Many companies and individuals create and market products that require prototypes of printed circuit board. If you are in need of these prototypes, you have two options: manufacture the circuit boards or hire a company that can manufacture the prototypes according to your preferences and needs.
Producing prototypes of a printed circuit board is a laborious job considering the need of highly functional and efficient facilities for fabrication and assembly. Building these facilities just to create prototypes is certainly not a practical idea. It is less expensive to outsource the production of the prototype to a firm that already has the necessary setup to produce them. This article will help you in choosing a suitable company to outsource the production of a circuit board prototype.
You can save a lot of time when you choose to use online quotes applications provided by several PCB manufacturing firms. It is very easy to use these online applications because you may only need to provide the needed specifications about the prototype. These details usually include the material to be used for the board, its thickness and also other particular details. An online quote facility can also provide you the estimated price of the prototype even before you make an order.
As a general rule, the higher the number of prototypes you order, the lesser the price of the whole order will be –
This means that the quantity of the production is inversely proportional to the price of the order. However, it is important to bear in mind that circuit board prototypes are seldom produced massively because they are not yet the final designs.
Professional designers and manufacturers of printed circuit board have extensive knowledge when it comes to producing prototype that will enable you to cut down on the cost. An experienced producer can also spread the cost of prototype over several customers by setting up schematics that can cater to the needs of different customers. This will make it easy to control the total price of the PCB prototypes.
Most producers of PCB prototypes utilize the Gerber format in designing and manufacturing circuit boards –
While choosing the right producer, you should also take note that your selected manufacturer must be able to work with the file formats that you can provide. For instance, if you cannot provide specific format, there’s a risk that the prototypes will come out differently.
If you can provide a format which the designer and manufacturer are comfortable working on, then the task will be very cost efficient. Most manufacturers of printed circuit board also provide design services. Taking advantage of these services can be very beneficial because the firm has all the technical know-how needed to complete the procedure. You can also ensure that all problems that will arise during the pre-assembly stage will be easily resolved because you are dealing with professionals.
In choosing a provider to outsource the assembly of printed circuit board prototypes, it is crucial that you understand the factors that could affect the lead time. If the design of the circuit board is composed of materials that are not standard, the manufacturer might need longer lead time. This is true if you are experimenting with new design prototypes because they may need to create a unique series of production to be able to produce your needed circuit boards.
It is also crucial to take a closer look on the range of package types that the manufacturer of PCB can take for production. Professional firms will include this crucial information on their websites. For example, not all PCB producers can accept orders for chip-scale or special ball grid array (BGA). You can prevent later problems by calling the technical support team of a prospect online provider and inquire if they have the capacity to assemble your required PCB prototypes.
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