It typically does not make sense to invest in high priced production gear if you just want to spin a few prototypes and instead outsource your PCB assembly and prototype manufacturing to a dependable vendor. I will give some recommendations as to what to watch out for when seeking for a contract manufacturer.
A lot of contract producers will give an instant 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 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 accurate quote with no any surprises later on.
Usually the expense per board will lower as quantity increases. This is due to the fairly high setup price of circuit board manufacturing and component assembly. Some vendors will use a program exactly where they combine boards from many shoppers. This way the setup cost will be distributed amongst a number of prospects. When you manufacture a product, you definitely do not want to have to manufacture a large quantity of boards right away while you refine your style.
One particular limitation with compact-quantity prototypes even though is that the option of supplies and material thicknesses will be limited. If you are applying a specific material then possibilities are there will not be any other customers making use of the identical material. In addition, lead time plays a massive function in figuring out expense. A longer lead time allows the manufacturer much more freedom in slotting your production. This is typically reflected in reduce expenses 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 want to devote much more cash.
Make sure that your contract manufacturer will support the file format for manufacture that you offer. The most popular format for PCB manufacture is the Gerber format but some vendors will also accept board files from common PCB computer software items. Some suppliers also supply in-home PCB design. Even if you design your board yourself, picking a vendor with design solutions could prove useful in case there is a difficulty with your files. In fr4 thermal conductivity can make speedy adjustments which will steer clear of costly delays.
When subcontracting PCB assembly, ensure that your vendor can assemble all of the package types that your board utilizes. Some vendors cannot assemble specific variety of IC packages such as BGA, chip-scale packages or very tiny component forms. If in doubt be certain to speak to your vendor ahead of time.
Some contract producers will carry an inventory of common SMT and by way of-hole components. You will save time if you can pull from your vendor’s inventory rather than getting each and every component your self. Make positive to specify which elements you wish to consign oneself when you upload your bill of components.
Most vendors will also provide manufacture of the SMT stencil which is essential for PCB assembly. Be sure to order the stencil appropriate away when ordering the circuit boards themselves to keep away from delays.
To assure that your circuit boards will work, be confident that your vendor is top quality certified and presents the tests and board inspection strategies that are necessary. Please note, on the other hand, that particular tests, such as ICT testing needs more time and cost to prepare suitable test fixtures.