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11 Effective Ways to Cut PCB Assembly Cost Without Sacrificing Quality

PCB assembly cost – do you want to cut it down and save your money for the hard times? Every designer wants to save as much PCB assembly cost as they can. But we would not keep you in the dark the PCBs are never really cheap if you also want good quality. If you manage to get the inexpensive PCB, then your project might not work for long because of bad quality.

 

PCB assemblers are also regularly looking for ways to decrease the assembly cost and attract more customers. Luckily, today we will tell you about the 11 practical ways in which you can cut down PCB assembly cost without sacrificing quality. Let’s begin and find a balance between PCB assembly cost and quality.

Cut PCB assembly cost – do you want to cut it down and save your money for the hard times? Every designer wants to save as much PCB assembly cost as they can. But we would not keep you in the dark the PCBs are never really cheap if you also want good quality. If you manage to get the inexpensive PCB, then your project might not work for long because of bad quality.

PCB assemblers are also regularly looking for ways to decrease the assembly cost and attract more customers. Luckily, today we will tell you about the 11 practical ways in which you can cut down Bill Of Materials (BOM) of a PCB get fitted onto a board. PCB assembly cost without sacrificing quality. Let’s begin and find a balance between Bill Of Materials (BOM) of a PCB get fitted onto a board. PCB assembly cost and quality.

Find a Professional and Reliable PCB Assembler

Nearly every PCB assembler claims that they provide low drawing helps to understand and run the board for the team members. The component symbols made for PCB layout and finally printed over the PCB board are helpful during PCB assembly costs, which is not always true. You may need to research for yourself to find out a reliable and professional PCB assembler. But how can you do that? First of all, you need to know the budget and requirements of your project. After that, surf through the internet, trade shows, or magazines to get head-to-toe details about your chosen PCB assembler.

Yes, it does need a lot of effort and time, but it will be worth it in the end. While researching, you need to look into the certificates, the quality of the equipment, components procurement service, lead time, quotation rate, manufacturing abilities, price, and the minimum volume of order.

Shot of an Electronics Factory Workers Assembling Circuit Boards by Hand While it Stands on the Assembly Line.jpg

Optimize the PCB Layout Design

You need to perform the design for manufacturing (DFM) process before starting the actual PCB manufacturing. This check will inspect whether the PCB assemblers can naturally deploy the PCB layout design. Therefore, to cut the PCB assembly cost, make sure to use the free of cost DFM services provided by some PCB assemblers.

To decrease the PCB assembly cost of bare PCBs, consider the following points:

1. Via technology: For cheap PCB assembly, use a smaller number of vias comprising micro-vias, buried vias, and blind vias.

2. The number of layers: The PCB assembly cost will increase if you add layers.

3. Shape and size: Small PCBs don’t always mean a low-cost PCB assembly, but make sure to choose the right size. Furthermore, if you use PCB boards’ standard shapes, such as rectangles or squaresquaresmay cut the PCB assembly cost.

4. Surface finish: Select the surface finish after going through its pros and cons.

Circuit Board Technology Information Pattern Concept Vector Background.jpg

Properly Label the Designators

The reference designators explicitly recognize the parts on the printed circuit board. It would help if you made that they are transparent and placed near to their associated components. This will ensure that you get a cheap PCB assembly. The PCB assemblers will need to go through a hassle-free setup process. Further, the problems associated with the manual placement of components also diminish.

Inductors, capacitors, resistors and diodes on PCB.jpg

Panelize the PCB

It is an excellent idea to produce PCB in panels if you need thousands or more of them. Will significantly reduce the PCB assembly cost. It will also increase the efficiency of the PCB assembly. The multiple iterations of every PCB will be in one panel, so the required runs also reduce. The presence of fiducial markers in the PCB panels will make sure accuracy and orientation of the pick and place stage.

Close-up side view of a panel of SMD is located on the production of automatic control systems.jpg

Put SMT Components on One Side of PCB

If you place surface-mount devices on both PCB surfaces, you are increasing the PCB assembly cost. You may need to place the SMD components on one side of the PCB. This will ensure that the PCB has to go only once through the pick and place process. The number of iterations will be one rather than two, so the stencil cost reduces.

Surface mount technology is also known as SMT technology, and the picture shows an SMT production line.jpg

Make a Complete and Effective Bill of Materials (BOM)

You would already know that BOM consists of a full list of items, raw materials, components, assemblies, etc. It is made for manufacturing the product. It is not always true that making the BOM is more straightforward than generating a Gerber file. The PCB assemblers always find more errors in BOM files when compared with Gerber files.

So, to reduce the PCB assembly cost, wne recommend that you provide a complete BOM file. It should include all the information required by the PCB assemblers. For instance, mention the part number, reference designator, manufacturer name, quantity, Surface Mount Technology method, package/case, description, BOM level, and footprint.

For speeding up the process, you may also fill in the in-built BOM templates of PCB assemblers. Moreover, wne recommend that we always include components substitutes in the Bill of Material file.

PCB pictures under high-tech technology.jpg

Develop a Clear Procurement of Components

If you are an engineer running a small business, it may not be straightforward to check the project schedule and regulate your budget. In this case, it may be smart to depend on the PCB assembler to reduce the PCB assembly cost. PCB assemblers are also looking for long-term clients so that they may be more friendly with you. The components of distributors of franchises also have good relationships with PCB assemblers.

So, you can trust the PCB assembler to get the electronics components at a wholesale rate. It will be less than the selling rate. If you have any doubts, you can also ask for an invoice from distributors of franchises. The PCB assemblers will surely provide you with one. Hence, this is another effective way of reducing the PCB assembly cost.

Hands of women is hold the PCB board checking and inspection part SMT process quality control with magnify lamp.jpg

Remove the Tiny Passive Packages From your PCB Design

Another way of reducing the PCB assembly cost is to get rid of small passive boxes from the PCB design. If you switch from 0201s to 0402s, the change may look small, but it can reduce PCB assembly cost by 5-10 %. Moreover, substituting lead-less components like BGAs and QFNs with QFPs, which has legs, can also reduce the overall price.

Engineering and electronic component quality control in QC lab on computer PCB turnkey manufacturing.jpg

Adjust the Lead Time and Order Volume

The volume of your order decides big time the PCB assembly cost. Usually, if you order a higher number of PCBs, each PCB assembly will become less expensive. The WellPCB. We will provide you with one-stop service and high-quality products. You can send us the documents you need to make and get a quote immediately! What are we waiting for? We have ten years of PCB manufacturing service also gets cheaper if the order volume is high. So, consider the situation of your firm, and decide the size of your order. For instance, whether it is low, medium, or high. After that, contact a relevant PCB assembly manufacturer to provide you with discounts and cater to your order.

Adjusting the lead time is a significant problem, as its calculations can be confusing. You should not be allured by the promising lead times advertised by the PCB assemblers because each of them may have a different definition of the lead time. Hence, you need to ensure that you are familiar with the starting time, payment day, order day, and arrival day. In general, the PCB assembly cost is lower if the lead time is high.

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Don’t Take Inspection for Granted.

Are you wondering about the association between PCB assembly cost and examination? Usually, the implementation of control increases the value of the PCB assembly. But we aimed to reduce the PCB assembly cost without compromising on quality. So, that is where the check comes in handy. It plays a crucial role in making sure that you don’t lose the quality of your PCB.

Magnifier in hands with blue gloves showing or looks on printed circuit board.jpg

Give Your PCB Assembler Enough Turnaround Time

When you are ordering PCBs online, you will also see the option of turnaround time. Selecting different turnaround times will give you different PCB assembly costs. If you give your PCB assembler enough turnaround time, you may be saving the PCB assembly cost. Therefore, it may not be smart to select a fast turnaround time if it is not ultimately necessary.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, you can cut the PCB assembly cost without compromising quality by following the points mentioned above. All you need to do is find a professional and reliable PCB assembler, perform an inspection, and allow enough turnaround time. Further, you should remove the tiny passive packages, provide complete BOM, adjust order volume and lead time, and optimize the manufacturing of PCBs, there are high chances of layout failures, which can go a long way into negatively affecting the final product’s functionality. There are several PCB layout design.

As far as the components are concerned, make sure to place the SMT components on one side of the PCB, provide properly labeled designators, and develop their transparent procurement. All these factors will help you in reducing the PCB assembly cost. If you still have any questions, feel free to circuit board shopping, various things might get you confused.  Whether you are going for a single-sided PCB, a double-sided PCB, or any other type of PCB, You can contact us now. We are just a call away.

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Hommer Zhao
Hi, I am Hommer, the founder of WellPCB. So far, we have more than 4,000 customers worldwide. If you have any questions, you can feel free to contact me. I really appreciate any help you can provide.

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