Prototyping typically involves going through a whole lot of design iterations before you arrive at a final, marketable product. To interact with different companies at this time for fabrication of the PCB board, component acquisition and assembly can be extremely time consuming, thereby derailing your entire product launch schedule. Besides delays, you also run the risk of gaps in communication, which in turn can lead to costly errors.
Turnkey PCB manufacturing has therefore emerged as a panacea for these woes, where the prototyping process can be accelerated as the three areas of PCB manufacturing, sourcing and assembly are handled end to end by a single partner. Besides turnkey PCB manufacturing also allows for small batches with quick turnaround times and hence works well for the PCB prototyping process.
A traditional PCB manufacturing process involves designing the board and coordinating with other companies while creating different data files for each. Gerber files, thus prepared, can often lead to a whole lot of errors, including but not limited to:
- Missing drill holes
- Missing double outlines
- Inaccurate dimensions
- Improperly defined labels
Even if a design rule check (or DRC as it is popularly known as), is done, errors can still creep in as DRC rules can differ with different machines. Therefore, be many opportunities for errors, to mitigate which there need to be several iterations between the manufacturer and the PCB designer. This is something that turnkey PCB manufacturing can take away with its end-to-end solutions.
Similarly, when it comes to component sourcing, the traditional PCB manufacturing process requires that the specifications of the components be mentioned. However again if there are any indistinct references it can lead to sourcing errors. Component inspection undertaken to reduce these errors, in turn lead to high turnaround times. With turnkey manufacturing where the manufacturer handles procurement, the errors associated with component verification are significantly reduced.
Coming to the final process i.e assembly- when handled by the PCB manufacturer it once again significantly reduces turnaround time on account of single source management while also reducing the chances of error.
Turnkey PCB assembly typically leverages cloud-based software and makes developing printed circuit boards fast and hassle free. All you need to do is to simply upload your design files and can get an end-to- end quote as well as services.
To sum up, turnkey PCB Assembly comes with the following advantages:
With the traditional approach to PCB manufacturing, just getting quotes can be a long process. With Turnkey PCB manufacturing, all you need to do is provide your design file and get quick quotes as well as timelines.
Suitable for small batches
Turnkey PCB Manufacturers have the ability to fulfill small orders, which means it can be easily used to develop prototypes.
Single point contact
With only one vendor to manage there are no communication gaps as well as unnecessary delays. The chances of error are also significantly reduced.
Turnkey PCB Assembly also typically comes with reduced costs on account of various issues including but not limited to reduced shipping costs of having the components sent to the assembly workshop. Also experienced electronic assemblers are able to provide low cost components as they have excellent relations with part manufacturers.
Essentially then with turnkey PCB manufacturing for prototypes you can see your ideas come to life easily. Unlike legacy setups where quantities and costs are a big determinant, turnkey services can cater to just about anyone who has an idea and a design that they want to convert into the final product. To that extent it works particularly well for startups or even hobbyists as it offers a lot of flexibility and speed. Even for large businesses, with the PCB partner taking care of end-to-end solutions, the manufacturer can focus on other aspects of business. Little surprise then that turnkey PCB assembly helps bring high quality products to market with quick turnaround times. On choosing the right turnkey PCB Manufacturing partner, you can be assured that you can get just the quantities you require and that the product will cater to your bespoke needs. As a start up you also have the peace of mind that accrues from being able to closely monitor your project as also from the reduced time lags between placing the prototype order and receiving it.