It typically does not make sense to invest in expensive production equipment if you just want to spin a handful of prototypes and alternatively outsource your PCB assembly and prototype manufacturing to a dependable vendor. I will give some tips as to what to watch out for when searching for a contract manufacturer.
Numerous contract suppliers will provide an instant quote mechanism on their web page for manufacture of circuit boards and assembly of prototypes. This will save you time when comparing distinct vendors. Make confident that the quote program makes it possible for you to enter all of the particulars, such as board material, thickness, copper thickness, milling and so on. so that you can get an correct quote devoid of any surprises later on.
Commonly the expense per board will lower as quantity increases. This is due to the pretty high setup cost of circuit board manufacturing and component assembly. flexible pcb will use a system exactly where they combine boards from quite a few customers. This way the setup price will be distributed amongst a number of buyers. When you manufacture a solution, you naturally do not want to have to manufacture a huge quantity of boards appropriate away when you refine your design.
One limitation with smaller-quantity prototypes though is that the selection of materials and material thicknesses will be limited. If you are working with a special material then probabilities are there won’t be any other consumers applying the identical material. In addition, lead time plays a major role in figuring out price. A longer lead time makes it possible for the manufacturer much more freedom in slotting your production. This is typically reflected in reduced fees which you will see in the quote section. Clearly if you are in a rush and want to be moved to the top rated of the pile you will need to spend more income.
Make confident that your contract manufacturer will support the file format for manufacture that you provide. The most prevalent format for PCB manufacture is the Gerber format but some vendors will also accept board files from widespread PCB software merchandise. Some suppliers also provide in-residence PCB style. Even if you design and style your board your self, choosing a vendor with style services may perhaps prove beneficial in case there is a difficulty with your files. In this case your vendor can make speedy alterations which will prevent expensive delays.
When subcontracting PCB assembly, guarantee that your vendor can assemble all of the package forms that your board makes use of. Some vendors can not assemble particular type of IC packages such as BGA, chip-scale packages or incredibly smaller component forms. If in doubt be confident to make contact with your vendor ahead of time.
Some contract manufacturers will carry an inventory of normal SMT and by way of-hole elements. You will save time if you can pull from your vendor’s inventory rather than getting each element your self. Make sure 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 required for PCB assembly. Be confident to order the stencil ideal away when ordering the circuit boards themselves to avoid delays.