The printed circuit board assembly (PCB assembly) has totally revolutionized the electronics industry. Many companies whose products are dependent on this kind of technology are always on the lookout for PCB assembly quotes that lower their overall cost without losing anything in the way of quality. If that sounds like something you are looking for, these tips can help.
- Find a reputable company that is more cost-effective. There are a lot of PCB fabrication and assembly companies that out there that will give you the best PCB assembly quotes but it is a “bait and switch” kind of thing. They hook you in with a lower PCB assembly quote but then once you get into the weeds of your project, the cost of the PCB fabrication and assembly process will start to climb. By the time you are through, you will have spent a lot more than you expected. The good news is that there are reputable companies out there who can provide you with the PCBs you need at a price you can afford. The thing you need to do is really research the company a lot before you hire them. Here are a few things to check:
- Make sure they have the right certifications. This can help you make sure they have the ability to do what they say they can do and will give you an insight into the way they conduct their business. One thing you should ask about is the ISO 9001 certification. This is actually an umbrella term that refers to a number of international standards concerning quality management and protocols.
- Ask about where they get the materials they use and what equipment they use. In many instances, this is one area where a lot of money is wasted. This is because the PCB manufacturer does not use a streamlined process and does not have the relationships they should have with material suppliers. When you are getting different PCB assembly quotes, ask about how the company deals with this. Another thing to consider is how new the assembly equipment is. The older it is, the less efficient their system will be and the more it may end up costing in time and money.
- Ask about how they handle RoHS. This stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances. There are laws that govern the use of certain substances. PCB manufacturers need to show that they are taking all of the actions they need to to make the products make be as safe as possible. When you are confident that the company you choose to handle your PCB assembly needs, you can feel better knowing you will have fewer problems down the road.
- Keep the cost in mind when you design your PCBs. One thing you should make a priority is to put in place a design-for-manufacturing (DFM) policy. That will help with your PCB assembly quotes because when you keep in mind how much it will cost to produce your PCBs as you are designing them, you can cut some of the costs associated with their fabrication and assembly. Think about a different design for the layering, for example, the more layers, you more you will spend to have the PCB made.
- Do not skip the inspection test phase. Often when companies are shopping around for different PCB assembly quotes, people assume that one good place to save money is to skip over the inspections and tests that they do. The problem with that is if you skip these tests and there are mistakes or problems with the circuits, you can end up spending a lot more, especially if this is not a case where the problems are caught early. At the end of the day, you will save yourself time and money and stress by carrying out all of the tests that need to be done to make sure your PCB designs are error-free and ready to go.
The process of collecting, evaluating, and dealing with PCB assembly quotes can be a very long and complicated one. Getting all of your quotes in writing can help. The more research into the companies with whom you want to work, the better your outcome will be.
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