It frequently does not make sense to invest in high-priced production equipment if you just want to spin a couple of prototypes and alternatively outsource your PCB assembly and prototype manufacturing to a reputable vendor. I will give some recommendations as to what to watch out for when looking for a contract manufacturer.
Several contract manufacturers will offer an instant quote mechanism on their site for manufacture of circuit boards and assembly of prototypes. This will save you time when comparing distinctive vendors. Make certain that the quote method enables you to enter all of the facts, such as board material, thickness, copper thickness, milling and so on. so that you can get an accurate quote without having any surprises later on.
Generally the price per board will reduce as quantity increases. This is due to the fairly high setup cost of circuit board manufacturing and component assembly. Some vendors will use a program exactly where they combine boards from several prospects. This way the setup cost will be distributed amongst quite a few shoppers. When you manufacture a solution, you of course do not want to have to manufacture a large quantity of boards correct away even though you refine your design.
One limitation with smaller-quantity prototypes though is that the selection of supplies and material thicknesses will be restricted. If you are using a unique material then possibilities are there will not be any other consumers applying the exact same material. In addition, lead time plays a major role in figuring out cost. A longer lead time enables the manufacturer additional freedom in slotting your production. This is typically reflected in decrease charges which you will see in the quote section. Certainly if you are in a rush and want to be moved to the prime of the pile you will need to have to spend additional cash.
Make positive that your contract manufacturer will help the file format for manufacture that you offer. The most common format for PCB manufacture is the Gerber format but some vendors will also accept board files from frequent PCB software program solutions. Some suppliers also provide in-property PCB design and style. Even if you style your board your self, picking a vendor with design services may well prove beneficial in case there is a issue with your files. In this case your vendor can make quick alterations which will avoid expensive delays.
When subcontracting PCB assembly, make sure that your vendor can assemble all of the package kinds that your board utilizes. Some vendors can not assemble particular form of IC packages such as BGA, chip-scale packages or really smaller component kinds. If in annular ring be positive to make contact with your vendor ahead of time.
Some contract makers will carry an inventory of standard SMT and by way of-hole elements. You will save time if you can pull from your vendor’s inventory rather than getting every single component oneself. Make positive to specify which components you want to consign your self when you upload your bill of components.
Most vendors will also present manufacture of the SMT stencil which is necessary for PCB assembly. Be confident to order the stencil ideal away when ordering the circuit boards themselves to prevent delays.
To ensure that your circuit boards will perform, be positive that your vendor is quality certified and presents the tests and board inspection methods that are required. Please note, having said that, that certain tests, such as ICT testing requires further time and expense to prepare suitable test fixtures.