While it is recommended to have a budget in mind before you choose your PCB fabrication provider, the best way to narrow down your choices would still be by knowing the exact services that you need beforehand. Requesting the creation of personalized PCB prototypes is already an expensive investment since the designs will need to be made from scratch and altered along the way. Therefore, in order to keep costs down and stick to your budget, you will need to find a manufacturer that understands your needs and can give you what you want without wasting any precious time or money.
Narrow Down your Choices
Many PCB fabrication providers can lure you in with their low prices, but you should never compromise on your specific needs since printed circuit boards will play a pivotal role in all of your machines. Pcbnet are providing the larger production of PCB fabrication. In order to keep you on track, listed below are some of the tips you will need during your search for the perfect partner and provider.
Set your Objectives
A specific requirement will entail a specific type of expertise. A different set of capabilities will be required depending on the amount of finished that you will need within your set time frame. This means that you will need to narrow down your objectives and determine whether you need a PCB fabrication provider who can supply a single finished product or one that can provide you with larger production volumes.
You should look for a provider who is willing to work together with you in order to solve any problems that you will encounter along the way. If you encounter any defective or misplaced parts, you must both work through the issues in order to salvage the main board and resolve the smaller problems later on. Likewise, you should also specify if you are looking for an outsourcing partner who can provide you with a cost down solution.
A manufacturer that can provide you with parts procurement can also considerably lighten your burden as well as your budget. They will be able to save you a large amount of money since they can afford to buy in bulk or otherwise harness their on-hand stocks.
Qualifying Potential Candidates
In order to simplify your search, it is recommended that you send in a complete but concise overview of your company’s details as well as your specific needs. This will help you narrow down your long list of potential candidates by weeding out those that will not form a perfect fit for your company.
You can also include a short questionnaire along with the overview in order to get a feel of the vision and capabilities of the fabricators under consideration. Ask them to expound on the possible solutions that they have for your requested specifications. Likewise, make sure that you audit the company’s staff and check if they have people who are adept in the basic required skills such as quality control, engineering, manufacturing, and procurement.
Similarly, make sure that your manufacturer has all of the tools and equipment necessary for making modern printed circuit boards. They must have pick and place equipment that can be programmed to function based on the specifications in data files. After all, you might need to have some parts of your board programmed prior to assembly while other parts will need to be programmed in-circuit.
They should also have the proper screening, testing, and rework machines such as x-rays, SMT machines, and others on hand. Finally, they should have the resources to fabricate prototypes, stencils, and even blank printed circuit boards if necessary.
Request for a Quotation
Since you will be working under a set budget, it is vital that you request for a quotation of the possible costs that you will incur for the entire PCB fabrication process. The quotation must be highly detailed and contain information regarding both the technical and commercial aspects of fabrication. Some of the categories that you should expect in the quotation are the lead time current status of the project, any substitution of the component parts, Estimated Annual Usage or EAU, function tests, and many others.
Facilitate a Smooth Transition
Once you have selected your PCB fabrication provider, you will then need to ensure that all of the necessary information and physical parts are all properly relayed to the respective parties. This will facilitate a smoother and faster process for both you and your manufacturer. If you already have any previous manufacturing knowledge or a premade reference board, make sure to share these with your provider as well.
Establish a Continuing Relationship
In order to make sure that everything will be executed as smoothly as possible, it is crucial that you maintain constant contact with your manufacturing partner. Though you might initially think that regularly checking up on their progress will only interrupt their work, it might actually help to keep them on track. Likewise, setting weekly or monthly meeting with your partner will enable you to discuss the finer points of your working relationship as well as provide you with an opportunity to discuss other future plans and projects.