It usually does not make sense to invest in expensive production equipment if you just want to spin a few prototypes and rather outsource your PCB assembly and prototype manufacturing to a trustworthy vendor. I will give some guidelines as to what to watch out for when searching for a contract manufacturer.
Quite a few contract producers will supply an instant quote mechanism on their site for manufacture of circuit boards and assembly of prototypes. This will save you time when comparing unique vendors. Make confident that the quote technique permits you to enter all of the specifics, such as board material, thickness, copper thickness, milling and so on. so that you can get an correct quote without any surprises later on.
Commonly the price per board will decrease as quantity increases. This is due to the pretty high setup expense of circuit board manufacturing and component assembly. Some vendors will use a program exactly where they combine boards from several customers. This way the setup price will be distributed amongst several consumers. When you manufacture a product, you naturally do not want to have to manufacture a massive quantity of boards correct away whilst you refine your design and style.
One limitation with compact-quantity prototypes even though is that the decision of supplies and material thicknesses will be restricted. If you are employing a specific material then probabilities are there won’t be any other customers applying the exact same material. In addition, lead time plays a huge role in figuring out price. A longer lead time permits the manufacturer much more freedom in slotting your production. This is ordinarily reflected in reduced fees which you will see in the quote section. Naturally if you are in a rush and want to be moved to the leading of the pile you will need to have to devote more money.
Make confident that your contract manufacturer will assistance the file format for manufacture that you deliver. The most widespread format for PCB manufacture is the Gerber format but some vendors will also accept board files from prevalent PCB software program solutions. Some suppliers also supply in-home PCB design. Even if you design your board yourself, choosing a vendor with design services may possibly prove helpful in case there is a difficulty with your files. In this case your vendor can make speedy changes which will avoid expensive delays.
When subcontracting PCB assembly, make sure that your vendor can assemble all of the package forms that your board makes use of. Some vendors can not assemble particular variety of IC packages such as BGA, chip-scale packages or very tiny component varieties. If in doubt be confident to make contact with your vendor ahead of time.
Some contract makers will carry an inventory of common SMT and via-hole components. You will save time if you can pull from your vendor’s inventory rather than purchasing each and every element yourself. Make china pcb assembly online to specify which elements you wish to consign oneself when you upload your bill of components.
Most vendors will also offer manufacture of the SMT stencil which is expected for PCB assembly. Be sure to order the stencil suitable away when ordering the circuit boards themselves to prevent delays.