Selecting the PCB manufacturer that is right for your PCB assembly needs

When it comes to choosing the PCB manufacturing partner to entrust your PCB assembly needs, you have to have a set of selection criteria to ensure your desired quality output. Here are 7 aspects you should find in a good PCB manufacturer or assembler.

1. Price

Obtain thorough information detailing the total cost of manufacturing, including the labor cost from the PCB manufacturer. Then, examine carefully the things that are deemed to constitute the manufacturing cost and take time to make an accurate comparison with manufacturing costs from one or two other competing PCB manufacturers. This should help you determine if the manufacturing costs of the PCB manufacturer of choice are at par with the average costs in the PCB assembly industry and if the PCB manufacturer is consistent in the competition.

Pcb assembly

2. Quality Accreditation

Look for quality accreditations such as ISO certification and RoHS compliance that any competitive PCB manufacturer must possess. The minimum ISO certification you should be looking for in a company is ISO 9001:2008 for you to guarantee that they are capable of producing products that are well above the industry average. In case you are unfamiliar with the quality accreditation the manufacture claims to possess, make sure it comes from a licensed registrar.

3. Facility and Equipment

The PCB manufacturer’s capacity to deliver output of high caliber and to the specifications of the client demands availability and proper maintenance of all necessary equipment and facilities. The efficiency of the assembly equipment depends also on their being brand new and modernized, or being outdated and time-consuming. Check whether there are jet printers available and whether the company’s records reflect that they are properly maintained along with the pick-and-place machines, reflow ovens and wave soldering tools. This also guarantees the company’s commitment to quality.

4. Staff

High-caliber equipment, no matter how properly maintained, is inefficient insofar as there is a very limited number of assembly professionals. Therefore, see to it that the PCB manufacturing company has an array of duly certified assembly technicians. Evaluate the training records of the company’s staff, including non-certified staff members that are still working towards their certification.

5. Procurement

The PCB manufacturer will be obtaining its supplies and materials from an external producer, hence, try assessing their procurement division whether they have strong inventory management process or not. Determine if they are procuring their supplies from onshore or offshore merchants because chances are, you will be paying much bigger amount for supplies that come from distant locations. While you can procure on your own the materials required for your PCB assembly, you should look for procurement professionals employed by the PCB manufacturing company of your choice. This way, you will be confident that such professionals have the ability to recommend you alternative materials that are more efficient and more affordable than those that are in your bill of materials.

6. Location

If time and money savings are important to you, choosing a PCB manufacturer that is situated just in the neighbourhood will render you additional speed of delivery as well as flexibility when crucial site surveys have to be carried out. Most large-scale reputable PCB manufacturing companies have offshore facilities in a number of geographical locations such as Korea, Taiwan and mainland China. Thus, you will be dealing with the same trusted company through their PCB assembly facility near your business area.

7. The PCB manufacturer’s

Capacity to meet shipping deadlines is crucial to your business, thus whenever possible, obtain comprehensive information from the PCB manufacturer with regards to their capacity to meet this criterion. See to it that they are shipping your order using the most secure means possible.

Ever Heard of Challenge Coins?

You might have come across people yelling “Coin check!” on one of your drinking parties and you must have wondered what it was all that about. They were most probably just playing a drinking game using their challenge coins. If you never knew about these coins until now, don’t worry about it because you are not alone. Many people aren’t aware of it unless they’re part of the military, police, or fire department. On the other hand, you might already have it in your collection without knowing how it’s commonly used.

Challenge coins are those 3-diameter coins or medallions that usually bear a name and an emblem. These coins are made of copper, nickel or pewter and can have a variety of finish such as bronze, gold, and silver. Just to be clear, these coins do not have any monetary value and could not be used to buy things. A coin’s value, however, depends on what it represents.

challenge coins

If you have come across challenge coins, you will notice their different designs. As it reflects the personality of a specific unit, each coin design is unique from another unit’s. As a side note, if you wanted to have a challenge coin and you have no idea on how to design it, you can probably ask some professionals to style it for you. Anyway, coin designs are very varied. It can be very simple or very complex depending on the organization which it represents. These are generally used for the sake of identification and are carried at all times by members of a unit or organization. After all, the coins build morale and promote the team’s camaraderie or brotherhood.

These coins have deep roots in the military and its origin was dated back to as far as World War I. The coin was also taken as a sign of a warrior. In the Roman Empire, soldiers were rewarded coins for their show of valour or as recognition for their achievements. In the military, it became a longstanding tradition for members to keep their coins within arm’s reach. To ensure that this tradition is upheld, the coin check was developed.

The coin check is a challenge that can be made by anyone who owns a challenge coin. You can initiate a coin check by displaying your coin in any means possible and expressly stating your intention for a coin check. If you are the one being challenged, you can respond by displaying your coin in the same manner. The person who was unable to respond correctly would be given a penalty. In cases where everyone responded correctly, the challenger will be the one given the penalty. You usually buy drinks for the team as penalty in coin checks. Also, be very careful in handling your challenge coins,as dropping them could initiate an accidental coin check. You could very well end up spending all your money paying drinks for your buddies! The coin check can be initiated at any time and any place, so you better not lose your coins and keep them around at all times!

Challenge coins are not just used for identification or games but are also given as a show of appreciation or recognition of a job well done to civilians. Some give it simply as a sign of connection. In the military, coins are given by way of a handshake. Some called this the “secret handshake” wherein the giver puts the coin in his hand and while in a supposedly normal handshake, turns over the coin to another. This happens in the blink of an eye and is as inconspicuous as possible. If you’re feeling up to it, you could keep your eye out for those secret handshakes in the future.

Author Bio:

At Challenge Coins 4 Less, challenge coins are the absolute best in the business. We produce custom coins for all branches of US Military.