacturer much more freedom in slotting your production. This is ordinarily reflected in lower fees which you will see in the quote section. Of course if you are in a rush and want to be moved to the major of the pile you will need to devote more revenue.
Make sure that your contract manufacturer will support the file format for manufacture that you present. The most prevalent format for PCB manufacture is the Gerber format but some vendors will also accept board files from common PCB software items. Some suppliers also offer in-home PCB style. Even if you style your board yourself, picking a vendor with design and style services may perhaps prove beneficial in case there is a issue with your files. In this case your vendor can make quick modifications which will avoid pricey delays.
When subcontracting PCB assembly, make certain that your vendor can assemble all of the package forms that your board utilizes. Some vendors can’t assemble specific form of IC packages such as BGA, chip-scale packages or really modest component varieties. If in doubt be sure to speak to your vendor ahead of time.
Some contract suppliers will carry an inventory of standard SMT and by means of-hole elements. You will save time if you can pull from your vendor’s inventory rather than acquiring every component your self. Make certain to specify which components you want to consign oneself when you upload your bill of components.
Most vendors will also supply manufacture of the SMT stencil which is needed for PCB assembly. Be certain to order the stencil proper away when ordering the circuit boards themselves to stay clear of delays.
To guarantee that your circuit boards will work, be confident that your vendor is excellent certified and presents the tests and board inspection approaches that are required. Please ball grid array , even so, that specific tests, such as ICT testing demands further time and expense to prepare suitable test fixtures.