It typically does not make sense to invest in high-priced production gear if you just want to spin a handful of prototypes and as an alternative outsource your PCB assembly and prototype manufacturing to a dependable vendor. I will give some guidelines as to what to watch out for when hunting for a contract manufacturer.
Quite a few contract producers will supply an immediate quote mechanism on their web site for manufacture of circuit boards and assembly of prototypes. This will save you time when comparing distinct vendors. Make certain that the quote method permits you to enter all of the particulars, such as board material, thickness, copper thickness, milling etc. so that you can get an accurate quote with out any surprises later on.
Typically the price per board will decrease as quantity increases. This is due to the relatively high setup expense of circuit board manufacturing and component assembly. Some vendors will use a technique where they combine boards from a number of shoppers. This way the setup expense will be distributed amongst several prospects. When you manufacture a product, you certainly do not want to have to manufacture a significant quantity of boards appropriate away whilst you refine your design.
One limitation with tiny-quantity prototypes even though is that the choice of supplies and material thicknesses will be restricted. If you are working with a special material then possibilities are there will not be any other prospects working with the exact same material. In addition, lead time plays a large role in determining expense. A longer lead time enables the manufacturer much more freedom in slotting your production. This is usually reflected in lower charges which you will see in the quote section. Obviously if you are in a rush and want to be moved to the top of the pile you will require to devote extra money.
Make positive that your contract manufacturer will support the file format for manufacture that you give. The most typical format for PCB manufacture is the Gerber format but some vendors will also accept board files from widespread PCB application items. Some suppliers also present in-property PCB design. Even if you style your board yourself, selecting a vendor with style services may possibly prove valuable in case there is a problem with your files. In this case your vendor can make rapid modifications which will stay away from pricey delays.
When subcontracting PCB assembly, assure that your vendor can assemble all of the package varieties that your board uses. Some vendors can’t assemble certain type of IC packages such as BGA, chip-scale packages or quite compact element kinds. If in doubt be sure to make contact with your vendor ahead of time.
https://alcantapcb.com/cavities-pcb.html will carry an inventory of normal SMT and via-hole elements. You will save time if you can pull from your vendor’s inventory rather than getting every element yourself. Make confident to specify which elements you want to consign oneself when you upload your bill of materials.
Most vendors will also supply manufacture of the SMT stencil which is expected for PCB assembly. Be certain to order the stencil proper away when ordering the circuit boards themselves to stay away from delays.
To ensure that your circuit boards will function, be sure that your vendor is high quality certified and offers the tests and board inspection solutions that are required. Please note, even so, that certain tests, such as ICT testing requires additional time and price to prepare suitable test fixtures.