Benefits of Automated PCB Assembly For Tomorrow’s Manufacturing Problems

By Mer-Mar Electronics | Date posted: | Last updated: October 7, 2022
automated PCB assembly and its benefits

When it comes to modern electronics, printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a vital component for their success. While traditionally, PCBs were hand assembled which led to delays in production as also lack of consistency, with technological advancement it is now far easier to mass produce. In fact, automation of PCBs brings with it a whole lot of advantages for business. Here are only a few of them:

Benefits Of Automated PCB Assembly

1. Reduced Costs

With automated PCB Assembly, one immediate benefit has been reduced costs. In fact, a number of assemblers assemble the board digitally prior to the actual production. It is therefore easy to fix any errors prior to the actual production process. This in turn helps avoid costly mistakes later on. The cost-benefit also accrues on account of reduced employee costs that come on account of the automation leading to significant financial savings.

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2. Reduced probability of human error

The one thing that assembly of circuit boards calls for is an extreme attention to detail. This is more so since sizes are continuously shrinking and components are getting smaller. In turn this can mean increased chances of error in the case of human intervention. With the process being automated the chances of error are significantly reduced. Automation not just reduces the margin of error but also optimizes the time taken for the assembly process.

3. Quick Product Development

With hand assembly since the time taken is more, it significantly impacts product development life cycles. By contrast, automation lends itself to quicker product development especially since you are assured of the board delivery timelines and can complete other processes parallel.

4. Consistency

With the error margins that need to be factored in on account of hand assembled circuit boards Consistency is always an issue. Automation, on the other hand, ensures predictability and consistent quality.

5. Lends Itself to Production on a Large Scale

With reduced production timelines and reduced cost of production, automation lends itself to mass production. Also, since consistency is a given, you can be assured that quality will be adhered to in large batches.

PCB Assembly Automation Guidelines

In order to reap the advantages of PCB Assembly automation, there are some design guidelines that need to be followed. In fact, at the design stage itself, engineers need to take into account the fact that the process will be automated and hence choose a design that lends itself to mass production. Taking into account any assembly bottlenecks at the design stage itself goes a long way in saving costly errors later. These days advancement in surface mount technology helps low quantity PCB manufacturer to automate their prototyping processes, bringing in the benefits of speed and precision. Wherever possible, the number of components must be minimized. This can be achieved both by eliminating any excess parts as well as combining two or more parts together wherever possible. In determining the excess parts some basic thumb rules can be followed.

These include:

  • Does the part need to be isolated from other parts?
  • Does the part move relative to other parts?

PCB Assembly Automation Guidelines for Components

Also, automatic assembly guidelines call for the fact that components need to be:

  • Uniform
  • High quality
  • Have tight geometric tolerance
  • They need to have a reduced number of screws replacing them instead with self-aligning features. This makes the assembly process fast as well as easier. In places where screws are a necessity, it will help to have identical screw heads.
  • Additionally, components should not be flexible, fragile, or abrasive.
  • Each part needs to be strong and rigid so that they can bear the forces that are exerted during the assembly process.
  • Parts that can be easily oriented also take away the need to pass reorienting stations before they are sent into the assembler. If this is not done, the parts may be rejected by the assembler.
  • Care also needs to be taken to see that the number of assembly movements are minimized
  • Also, parts that have been made using 3D printing, sheet metal are easy to modify. In fact, the 3D modeling software ensures that scenarios are tested beforehand so that costly mistakes can be avoided at a later stage.

More than anything else one needs to remember that automated assembly cannot make up for a poor design, therefore due importance must be laid at the design stage so that the benefits of automation can be realized later. Due design emphasis will ensure that there is little rework that is required later which delays the entire production cycle as well as the time to go-to-market, which in today’s competitive times can prove to be lethal.

Automated PCB assembly Quotes

For Automated PCB assembly quotes, you can contact Mer-Mar Electronics who provides PCB assembly services and PCB fabrication services. Mer-mar electronics is ISO-9001:2015 AS9100D Certified Since 1999 and has been providing PCB services for the last 40 years. Fill out the form below to know more about our PCB quotes and services.

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How to Save on PCB Assembly with US Based Contract Manufacturer?

By Mer-Mar Electronics | Date posted: | Last updated: January 11, 2022

With printed circuit board assemblies used in electronics manufacturing operations across industries, the need for a reliable contract manufacturer is on an increase. The right contract manufacturer can offer efficient solutions and ensure that the client operations are successful.

The primary advantages that accrue while working with a contract manufacturer include the following:

Improved PCB Design Efficiency

An efficient design can go a long way in creating an effective PC board. This is one aspect where a manufacturing partner on account of his wealth of experience can offer huge insights. In fact a professional contract manufacturing company will be able to point out any critical flaws that can come in the way of efficient manufacturing.

Latest PCB Technology

As PCB Assembly Manufacturer will be able to offer you the advantage of latest design and manufacturing technology without your having to invest money in purchasing equipment.

Improved PCB Material Costs

With the PCB manufacturing company’s relationship with suppliers, acquisition costs will be significantly lower thus building in business efficiencies. Also as the contract manufacturer will take care of repairs, you are saved of both the costs and trouble of replacing faulty units.

Since a contract manufacturer can be extremely crucial to business operations, it is also imperative that the PCBA be chosen with utmost care. In fact US based contract manufacturers can offer a whole lot of advantages that would not accrue, should you go in for an off shore supplier. The advantages span right from improved product quality to easy availability of stocks as also quality customer service. The added advantage also accrues from the fact that choosing a US based manufacturer significantly impacts your soft costs and therefore helps keep the budget in check.

Improved Quality

With a local manufacturer you can be assured of high quality products as well as the fact that they are readily available. With an overseas manufacturer you may have to incur added costs to ensure that the quality isn’t compromised.

With a US based manufacturer you can also be sure that any issues can be solved real time so that you do not have to worry about the PCB quality and in turn the quality of the final product. With trained and experienced engineers available in person, you can also be certain that they can offer implementable tips on improved manufacturability of the product.

Ease of Communication

When you deal with an off shore supplier, you typically have to deal with a number of bottlenecks, primary among them being the fact that you are dealing with people across time zones. Ever so often real time responses can become an issue. Besides this both language as well as differing culture can often become an impediment in smooth communication resulting in a whole lot of gaps that can cost the business dearly. While English has pretty much become a global language, there are a host of

With a US based contract manufacturer lines of communication tend to be clearer. You tend to save time and energy on back and forth communication. This of course also has a positive implication on cost as well as you are saved of time that can be used in other productive aspects of business.

Shipping Costs and Timelines

Another major aspect when it comes to choice of a contract manufacturer has to do with shipping. Both time lines of delivery as well as the condition in which goods arrive are critical. In both these aspects, a US based manufacturer can offer significant advantages as transit times are substantially shrunk. In turn this means that your production flows are not hampered. Especially when you are working on tight deadlines, the long offshore shipping timelines can play havoc with your production cycles. If you are running a new business where demand forecast isn’t very accurate this can impact you severely as there cold be instances where the entire production process is on hold as you await an offshore shipment.

The other advantage of course comes in terms of shipping costs. Foreign shipments tend to be more expensive while local ones keep these costs under check. Ever so often with offshore shipments besides the high shipping costs you also need to bear high cargo insurance costs as there is the fear of accident or damage in transit. Each of these costs in turn affect cost price. With local shipments, on the other hand, there is lower cost as well as lower risk, thereby keeping total costs under check.

There are therefore enough and more reasons to work with a US based electronic contract manufacturer. Whether it is improved quality of products, smoother communication or reduced shipping hassles, each of these will have a bearing on the cost and thereby offer you significant competitive advantage in terms of cost efficiency.

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Smart Tips to Cut Down PCB Assembly and Manufacturing Cost!

By Mer-Mar Electronics | Date posted: | Last updated: September 24, 2022
how to reduce pcb cost

Irrespective of whether it is a small order to create a prototype or a production run that involves a high volume, it is must to know PCB cost reduction technique and important to be able to offer reduced costs of PCB assembly and fabrication without negatively impacting quality. While this could mean evaluating each project and PCB design on a case-to-case basis to figure out which features could be leading to high costs and if there is a way to alter them to reduce cost without impacting functionality, there are also some thumb rules that can be followed that can impact cost.

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1. Avoid Single Sourcing

Ensure that for each component, you provide more than one source. This will ensure that you can compare costs across sources. Also, this will prove advantageous if you have quality issues with any one source as there would be other options readily available. The advantage also accrues in cases where you have to deal with large lead times when it comes to a particular supplier.

What is important in optimizing costs, therefore, is to perform a thorough analysis of the Bill of Materials. It will particularly help to look at the expensive components and find multiple vendors for them. It can also help to look for cheaper substitutes that could impact the cost.

2. Flexible Panelization

It is far more economical to maintain flexibility in PCB panelization rather than keeping to your original designs as that could come at a higher cost. It is best therefore to ensure that panelization is optimized to the needs of the PCB manufacturer.

Design choices, such as blind and buried vias, vias on pads, board material, and more are other things to look out for. If blind/buried vias can be removed, for example, there can be a substantial cost saving. Additionally, it helps to go in for ENIG finish on the PCB as it is often a standard finish that is included in the pricing.

3. Set up Material Cost Reduction Committees

With priorities of design, engineering and purchase departments being hugely different and often conflicting, it becomes imperative to set up material cost reduction committees. The committee can actively look for high value cost reduction opportunities as their KRA. These committees can also identify critical components for which single sourcing can be avoided.

4. Adjust Order Value

Adjusting order volume is also another way to control price as usually order volume is inversely proportional to the price. Therefore, taking the organization’s situation into account along with taking stock of what kind of orders you can consolidate and place can help you optimize costs. For small companies with low order quantities sometimes relying on a PCB assembler who can get wholesale prices from franchised component distributors may be prudent.

Other than these four thumb rules too, of course there are various things to look out for when it comes to keeping costs in check. A common myth or misconception in reducing PCB costs is to do with the size of the board. It is believed that reducing the board size results in overall saving. While this could be true for medium and large boards, with a small printed circuit board, further reduction in size only increases the cost. Similarly reducing the board material by adding drill holes, for example, can also increase the cost. This is because a large number of drill holes means an increase in tooling time.

It can help though if extremely small passive packages can be removed. Also, if leadless package types such as QFNs and BGAs (which require that they are aligned with accuracy), can be replaced, it can positively impact the PCB Assembly Costs. In terms of design, it can also help to focus on the following areas:

  • Aim for fewer number of layers
  • Place fiducials on the top copper layer of the board
  • As far as possible allow X-outs
  • Use V-scoring as opposed to routing to break out boards from a multi-up array, as routing tends to leave excess material on the board.

Also, as far as the design goes ensure that your communication is crystal clear so that there is no scope for ambiguity. To ensure this remember to:

  • Ensure that your design documents are amply clear.
  • Be clear with parameters such as minimum trace width, distance between traces etc
  • Indicate the material specifications clearly.
  • Make sure you include fabrication notes on the drawings along with specifications.

Of course the exercise of reducing costs must not come at the expense of low quality. Therefore do remember to undertake vigorous test implementation, even if that comes at a cost. It can point out any lapses in advance and ensure that you have high quality products.

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Why Hire A California PCB Assembly Company to Cut Down On Manufacturing Cost & Time?

By Mer-Mar Electronics | Date posted: | Last updated: November 1, 2022
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The Open Corridors to innovation based industry cluster, California – a western state in the U.S has a terrestrial complementing high-tech company, advanced suppliers and specialized service provider. Increasing its fame to the dominant industries, Napa Valley is the heart of Hollywood and Silicon Valley being one of the kingpins in renowned technology clusters in addition to making a strong presence in the world of biotechnologies, computers, software, and medicine and among all leads the printed circuit boards. A stark business hub for electronic manufacturing, California is able to tap the global market with high quality, tech savvy, cost effective, time saving and hassle free PCB manufacturing and assembly services. This article, owns up a complete brief into the fortunes of hiring a California PCB Assembly Company. The below content also deal with a bunch of the question marks – Where can I get PCB fabrication with reduced cost? Will the PCB assembler cope up with quick delivery of order? Where can I get custom build PCB Assembly service? Is the California PCBA Company best for my electronic assembly requirements?

With a quick sweet flashback to the bygones of the good old days, the Ring toss game that was a common whoopee movement for children at the fun fair in which the similar stubs are being placed on the table or on the back wall and you win the prize where your ring lands after a targeted ring toss. Some get a prize they wished to take home, some had to walk back with no prize and some won the prize they never targeted for a ring toss. Well! Searching for a right PCB Assembly Company is much like this ring toss game. A proper workout on a right pick when opting for the contract manufacturing service is just like winning a focused prize by a perfect ring toss. There is a great chunk of PCB assembler in the global market that seems similar but provides completely different type of PCB manufacturing and assembly service.

Scrolling down on the essentials whilst choosing the appropriate PCB Assembly company, Location is what it matters to get ideal PCBA services-be it offshore or onshore contract manufacturing service. The place where printed circuit board is assembled, the area where the circuit sheets are kept, the manufacturing unit, the distribution channel and what leads at the prime focus is the strong supply chain and vendor framework in a particular location where the PCB manufacturing unit has been set up. California being a wheel of fortunes has it all! This includes the PCB assembly company that have a strong customer base from varied industry verticals along with having experience dealing with the complex challenges and tough customization in PCB assembly techniques.

What’s more on reducing PCB assembly cost and time! Why you should hire a California PCB Assembly Company?

  • Leveraging Riches of highly established Industries along with having a strong industry presence of the assembler, manufacturer and suppliers, California is one among the world’s largest technology hub and industry cluster with crossing the bars of innovation in offering complete EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services). The Cost effective PCBA solution is what California PCB Assembler strives to offer with maintaining international quality standards.
  • California has a well defined distribution and supply chain of raw materials; semi finished and finished products. This has made it possible for the California PCB assembler to offer timely delivery of order in case of complex or customized PCB fabrication as per the client requirement.
  • The California PCB Prototyping Company has got extensive exposure dealing with varied customization and PCB challenges coming through the consumer electronic industry along with striking the exact requirement of other dominant sectors in onshore or offshore market.
  • A wave of export intensive business operation drives through the focus of Electronic Manufacturers and PCB fabricators across California with providing world class contract manufacturing services.
  • With offering the salary best in the industry, smooth highways, well developed transportation and global trade expertise has created a strong base for the California PCB manufacturing company to make smooth business operation with providing value added services that focus on the concept of ‘Everything at one roof’. From material procurement, manufacturing, assembling, testing, packaging and delivery of orders, each client is served with personal involvement to get trouble free PCBA service.
  • Coming up with the regional industrial development, a few employers at California has also initiated to indulge in providing rigorous profitability and growth program for major dominant industry sector. The series of program that support in mutual business relationship with the industry leaders in addition to the ways for constantly upgrading the production techniques are in the mainstream for the industrial development at California. This has made the PCB Assembly companies to develop a good report with the top most industry sharks along with developing an in-built R&D unit aiming to enhance their PCB capabilities every other day, be it an eco friendly PCB, Soluble PCB, Rigid Flex PCB or other type of complex PCB assembly.

When probing for the certification for international quality standards, high tech equipment, strong component sourcing service, manufacturing capabilities, effective lead time and availability of the tech expertise, Mermar Electronics is a one stop solution to get a low cost and time savvy PCB Assembly service.

Based in California, MerMar is an ISO 9001:2008 Certified & ITAR Registered company offering PCB manufacturing and assembly service to multiple industries like aerospace, medical, dental, industrial, telecommunication, music, renewable energy and many other business verticals. Improved EMS capabilities, strong component sourcing, material procurement, effective vendor management and high tech tool room, strong inspection and testing programs for defect free batch of production is in the mainstream of our business objectives. The skilled team of PCB engineers at MerMar showcase high expertise in accurate PCB designing, manufacturing, assembly and inspection process. Do visit, to know more about our PCB capabilities. Preparation of complete and effective BOM (Bills of Materials) along with adjusting lead time and order volume is our prime focus to serve our customers with the reduced cost and time in PCB assembly. Request a quick quote for PCB Assembly!

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