The majority of designs and product developments today are completed in a technological setting. The use of PCB fabrications allows manufacturing companies to bring a design to fruition. However, some manufacturers and designers may be inhibited by the high costs of circuit board assembly services. The following PCB assembly service tips will allow you to cut costs and stick to a tight budget.
Give up production speed requirements
Whether you are dealing with the production of nontechnological designs or PCB assembly services, fast PCB prototype design is always going to cost more. Anytime you need a project completed in a quicker speed, you are going to pay for that speed. If you do not require a fast PCB prototype design or print, this is a great area to cut costs. The advent of machine assembly for any size orders means that shops can assembly PCBs in a fraction of the time it would normally take for hand placement. In fact, some PCB assemblers have a standard turn time of 5 days or less, which is 75% faster than the industry average. Easily cut costs by sticking to the hand placement method.
Go with a single layer PCB
Although multiple layer PCBs product more advanced of technological devices, they also cost more to produce. A single PCB is going to be cheaper and quicker to manufacture. This is a great option for affordable production when speed is important. If you need a fast PCB design and print, stick to the single layer design. If your project requires multiple layers, remember that fewer layers are going to be more affordable. Most common multilayer boards are 4 layers, 6 layers, 8 layers, and 10 layers. However, the total number of layers that can be manufactured can exceed over 42 layers. These types of boards are used in extremely complex electronic circuits and require more time and money to manufacture.
Manufacture in older methods
The method of manufacturing PCBs has changed over the years. Anytime improvements are made to technology and electronics, the manufacturing process is also updated. You can cut costs by choosing an older manufacturing method. Before PCB design software was introduced, for example, printed circuit boards were designed using clear Mylar sheets, up to four time bigger than the circuit board itself, on which designers would create a transparent photomask of the proposed design. Although this method is not used as much today, it can be a cost effective and fast PCB prototype design option.
Shop around for PCB assembly quotes
You will also find that different PCB manufacturers charge different prices. Shop around and request quotes from different PCB assemblers. Notify the manufacturer that you are interested in low volume, yet fast PCB prototype design and print. It can also be helpful to inform designers that you are shopping around because the price is important. This will usually encourage PCB designers and printers to give you the best and most competitive of price, in order to win your print business. Additionally, repeat orders and frequent business can also get you a discount. If the designer or printer knows that you will bring all future business to them, they are more likely to give you a better deal in terms of cost.
The electronic design process of today requires a detailed PCB design. Following the completion of the design, the legend must then be printed. This process can be timely and costly and not everyone has the resources to afford it. With these recommendations, you can negotiate a price that you can afford that sticks with your time and printing requirements.