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.

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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 The efficiency of the assembly equipment depends also on their being brand new and modernized, or being outdated and time-consuming.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.