Tips to Choose a low volume PCB assembly Manufacturer?
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán
Originally Posted On: https://www.6pcba.com/pcb-news/pcb-assembly-manufacturer-in-china/
Low Volume PCB Assembly: Effective Ways to Cut Assembly Cost
Sometimes low volume PCB assembly becomes the hour of need. You have applications that require PCB. However, the budget is limited. With minimal sources, you will go about searching for the cheapest communication PCB assembly or the usually PCB manufacturing.
Reducing the cost of Printed Circuit Boards is a tricky task especially at the designer’s end. It takes out all the fun. After all, modern technology often requires the latest components and sophisticated parts. Now, when you go on incorporating these features in your PCB, the prices will go sky-high.
The boards may turn out to be amazing, but with the skyrocketing prices, you are less likely to sell them. Thus, you need to come up with a board that offers the best of technology within a reasonable budget. Tricky, isn’t it?
So, in this article, we are going to talk about a number of ways in which you can cut PCB costs while assuring its quality.
Effective Tips for Cutting Assembly Cost
We often come across PCB assemblers that claim to have the lowest price. After all, they cut down prices to attract consumers and gain profits. However, some of these assemblers would simply compromise on the quality to reduce the overall cost.
Therefore, it is a good idea to find an assembler that can balance between price and quality.
Find a professional and reliable PCB assembler
If you have been looking around, by now you know that every PCB assembler claims to provide high quality Printed Circuit Boards at low cost. However, not all deliver what they promise. So, you need to be vigilant in making a decision.
For starters, do your homework properly. You need to have a clear understanding of your project and its requirement. Once, you have a clear idea of what you need. Next is to hit your laptop. Do a thorough search on the internet for the respective assemblers.
You can even use trade shows, magazines or whatever means to find as much information as possible. We understand it requires a lot of time. However, we can assure you that it would be worth it in the future.
Below are some important aspects that you need to cover when searching for a Printed Circuit Board assembler.
To ensure the quality and efficiency of the assembling process, it is important to have the latest equipment. Since SMT, Surface-Mount technology is closely associated with the high manufacturing speed and component placing, thus choose a company that uses SMT technology.
To be sure of Printed Circuit Board assembler’s management regulations and manufacturing capabilities, you need to see their certificates. These certificates would vouch for what they are saying. Some of the important certifications including UL, RoHs, ISO9001 among others.
ISO9001 is a family of international quality management guidelines that aim to promote a firm’s ability to meet a consumer’s requirements and expectations by improving its product quality effectively and efficiently.
ROH, Restrictions of Hazardous Substance is a series of laws governing six hazardous substance application in the manufacturing of electrical and electronic products. The Listing Service UL ensures that the manufacturer tests their product thoroughly. This helps them ensure the right procedure and reduces product errors.
You will be surprised to know that a lot of time and money is wasted in the manufacturing stage of Printed Circuit Boards. It is something that you would want to avoid as a low volume PCB assembly manufacturer. The reason being, the disjointed relationships between different phases of the process.
To save time and reduce cost, you should choose a Printed Circuit Board assembler that offers components sourcing service. This will help you focus on your project engineering and not worry about the assemblers.
The assembler would do what it is best at – choose excellent, yet inexpensive components and place them on top of a circuit board.
Optimize the Schematic Design
Before you start with real manufacturing, you need to perform a DFM check. This helps ensure that it is possible to normally implement your Printed Circuit Board. Several Printed Circuit boards assemblers offer these services for free. Thus, resulting in lower assembly costs.
Below are the important factors that influence the cost of the bare Printed Circuit Board.
Vias are imperative for building interconnection on aboard. There are different types of vias including buried, micro vias and blind vias. However, the number of vias greatly influences the overall cost. The greater number of vias you incorporate, the higher the price of PCB.
Thus, the proper and careful arrangement of vias is would reduce the cost of bare Printed Circuit Board. At the same time, it would ensure sufficient functioning of the PCB.
A surface finish helps with excellent electric performance and solderability as it prevents the pads from oxidizing. You can choose from a variety of finishes including ENEPIG, ENIG, OSP, HASL, etc. You need to choose the surface that fits your project requirement as every surface has its pros and cons.
When you add layers to a PCB, the cost is bound to go increase. As a low volume PCB assembly manufacturer, you need to make sure that you do not add unwanted layers. Additional layers will enhance PCB’s complexity, but at the same time, they would increase the price.
Size and Shape
You should consider the requirement before finalizing the size and the shape of the PCB. The board should correspond to the requirements of its respective application. It should have an accurate design that will implement all its functions within a moderate space.
Use Panels only when necessary. Although, due to improved technology and PCB density, small PCBs can be complex. Do remember, a small PCB does not mean that it is cheap. The shape of the PCB also affects the price. If you shape the usual shape – square or a rectangle- the price would be less. However, in the case of special shapes, you would have to pay more.
Effective and Complete BOM
BOM (Bill of Material) is a concise list of items, raw materials, sub-assemblies, assemblies, and components, etc. that you would need for the manufacturing of PCB. A complete BOM includes the following:
- Manufacturer Name
- Part Number
- BOM level
- Top point/footprint
- Bottom point/footprint
- SMT method
Never forget to add component replacement in the BOM. With a complete BOM, an effective and low volume PCB assembly manufacture can provide you a quote within 1 to 2 days.
In case you are a company with limited sources, we understand that controlling your budget and product schedule can be troublesome. A good idea is to reach out to a PCB assembler. Printed Circuit Board assembler is more likely to have a friendly relationship with their respective component distributor due to long-term cooperation’s.
They might be able to get components at prices that you would never get. They would get those components at wholesale price instead of the retail price. You can ask for the purchase invoice from distributors as this would ensure that the Printed Circuit Board company has genuine cooperation with the respective distributor.
Adjust Lead Time and Order Volume
The price of each commodity is inversely proportional to the order volume. This rule holds in every type of industry. So, the higher the number of pieces you order, the lesser the price of each piece would be. You need to consider your company’s situation and find the right order volume.
After that, you need to choose a PCB manufacturing company that will fulfill your order requirement to perfection. Your order volume can be low, medium or large.
When it comes to lead time, you need to pay close attention to calculation. Often the problem is within its calculations. Never confuse yourself with the catching lead time that a PCB assembler promises. The reason being, different PCB manufactures have different methods for calculating the lead time. Therefore, it is important to know the following
- What is the order day and the payment day?
- Starting time?
- What day would the components come?
In short, if a company has a longer lead time, it is going to give you a lower price.
Finding a low volume PCB assembly manufacturer would be a tricky task. However, if you follow the above tips, you would be able to land with the right manufacturer. 6pcba is among the leading communication PCB assembly and other types of Printed circuit Board manufacturer. They are highly effective and efficient.
You can contact them
Phone: +86 (755) 2328-7815
Email: [email protected]