reflow soldering does not make sense to invest in highly-priced production equipment if you just want to spin a few prototypes and rather outsource your PCB assembly and prototype manufacturing to a trustworthy vendor. I will give some tips as to what to watch out for when seeking for a contract manufacturer.
Many contract companies will supply an instant quote mechanism on their website for manufacture of circuit boards and assembly of prototypes. This will save you time when comparing unique vendors. Make confident that the quote technique allows you to enter all of the particulars, such as board material, thickness, copper thickness, milling and so on. so that you can get an precise quote without any surprises later on.
Usually the cost per board will lower as quantity increases. This is due to the fairly high setup expense of circuit board manufacturing and element assembly. Some vendors will use a technique where they combine boards from a number of customers. This way the setup cost will be distributed amongst several clients. When you manufacture a item, you certainly do not want to have to manufacture a large quantity of boards appropriate away though you refine your style.
One limitation with small-quantity prototypes although is that the selection of components and material thicknesses will be limited. If you are utilizing a particular material then possibilities are there won’t be any other buyers making use of the identical material. In addition, lead time plays a significant function in figuring out price. A longer lead time enables the manufacturer far more freedom in slotting your production. This is normally reflected in decrease fees which you will see in the quote section. Naturally if you are in a rush and want to be moved to the prime of the pile you will want to spend additional money.
Make certain that your contract manufacturer will assistance the file format for manufacture that you provide. The most typical format for PCB manufacture is the Gerber format but some vendors will also accept board files from prevalent PCB application merchandise. Some suppliers also offer you in-property PCB design. Even if you style your board oneself, picking a vendor with design services could prove helpful in case there is a trouble with your files. In this case your vendor can make rapid changes which will avoid expensive delays.
When subcontracting PCB assembly, make sure that your vendor can assemble all of the package sorts that your board utilizes. Some vendors cannot assemble specific sort of IC packages such as BGA, chip-scale packages or pretty tiny element sorts. If in doubt be confident to contact your vendor ahead of time.
Some contract suppliers will carry an inventory of common SMT and by way of-hole elements. You will save time if you can pull from your vendor’s inventory rather than buying each component oneself. Make confident to specify which components you wish to consign yourself when you upload your bill of materials.
Most vendors will also supply manufacture of the SMT stencil which is expected for PCB assembly. Be certain to order the stencil ideal away when ordering the circuit boards themselves to keep away from delays.
To assure that your circuit boards will function, be confident that your vendor is excellent certified and delivers the tests and board inspection procedures that are necessary. Please note, on the other hand, that certain tests, such as ICT testing needs further time and price to prepare appropriate test fixtures.