Top Tips to keep your PCB assembly instant quote in-line with your budget!
There are many aspects that go into successful PCB Assembly. While quality is of utmost importance, what is also extremely important in keeping your product competitive is the PCB assembly quote that you receive. The good news is that there are a lot of controls that can help to keep the price of the PCB assembly under check without compromising the quality.
Let us delve into 6 aspects that can help keep the PCB assembly quote within your budget.
#1 Schematic Design Optimization
There are a host of factors that influence the cost of bare PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). In order to keep the cost under check, the following elements need to be carefully evaluated:
- Number of layers – PCB cost increases with the layer count. It is imperative, therefore, to realistically look at your requirement and optimize the number of layers needed. Instead of adding another layer, making the board slightly larger, for example, can accommodate the routing and power planes.
- Vias – Just like the number of layers, it is important to evaluate the number of vias as well. Typically, the cost increases with the number of vias. Also, smaller vias tend to add to the cost of the PCBs. It is therefore important to assess the number of vias such that they do not impact cost while ensuring the functions are not impacted either.
- Shape and size – Typically, standard shapes come at a lower price as opposed to special, customized shapes. If you can go with standard shapes, therefore, you are likely to save on costs. In terms of size, however, the smaller the size does not necessarily mean low cost. This is because with the trend towards miniaturization, small PCBs are high on density as well as complexity. Increasing the size as opposed to increasing the number of layers can reduce complexity and costs to some extent.
#2 Effective Bill of Materials
The Bill of Materials, which is a comprehensive list of components and assemblies is a considerable success factor in the success of PCB Assembly. A comprehensive and detailed BOM serves many functions. A complete BOM needs to include essential items for PCBA such as:
- Part number
- Manufacturer name
- Reference designator
- Description and more
A BOM that includes obsolete parts can waste valuable time as alternative components need to be looked for. With the assembler having to source parts afresh, it could drive up the price. Ensuring that your Bill of Material is updated and relevant at all times, is therefore crucial in the interest of saving valuable time and cost.
#3 Component Sourcing
Sourcing components at the right price is a very important aspect of keeping your PCB assembly costs under check. Unless you have strong links with component manufacturers, it is prudent to let the assembler handle this task. Typically, assemblers have robust relationships with component manufacturers. Also, on account of the sheer volumes they source they are able to get preferential prices.
#4 Turn Around Time
While quick turnaround times is an important aspect of early go-to-market, it is important to assess how soon do you actually need the deliveries. Typically, the faster you need the deliveries, the higher will be the PCB assembly quote.
#5 Packaging requirements
Packaging requirements also have an implication on PCB costs. From moisture barriers to vacuum sealing, the more customized and intricate packaging that you need, the higher cost to the assembler and therefore higher your PCB Assembly quote.
#6. Shipping/ Handling Costs
Another sizeable component of the cost is the shipping and handling cost. Once again how soon you need deliveries will have an impact on the overall costs. Also, the serviceability of your location has an impact on the costs. Areas that are considered remote typically will cost more in terms of delivery. It is highly recommended, therefore, that all such factors be worked out well in advance at the time of seeking the quote. A professional PCB assembly manufacturer will ensure that there are no last-minute surprises that can make your budget go awry or cost you in terms of delays in time.
A clear understanding of the above factors as also working with a professional PCB Assembler will make sure that you get quality PCBs, on time as also within your budget.
Mer-Mar Electronics is one of the reputed organizations offering high-quality PCB Assembly Services for over 4 decades. We have a team of professional engineers and technicians who will closely collaborate with you to ensure superior quality products are delivered in the quickest time possible. Whether you need prototypes or high-volume PCB assembly, we are your one-stop solution for PCB Assembly.