Before purchasing a PCB board price, it must be given to several factors to avoid misunderstandings. Generally, before you buy a custom PCB board, you need to look for a professional designer to design a specific PCB board that will suit your needs.
In the design process, it integrates some factors to reduce costs. Finally, a file and send it to the supplier for mass production. But in the actual process of obtaining the PCB, the price will also be affected by many factors. For example, the supplier’s location, production equipment, cycle time, materials, etc.
Of course, the price of PCB is not as low as possible. We have compiled a list of some factors you need to know in real PCB board prices to make the right decision.
Location of Selected PCB Manufacturer
In this article, the focus will be on European and Asian PCB manufacturers. Since the PCB prototype is one of the most requested services in the electronics industry, choosing the right manufacturer is critical.
Based on reviews, European and Asian PCBs have similar quality. However, Chinese prototype boards are about five times cheaper than the European’s. The main reasons for the substantial price differences are:
1. The fast development of China’s electronics industry.
2. Low cost of labor.
3. Low cost of land.
Due to these factors, Chinese PCB manufacturers produce prototype boards that are less expensive than the ones provided by European manufacturers.
Note That the Size of the PCB
Another major factor that affects the price of PCB is the size. The number of circuits needed for the device determines the size of the PCB. For instance, the PCB inside a clock will be smaller than the one inside a computer or TV.
Also, larger boards require an increased number of holes, and this makes the price rise. The number of materials used to make larger boards are more hose used to make smaller boards; hence, increasing ease.
The dimension of the PCB determines the overall price of the PCB. A board with 18 x 24 will take up more space than a board with dimensions 18 x 21.
PCB Board Price–Double-sided Assembly
If your PCB design is a double-sided assembly, there will be a significant rise in the board’s price. Since both sides of the circuit board assembly are installed. The process leads to an increase in production cost because it includes SMT equipment programming, extra soldering, etc.
Double-sided boards are costlier than single-side boards as the former fit more components and require extra soldering. It is essential to think about your budget and the one that costs more. Effective cost management will ensure that your PCB design prose is efficient.
Since double-sided assembly requires extra skill and can be tricky, it can lead to wastage and defects, which will lead to additional costs.
However, double-sided boards have a higher density of components than single-sided boards. This implies that the former can carry more elements without cluttering the space. There is also more natural dissipation of heat in double-sided assembly due to the extra layer of copper.
PCB Board Price–Type of PCB Parts
Another factor that determines the cost of your PCB is the type of components used in manufacturing it. Many components used include:
- Battery: it’s the life of the board as it provides voltage to the circuit
- Transistor: Regulate the flow of current or energy into the circuit
- Capacitors: they carry electrical charges. The different types of capacitors include mica capacitors, plastic film capacitors, or tantalum capacitors.
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs): they produce light when an electric current passes through them.
- Switches: depending on whether they are open or closed, they allow or block flow.
- Potentiometer: it is a type of variable resistor that can be linear or rotary.
- Transformer: they are used to transfer electrical energy from one circuit to another, resulting in an increase or decrease in voltage.
- Sensors: they are used to detect subtle changes in environmental conditions. They convert energy from a physical phenomenon to electrical power.
The higher the number of components used in the PCB design, the higher the cost of production.
Also, the PCB parts used in the prototype and manufacturing stages are affected by:
• Heat transfer: some boards can withstand high-intensity loads than others. By using the right material, there will be no transfer of heat to other components.
• Thermal reliability: some boards require materials with a higher thermal rating to perform effectively. Implies that the boards will be able to withstand high temperatures.
• Signal performance: when choosing the PCB, it is essential to choose the one that will withstand the range of temperatures without interruption.
• Mechanical properties: the type of PCB you want must be capable of withstanding physical stress.
Temperature reliability: it is essential to select components that can withstand extreme conditions without overheating.
PCB Board Price–Choice of the Detection Method
It is essential to test the PCBs during the design and manufacturing processes as this will help detect any problems and ensure the quality of the products. There are different types of detection techniques. They include:
- In-circuit testing (ICT) consists of a fixture, software, and an in-circuit tester. This method is capable of detecting many defects during the manufacturing stage.
The function can test inductance, open circuit, capacitance, etc.
However, it cannot check all the nodes and measure low inductance/capacitance values.
- Automated Optical Inspection (AOI): this method uses cameras to detect PCBs’ faults during the manufacturing stage. Also, it is usually used at the end of the assembly line to examine the finished PCBs’ quality. The cameras track the defects in the PCB, and the manufacturers correct them accordingly.
- Boundary-scan testing: When you can not visit all the nodes, to test integrated circuits. It has an advantage over other tests because of its ability to test PCBs with multiple layers even when the nodes cannot be accessed.
- Functional circuit test: This function can test the function of the circuit. This test is usually performed at the end of the manufacturing plant. The manufacturer uses this test to examine if the PCB functions according to the design specifications.
PCB Board Price–Choice of Packaging
Packaging decisions affect the price of a PCB because it is essential to keep the PCB intact. The packaging of the PCB is as vital as the PCB，To prevent planks from cracking or getting wet, it is necessary to pay attention to the packaging. There are various forms of packaging. They include:
- Bubble wrap/tissue paper: if the PCB is significant and straightforward without containing any fragile components, Can use this packaging form
- ESD bags: for PCBs with delicate and sensitive parts prone to electrostatic discharge, This is the recommended form of packaging.
- Moisture barrier packaging: in a situation where your PCB is susceptible to moisture or if the shipping is via a humid medium, using a moisture barrier packaging will help safeguard your product.
The more fragile or sensitive the PCB is, the more expensive the packaging will be.
PCB Board Price–Equipment Used by the Supplier for PCB Assembly
The price of a circuit board depends on the number of components used in manufacturing the PCB. If the ingredients are many, there is a high probability that it will require advanced equipment to solder them on the board.
Some of the equipment used in making PCB includes:Solder paste inspection machine
- Wave soldering machine
- Solder paste printing machine
- Reflow soldering machine
- Pick and place machine
- Glue dispensing machine.
The cost of the board will be affected by the use of the equipment. If you want a large number of PCBs, there is no way you can avoid this cost.
PCB Board Price–Special Needs
In giving the manufacturer the job, you might have special needs that you want in your PCB. Different manufacturers have different skillsets and machinery. Ensure that your manufacturer can meet your PCB needs before you go ahead and swipe your credit card.
PCB Board Price–Communication of Details is Key
Before you contract the job to the manufacturer, ensure that you have a substantial agreement. Effective communication of your needs is an excellent way to ensure that you get the desired results. Some of the critical questions you can ask include:
- Delivery date: if you want to express delivery, it might cost more money.
- Material sourcing: you can save yourself the hassle of buying material by asking your manufacturer if the company has an in-house purchasing department.
- Board specifications: to ensure that your manufacturer will do a good job, give a detailed outline of the board specifications you want.
- Warranty: you don’t want to end up buying a board that will not serve its purpose for a long time. Ensure that your manufacturer uses quality materials to avoid incurring an unnecessary loss.
It is essential to consider these factors whenever you want to purchase a printed circuit board. It will help you determine the type of PCB to buy according to your budget.
Want to know more about the factors that influence the price of PCB? Contact a trustworthy PCB manufacturing company today. At WellPCB, we offer quality services such as PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, etc. For further information, visit our website.