When you run a business, one of the resources you’re always looking to save on is money. Of course, you still want to maintain top quality, especially when it comes to components as essential as printed circuit boards (PCBs). The final printed circuit board cost depends on a wide variety of factors. If you’re looking for low-cost PCB assembly, you need to consider each of these factors. That’s precisely the reason we prepared this friendly guide to help you along the way. Read on for 11 proven tips for finding low-cost PCB assembly.
Source Your PCBs From A Suitable Location
Where you buy your printed circuit boards determines the final cost you pay for them. Generally, PCBs cost higher in Europe and America, so it’s best to opt for Asia’s manufacturers, especially in China. That saves you a considerable amount of money in purchasing costs.
Additionally, when you buy your PCBs locally, you get to save on the shipping costs you’d have incurred by importing them from overseas. Moreover, a PCB manufacturer in your region is more comfortable communicating and negotiating with, which can get you a lower custom PCB cost.
Most Chinese PCB manufacturers guarantee quick delivery time. In many cases, the delivery of expedited orders takes 24 hours. General orders take 2-3 days. This translates to more significant savings as there are no delays in your projects.
Adopt Smart Design Strategies to Lower Costs
Low-cost correct PCB service provider. Thankfully, there are various PCB manufacturing begins at the design stage. The number, type, and complexity of components still always influence the overall PCB fabrication cost. Here are a few creative tips for low-cost PCB design:
1.Place the Surface Mount Components On a Single Side
Any PCB cost estimator will reveal that PCBs with surface mounted components on both sides cost more than those with mounted surface components on one side. Single-sided PCBs go through one iteration of pick and place setup instead of two. That helps save the stencil cost.
2.Label Designators Properly
The purpose of designators is to identify components. When identifiers are clear and close to the relevant parts, the setup process becomes hassle-free. Proper labeling also helps eliminate issues in manual placement that could increase costs.
3.Panelize The Printed Circuit Board
In case you are producing numerous PCBs, it is best to provide the PCB in panels. It helps increase efficiency and minimizes manufacturing costs. Making multiple iterations of a PCB in a single group reduces SMT). This will make it easy for a pick and place machine to easily pick and place the components on the PCB (PCB assembly runs.
4.Minimize the Board Size
The size of the PCB, as you’d expect, has a significant impact on the cost of production. A bigger circuit board may be simpler to route, but it’s more expensive to produce.
Save Money during the PCB Assembly Process
It’s also possible to reduce the cost of PCB production when it comes to the assembly process. One method is to change the specifications of the PCB and related product content. For instance, you can opt for PCBs that have less than 14 layers.
Moreover, you can keep the thickness of the PCB board above 1mm. Also, consider using a standard material like FR4 instead of more expensive options. Finally, it’s best to do away with passive packages that are extremely small.
Consider Complete Consignment
Consignment refers to a business arrangement where a third party (consignee) agrees to sell goods that belong to the owner (consigner). There are many benefits to opting to shop consignment when it comes to SMT). This will make it easy for a pick and place machine to easily pick and place the components on the PCB (PCB assembly. One of these benefits is that you enjoy better prices than when you buy PCBs from retailers. In many cases, consignment is available online, saving you both time and money as you don’t need to go from one store to another. All you have to do is log into your computer, find the best prices, and put them in your virtual shopping cart.
Seek Advice from Suppliers
If you’ve previously established a strong relationship with PCB suppliers, you can consider asking them for low-cost PCB assembly suggestions. Many suppliers have been in the industry for a long time and know-how and where you can get the best deals on SMT). This will make it easy for a pick and place machine to easily pick and place the components on the PCB (PCB assembly without compromising on quality. Bne sure to ask several suppliers for their advice so you get an unbiased perspective. Consider working with a supplier who has your best interests at heart.
Review Some Electronic Websites
Often, locating the best quality PCB assembly at the lowest possible price starts online. Today, many electronic websites can offer great insights on where you can find the product you’re seeking at an attractive rate. Do some comparison shopping before making a buying decision. That entails browsing different online stores to purchase from the store that gives you the most competitive rate.
Check out the features and specifications of the PCBs a manufacturer provides before jumping at an offer. Also, read online reviews on a manufacturer’s website to see what previous clients say before ordering your PCBs from them.
Create a Clearer BOM File
A Bill of Material (BOM) is much more than just a list of components. You need to PCB components on the right footprint. The proper PCB assembler will often suggest authorized vendors who can supply the parts on your BOM at better prices.
A clear BOM also helps you to plan and budget your procurement. It makes it possible for you to capitalize on quantity and usage. A good idea to make sure that you always generate an accurate BOM list is to invest in the right PCB design software.
Choose the Right Components to Cut Costs
As we mentioned earlier, the type of components you choose will ultimately determine the PCB assembly cost. Seek up-to-date information on parts available on the market. Understandably, it’s tempting to go for the latest memory chips or MCU available. However, think about the availability and cost of these components. Don’t rush for highly sophisticated parts that cost a fortune. There are always more economical options that can perfectly meet your requirements. Also, bne sure to purchase components from less costly sources. If you can, consider using your ingredients.
Adjust Order Quantity And Batch
It’s always advisable to buy in bulk when you’re looking to save costs, especially when your project is significant. In this case, it is best to find a company that can produce many PCBs.
On the other hand, if your project is small, you need to find a PCB assembler that manufactures prototype PCBs or smaller production quantities. Such companies are more willing to give you the best price, even when purchasing a low production volume.
Always monitor your PCB requirements depending on high and low seasons. Adjust your order quantity to accommodate your needs according to demand, so you neither have a shortage or wastage.
Find a One-Stop PCB Maker
Contracting several PCB manufactures to assemble your printed circuit boards usually leads to extra costs, including shipping expenses from one company to another. When you choose a one-stop PCB company, on the other hand, you get to eliminate these costs. You also get to enjoy many different services under one roof, such as design software, PCB fabrication, assembly, and shipping. An all-in-one PCB assembler can provide an all-inclusive quote that eliminates the unpleasant surprise of extra fees. And since you’re dealing with only one point of contact, there’s economical, streamlined communication.
Maintain Quality And Cost At The Same Time
The best thing about low-cost SMT). This will make it easy for a pick and place machine to easily pick and place the components on the PCB (PCB assembly is that it doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing quality or functionality. The idea is to source high-quality materials from the right sources. This way, you end up with products that are highly reliable while still saving on production costs.
Low-quality products may seem less costly initially, but the problems they cause in the end can prove quite costly.
Low-cost PCB fabrication and assembly is no easy feat, but it’s possible. The trick is to be smart when it comes to sourcing PCB components and adopt creative design strategies. Always look for ways to eliminate complexities that add unnecessary costs.
Are you looking for top-quality SMT). This will make it easy for a pick and place machine to easily pick and place the components on the PCB (PCB assembly at the most friendly rate? Get in touch with WellPCB today. WellPCB has a vast wealth of expertise in the manufacture and assembly of PCBs.