Five Factors that Will Affect your PCB Assembly Quote
Printed circuit boards are often used to create detailed and complex electronic devices. The path from the initial idea to a fully assembled PCB fabrication is a lengthy one that includes a lot of different planning and assembly aspects. If you are currently in the process of taking your design to the assembly process, you will want to consider the following price changing factors. These characteristics will change your PCB assembly quote.
The type of assembly that is completed
The type of assembly completed will significantly change the PCB assembly quote. Before PCB design was ever introduced, printed circuit boards were designed using clear Mylar sheets, up to four times bigger than the circuit board itself, on which designers would create a transparent photomask of the proposed design. While PCB assembly has improved since that assembly process, the PCB assembly quote can be affected by how advanced of an assembly you choose.
The volume in the PCB assembly
Higher volume prints tend to cost less because it is easier to print larger quantities. Low volume PCB, however, can receive discounts, depending on the type of PCB assembly that is chosen. It also depends on the complexity of the circuit board. Low volume multilayer PCBs are going to be costlier than low volume single PCB assemblies. Additionally, there are also double sided PCBs which can get very complex. Double sided circuit boards connect the circuits on each side using one of two methods, through hole technology and surface mount technology.
If any additional services are needed
The PCB assembly quote will also be affected by whether or not there are any additional services needed. A single turnkey PCB assembly, for example, does not include PCB inspections. Because there are many problems that can occur in the PCB assembly process, the PCB inspection is often needed. In fact, problems caused by printing technique account for 70% of all surface assembly quality issues, without consideration of PCB design or quality of components and printed boards. But, engineers and designers that are confident in their inspection skills can cut PCB assembly quote costs by inspecting it themselves.
The length of the assembly process
Time restraints can also increase the PCB assembly quote. Although PCB assembly processes no longer rely on individual manpower, a rushed PCB order can be expensive. Most PCB assembly areas have multiple orders and pushing an assembly order to the front of the line comes with an increase in the cost. Additionally, smaller volume PCB orders can cut costs by time restraints on the order. It is also important to remember that more complex of PCB designs takes longer to assemble, thus affecting the PCB assembly quotes.
The specific assembly company
Different PCB assemblers are going to charge different prices. When working on an assembly budget, it can be helpful to price shop for different quotes. Request information about what can cut costs. Receive multiple PCB assembly quotes and then compare them against one another. This is a great way to choose the best PCB assembler at an affordable price. However, be careful to never go with a company that lacks in experience, as the PCB assembly will need to be corrected and possibly, reprinted.
PCB assembly is one of the last steps in the PCB design process. A business spends many hours and thoughts on designing the perfect PCB design. The assembly process is important because it allows the design to come to life. Before heading into an assembly company, consider what your budget is and how you can obtain a PCB assembly quote that fits within your budget.