Finding The Best Printed Circuit Board Assembly Services

Posted on 2021-09-20

The Best Printed Circuit Board Assembly Services

Printed circuit boards have become an essential part of devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, and almost any such device. By 2025, the global PCB market will expand by 4.12% with the increasing demand for these circuits. Keeping the ever-rising demand for these boards, OEMs have so many printed circuit board assembly services to pick from.

However, the luxury of having so many service providers sometimes turns into a hassle. How can you identify the most reliable service provider from the lot? It might as well confuse you. Today, we will share helpful tips on how to identify the most reliable PCB assembly services around.

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Identifying the Most Reliable Printed Circuit Board Assembly Services

Identifying and hiring the most dependable printed circuit board assembly services shouldn’t be a tough process if you follow the right approach. Having choices is a great thing and you can take advantage of it by rationally choosing the most reliable service. Here is how you can find the best available PCB assembly service for your project:

1. Know Your Requirements

Before you begin the pursuit of the most reliable PCB assembly services around, you must understand your requirements. Therefore, you must know your specific project requirements. For instance, you need to know which PCB technology is suitable for your approach. The available PCB technologies are surface-mount and through-hole. Some projects require both PCB technologies at the same time. Then, you need to understand the size and timing. Different suppliers offer boards in different sizes. You should also be very clear about the timeframe within which you will need the completed PCB assemblies.

It is also essential to know how much budget you can allocate in PCB assemblies. Then, there are the regulatory requirements. What compliance and safety certifications do you need for your device and industry? It is also essential to know how many PCB assemblies you will need from the manufacturer and what additional support the supplier can provide. Remember that some suppliers also provide extra support, such as ray tracing and wire harnesses.

It is also necessary to know the finish level before hiring printed circuit board assembly services from any supplier. Do you require turnkey assembly, labor-only, or box-build services? Usually, an OEB assembly service takes place in the following ways:

  • Box-Build Assembly
  • Turnkey PCB (Printed Circuit Board) Assembly
  • Labor-Only

You should know what services the supplier provides before hiring their services.

2. Do Research

After knowing your requirements, you should perform online research in pursuit of 4 – 5 potential service providers. During your research, focus on the capabilities and experience of potential companies. After shortlisting 4-5 companies from the online research, ask them the following questions.

  • What experience do you have in the relevant industry?
  • For how many years you are in the business?
  • Do you offer any other services? If yes, then what?
  • Which technology(s) you are specialized in? (Through-hole, surface-mount, or both)?
  • What board sizes do they deal with?
  • Do they have the required equipment and tools for the job? (Board layers, mounting technology, AOI, washing, coating, etc.)
  • Do they outsource the PCB assembly?

Ask all these questions from every potential company. It will give you a clear idea about the strengths and weaknesses of potential companies.

3. Testing Methods and Quality Assurance

Regulatory compliance and product quality are the critical elements of final products. Therefore, you must ensure to inquire about these elements before hiring printed circuit board assembly services. You must make sure that the company has the required control and testing measures in place. These may include ISO-9001 Quality Management, and UL Certification.

4. Determine the Delivery Time

Timely installation of the PCB assembly is essential to ensure you reach the market fast. It is a key component in determining the success of your business. The speed of the delivery can impact in different ways, such as:

Design Complexity

Complex assemblies take extra production time. Keep in mind that all companies offering printed circuit board assembly services would not be capable of handling complex projects. Therefore, you must inquire about the capabilities of the service provider before hiring them.

Quality Required and Supplier Capabilities

Operating small batches can assist save time for short timelines for partial deliveries. Before you hire any service provider, make sure that they will also help in smaller runs. Also, make sure that the supplier has top-of-the-line PCB manufacturing tools and equipment for customized PCB designs.

Location, Logistics, and Shipping Time

The facility location is so crucial because it impacts the shipping/delivery times. You must keep in mind the delays that you may face when your products are arriving via ship. Some manufacturers use trucks for fast delivery without the risks, such as customs backlogs. Before you hire the company, it is a rational decision to first go through their on-time delivery history.

5. Check out The Customer Support and Reviews

Going through company websites is not enough to determine their strengths and weaknesses. You have to dive deep into customer support and quality. See what potential company’s customers say about their services. Go through their website reviews and other channels, including social media. Dial their helpline number and see how quickly they respond to your calls. Doing this should help you know their service standards and customer support.

6. Get Free Quotes

Till this point, you will be clear about choosing a couple of potential companies from your initial research. Now, you should request a free quote for the printed circuit board assembly services you need. Compare the prices quotes, keeping in mind all additional services selected companies provide. Pricing depends on quality, timing/speed, MOQ requirements, shipping, location, and expertise.

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7. Choose Your PCB Manufacturer

After making all essential comparisons between potential PCB manufacturers, it is time to choose the one that seems the best. You must understand the difference between the price and quality. Some manufacturers provide services at very low rates, but their service standards are also low. For a successful project, you must choose a manufacturer that is known for providing unparalleled PCB assembly services.

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