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A 7-Step Guide to Choose the Right PCB Assembly Manufacturer

A 7-Step Guide to Choose the Right PCB Assembly Manufacturer

Jun 25,2019

Printed circuit boards have been part of electronics for a long time; however, nowadays their designing involves lots of intricacies. Owing to their ever-increasing demand, today, you will come across several manufacturers who assure design and manufacturing assistance, and error-free boards at competitive prices. With these PCB assembly manufacturers competing over designs, and prices, it is quite obvious to get confused when it comes to their selection. You need to consider several factors before deciding the right PCB assembly manufacturer for your project. What are these factors? Read the post to know more.

Important Points to Consider before Choosing a PCB Assembly Manufacturer

The following points will help ease your confusions regarding the preferred assembly manufacturer.

  • Design Capabilities:

    Owing to the increasing complexity in electronic devices, PCB designs are becoming complex, too. The demand for high-performance devices such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA), microcontrollers (MCU), application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), etc., has increased. Although these technologies are being often discussed, the design aspect is often overlooked. So when selecting a manufacturer to materialize your regular, or high-performance PCB designs, always ensure they have experience in handling your requirements for different PCB stack-ups, via types, or breakout strategies. In addition to these designs, you can also discuss your expectations on power integrity and signal integrity with them.

  • Manufacturing Capabilities:

    Analyzing the manufacturing capabilities of a PCB assembly manufacturer may not be easy, owing to a large number of aspects involved.

Here are some areas you can concentrate upon:

Range of Expertise:

The following are a few popular types of PCBs created today. You can check if your chosen manufacturer provides the following types of PCBs in materials, finishes, and solder mask colors of your choice.

  • Flexible PCBs
  • Rigid PCBs
  • Burn-in PCBs
  • Lead-free PCBs
  • Multilayer PCBs
  • Single-Sided PCBs
  • Double-Sided PCBs
  • PCB Assembly Services:

    Most PCB assembly manufacturers specialize in either of the following types of PCB assembly services:

  • Consignment Services:

    These are partial outsourcing services, where the PCB assembly manufacturer will retain some portion of the overall manufacturing components in-house, such as system assembly, box builds, and more. In this model, shipping, in-house purchasing, or receiving groups will obtain materials, separate them, and deliver them to the contract manufacturer.

  • Turnkey Services:

    These include a complete range of manufacturing functions including material acquisition, testing, assembly, warranty support, and aftermarket services. Some PCB manufacturers will allow you to choose between a partial and a full turnkey PCB assembly. In a full turnkey PCB assembly, the manufacturer will perform the entire range of functions, whereas, in a partial turnkey assembly, their role is limited to only a few functions.

  • Production Capabilities:

    Are you interested in prototype building? Or do you want to go for a small volume or a large volume production? It is important that you check the possibilities with your manufacturer. Several manufacturers specialize in prototype assemblies, so they may not take up a small volume or large volume production orders. However, some manufacturers may specialize in prototype building, small volume and large volume productions.

  • Technical Capabilities:

    Under this, you need to concentrate on technology investments made by the PCB manufacturer. This may include various types of SMT lines, component placement equipment, optical and X-ray inspection equipment, reflow ovens used as well as repair of Ball Grid Arrays (BGAs) and other microdevices.

Is that all? There are a few more points that you must consider when choosing a PCB assembly manufacturer for materializing your PCB designs. We will discuss the same in our next post.    

Related Blog Post:

  • A 7-Step Guide to Choose a Right PCB Assembly Manufacturer- Part 2 Read More
  • Important Guidelines of Design for Manufacture and Assembly of PCBs – Part I Read More
  • 4 Reasons to Select a Single-Stop PCB Assembly Read More  


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