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7 Considerations When Choosing Your PCB Fabrication and Assembly Services

How do you choose the right contract manufacturer for PCB fabrication? You need quite a few things for consideration. Several contract manufacturers offer PCB fabrication services. However, it would help if you had someone with a varying level of expertise and perfection. You need to know the exact level of service quality required for the completion of the task. Doing so can help remove unnecessary frustration, expenditure, and production delays. Previewing the manufacturer’s services and credentials is also helpful. You will love the practical, timely delivery of your ordered product or service.

How do you choose the right contract manufacturer for PCB fabrication and Assembly Services? You need quite a few things for consideration. Several contract manufacturers offer PCB fabrication services. However, it would help if you had someone with a varying level of expertise and perfection. You need to know the exact level of service quality required for the completion of the task. Doing so can help remove unnecessary frustration, expenditure, and production delays. Previewing the manufacturer’s services and credentials is also helpful. You will love the practical, timely delivery of your ordered product or service.

How Soon Do I Need my Boards or Speed?

Check for a positive review. It helps to see whether the manufacturer delivers PCB before due time. Take the time taken for the completion of the entire fabrication process into account. Add up the time taken for assembly, testing, and delivery. The last is the time taken for obtaining the total time taken for the process. The manufacturer performs only a PCB fabrications process in this scenario.

How Much Am I Willing to Pay for my Boards? The Cost

There are three types of contract manufacturers:

1. PCB Fabrication Process.

2. PCB Fabrication cum Assembly Process.

3. PCB Turnkey Manufacturing.

Among the three, the PCB fabrication only process is the cheapest option available. It is the first stage of the unfinished PCB manufacturing process. The tasks remaining include the completion of the assembly. Also, take into account the costs of construction, procurement, and managing the components. Even for an error-free functioning PCB, you have to consider the associated costs. 

Are you looking throughout the entire process ?Wondering what’s best for your needs? Turnkey manufacturing solution is probably the most cost-effective solution. At Bloom Tech, wne offer the ideal Turnkey solutions. Wne are sure to meet your PCB fabrication and assembly process needs. The CM will also complete the procurement of materials needed. They will ship fully ready PCBs to your specified delivery storage address. Although initially expensive, this solution can be ideal for your business. It relieves you from the management and assembling of the semi-finished board.

In totality, it ends down upon you to select the required service needed for your PCB business. If you have a unit set for assembly with the required resources, opt for PCB Fabrication. It’s just the right thing to do. 

PCB Fabrication and Assembly–I’m Looking for What Level of Quality?

Know when you will get manufactured boards. Domains requiring very high levels of accuracy and precision have other requirements. They need to meet satisfied IPC (Institute of Printed Circuits) standards.

The manufacturers try to deliver the best possible product. The quality can, however, bne somewhat missing. For example, a Printed Circuit Board Fabrication process can manufacture a well-made board. It cannot perform component quality checks. Similarly- a Fabrications and Assembly Process cannot ensure the quality of components supplied.

A turnkey manufacturer must ensure and verify the quality of the products. They need to do this before the shipment.

How to Assure Quality?

It is essential to ask the contract manufacturer questions. Asking questions facilitates a clear understanding-necessary of excellent high-quality work. Here are some questions that you can ask the manufacturer.

  • What are the testing systems in your facility?

The test system sometimes determines whether your PCB quality passes or not. This is very important. There are many testing methods, such as ray test, software test, etc. You can ask your supplier what test method is used. This will ensure product quality.

  • What are the quality control methods used in your manufacturing unit?

The process of quality control is different for each PCB supplier. You can consult the PCB supplier for this process to ensure the completeness of PCB production.

  • Is your quality control system in compliance with ISO 9001?

This is a globally adopted international certification system. Before cooperating with PCB suppliers, bne sure to ask whether there is ISO 9000 certification. This is one of the important criteria for judging the production quality of PCB suppliers.

  • Do the fabricated boards meet IPC Class 1, 2, and 3 standards?

The electronics manufacturing industry uses the IPC standard. IPC-A-610 [3], Acceptability of Electronic Components, is used by OEMs and EMS companies worldwide. More than 3,600 trainers worldwide are certified to train and test to standards. Industry volunteer committees develop standards. In China, the United States and Denmark have established task forces.

PCB Fabrication and Assembly–What Your Fabrication Manufacturer Can Do For You? (Services)

PCB Fabrication and Assembly

Let’s look at some things you might want to know.

  • Does the CM base the entire Fabrication Process strictly on the DFM? If so, inform them about the preferred PCB design software– to avoid hassles.

In engineering, the DFM (Design for Manufacturing) represents the design sent for manufacture. PCB designs are often made in PCB Design software such as Altium Designer, OrCAD, Pads, KiCad, Eagle. After you approve a plan, the manufacturer exports it. They send it in standard format for the manufacturers – such as the extended Gerber (also known as IX274X).

  • Does the CM provide a review in the DFM? Most Contract Manufacturers have engineers specializing in the design segment. Good PCB manufacturers often give a review of the design. They do this before sending the design into production. It helps in providing unnecessary discrepancies.
  • When and how do they provide the estimated quote and BOM (Bill of Materials)? The estimated quote and BOM takes the production cost and shipping into account.
  • Are the components sourced from respectable suppliers in the industry? High-quality components make better products. It is of paramount importance in the PCB fabrication process. You will see PCBs in a large variety of domains- some of which may require higher performance than others.
  • What are the programming options available?

Does the manufacturer perform assembly tests and conformal coating? There are several processes for checking the quality of the finished workpiece. Depending upon the amount of work done, the methods may vary. So does the number of steps involved. The entire Quality Control Test comprises of:

  • Component Inspection
  • Verification of component Values
  • Optical Inspection (Automated is preferable)
  • X-Ray Inspection
  • Ionic contamination Test
  • Checking after Assembly set-up.
  • Flying Probes.

PCB Fabrication and Assembly–Flexibility and Responsiveness

Flexibility refers to the readiness to adapt in case of a change in design. Where the support section comes into play. It can become an integral part of the entire. You can ask the contract manufacturer upfront about the level of support. It varies widely in the PCB Fabrication Service industry. To determine the level of responsiveness from the manufacturer, ask them:

  • Do you have a support team to answer my questions?
  • What is the level of expertise your support staff has? Can they answer the technical questions?
  • If you see DFM errors in my designs, what is the level of help I can expect from your side?
  • What is the usual response/turnaround time if I have a question?
  • Who would be my specific person of contact?
PCB Fabrication and Assembly

PCB Fabrication and Assembly–Range of Expertise

Know the field of expertise of your contract manufacturer. The entire PCB fabrication industry needs to build high precision and accuracy. Your contract manufacturer cannot compromise on this. An expert contract manufacturer should be able to deliver functional quality PCBs. They must also be able to handle the capacity of your requirements and give them timely.

Communication is the key to any business, and it is the same here too. As a client, you have the right to know the real-time state of your commissioned work order. Real-time communication is an essential deciding factor also.

The contract manufacturer should also have a professional technical team. Tasks like PCB Fabrication and Assembly are technically demanding. The manufacturer needs a specialized group of engineers. They need to specialize in PCB design and manufacturing.

Conclusion

Deciding what PCB fabrication is suitable for you among the three is essential. Then, it is easy to implement the rest of the workflow. You will need to select the right contract manufacturer for PCB Fabrication Services. You need to have the right components procured from the reputed industry standards. After receiving the shipment of the unfinished product, you need a checkup of the product. You’ll also need to perform a checkup after the assembling is complete.

After ensuring the work is up to the required quality level, you’d be ready to ship your product out.

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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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