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Top Essential Techniques and Rules for Circuit Board Assembly Quote!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: September 15, 2021
Circuit Board Assembly Quote

When it comes to the quality and performance of an electronics device, PCB Assembly has an extremely important role to play. Particularly with the increasing trend towards miniaturization, high-density component assembly is a fine art, one that professional contract manufacturers can help you with.

In such a scenario, it is important to be aware of procurement techniques as well as PCB assembly quote rules. Here is a broad overview.

Documents required to get a realistic Circuit Board Assembly quote

First things first, what exactly are the things required to get an accurate and PCB assembly instant quote? There are 4 major documents that are needed. These include:

  • Bare Board Print
  • Assembly Print
  • Bill of Materials
  • Approved Vendor List

Let us look at each of these in some detail:

Bare Board Print

Commonly referred to as a fabrication drawing or fab drawing, this print requires the following information:

  • Outer dimensions
  • Board thickness
  • Material
  • Number of holes
  • Finish
  • Number of layers
  • Solder mask color
  • Silkscreen color
  • Part number

You will also need to provide the design files in an intelligent data format.

Assembly Print

This works as a blueprint for the manufacturer and shows the location of the parts. It needs to include the assembly part number as also any details on any special packaging required.

Bill of Materials

A BOM needs to incorporate the following details:

  • Part Number
  • Description
  • Quantity
  • Approved Vendor List
  • Separate drawings for any custom parts

Pro tip – It is important that any revisions are meticulously tracked while the BOM format remains consistent.

Approved Vendor List

You could have this list as a part of the BOM as there can be several approved manufacturers for each part.

Quote for circuit board assembly

With some PCB assembly companies, it may be easy to get a quick PCB assembly quote with some very basic information. Not just that, the quotation may be very detailed too. The main point here is to figure out whether when you give the Purchase Order and provide the balance information, will the quote remain the same? Your answer is likely to be a NO. What you would have lost in the process, is valuable time besides seeing your budgets go awry.

It is therefore extremely prudent to have all your requirements across in one go. After all, you need is a cost-effective PCB assembly quote without compromise on the quality of circuit board assemblies from an experienced PCB manufacturer. Imagine a scenario where in the absence of complete details from you and in a bid to quote an attractive price, the contract manufacturer goes with a tin-lead surface finish, while in reality the project requires a gold finish. A last-minute increase in price is likely to cost you dearly not only in terms of the increase in costing but also because of precious time lost. Contrast this with a contract manufacturer who insists on specifications at the outset to offer you a realistic quote. A little more time spent right at the beginning will enable you to receive the accurate PCB assembly quotes from all PCB manufacturers on a comparable basis. With all information supplied, you will be able to compare prices on an apple-to-apple basis and take an informed decision. Some of the other best practices to follow include:

  • Ensure that there is a common currency unit across all quotations. In fact, stick to the currency unit you are most familiar with.
  • It will also be best to ensure that the quotation is made as per a common structure and format that allows you to compare supplier quotes.
  • An oft overlooked aspect is also that not enough attention is paid to the supplier’s explanation of the quotation.
  • Analyzing the source of materials for the PCB assembly manufacturer and identifying the non-human factors that affect procurement cost, is also one way of arriving at the actual cost of the supplier.
  • Similarly analyzing the allocation rate of expenses may also make the comparisons easy.

To sum up, a little time spent at the beginning of the process ensures that you do not have to face costly errors at a later date and get budget friendly circuit board assembly quote!

Mer-Mar Electronics has become the go-to solution for all kinds of PCB Assembly services and highly appreciated by various industry leaders for quick turnaround time, error-free, and consistent quality for small to large volume services in the USA. With over 40 years of experience in providing solution for high-reliability application in various industry including Medical, Dental, Commercial, Telecommunication, Renewable Energy, and more. All the applications are carefully manufactured with specialized support, reliability testing and certified workmanship.

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Top Tips to keep your PCB assembly instant quote in-line with your budget!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: July 7, 2021
PCB Assembly Instant Quote

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
  • Quantity
  • 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.

Top Quality Influencing Factors for SMT Board Assembly

By | Date posted: | Last updated: June 30, 2021
SMT Board Assembly

Surface-mount technology (SMT) electronic segment assembly intends to build electronic components utilizing automated machines that position components on the board’s surface (printed circuit boards, PCB).

SMT and the concerned SMDs, boost up the speed since they get directly placed on the board. Surface mount technology, or SMT, can be seen in all electronic copies we use. Since the elements used in SMT have a size reduction, the use of PCB becomes more beneficial and efficient.

Factors affecting the SMT Board Assembly Quality

The sureness with which SMTs (Surface mount) are mounted on PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) throughout manufacturing is circumscribed by various elements, including Prototyping and fabrication, Surface mount devices’ design, positioning adaptation of the installation machinery engine, etc.

  • The BOM preparation

    Since the content forms a significant part of SMT PCB Assembly, component effectiveness significantly impacts printed circuit board quality. It is crucial to be aware of the mentioned points:

    • The elements labeling process should comply with the automatic machine design standards.
    • The elements’ attribute complies with the automated design standards and meets the standardization plus measurement accuracy requirements.
    • Soldering process requirements shall be satisfied by the soldering durability in the constituents and the PCB accessory. Before oxidation, the shortest ends and surfaces of the solder and the structure should be carried out. In specific, vacuum packaging should be made available for moisture control detectors and circuitry and located after when used in a storage container.
  • PCB pad manufacturability design

    As per HP statistics, PCB design flaws account for 70% to 80% of production errors. Even if a bit of skew happens during the SMT process for a PCB with the correct pad design, it can be adjusted by the air pressure of the molten material, which is known as proactive placement. Even if the mounting position is exact, soldering imperfections such as element placement transfers and tombstone forms can develop if the PCB circuit structure is incorrect.

    Therefore, designers must observe the following settlements in the SMT bearing design.

    • Symmetry pad – To avoid sliding issues position and tombstone after solder reflow, for the 0805 or lower chip component, bearings at both ends must maintain the size of the symmetrical pad heat dissipation capabilities to maintain a balanced tense surface. This keeps the pad in a stealth mode apart from keeping it safe.
    • Space between bearings – To ensure the exact size of overlap between the end of the component or tin and pad, when the space between the path is unevenly sized, solder defects can arise. The rest dimensions of the gasket must ensure meniscus solder joints after the end of the component.
    • Width Pad should be able to fit its place, respecting all requirements of the pin itself.
    • Don’t place Vias through the hole.
  • Printing using solder paste

    The immediate aim of extrusion manufacturing methods is to solve the incompatible substrate printing amounts (filling amount and solder paste transfer amount). Due to inadequate solder paste printing, 60 percent of the PCB should be used for maintenance once it is properly configured.

  • Solder component quality

    Storage and application go hand to hand in case of component quality associated with the PCB Solder. The paste is generally balanced between 0 and 10 ° C, or per the manufacturer’s needs. For its use, the optimum temperature of the SMT area must be 25 ° C ± 3 ° C, and moisture must be 50% ± 10%. The solder outcome cover must be corrected as per the specifications of the board. Also, the paste needs to be soldered within a certain period so that the board remains intact.

  • Template build

    Stencils are mostly preferred for printing settlements. Solder printing is a necessary factor, and the stencils are responsible for delivering or affecting the appropriateness of the template. So far, there are three methods of making stencils: molten handling, application of high beam laser, and the process of electroplating.

    • The thickness of the stencil plate- The design base must be smooth. The minor lead calculation must determine uniformity and steel plate thickness to ensure the number of solder outcomes and welding efficiency.
    • Aperture Design- The concerned walls of the design have a shining polish and tend to be free of issues. Aspect ratio = aperture width / stencil thickness (for smooth QFP pitch, IC); Area Ratio = Openings / Basic Areas Area Wall Hole (0201, BGA, CSP).
    • Soldering ball processing- Solder ball processing is implemented in the 0603 or above the chip component can effectively avoid the generation of soldering balls after REFLOW.
  • Scraper

    Use a nickel-plated steel scraper, usually 60°. If there are hole parts, the 45° scraper is recommended to increase the TIN on the pieces through the hole.

  • Print Parameter

    Printing parameters generally include certain things like the scraper pace, working thrust, speeding of the seed drop, freshening capacity, and repeating count. Excessive scraper pressure can cause insufficient tin and increase the wear between scraper and stencils, while external pressure causes incomplete solder paste printing.

  • Accuracy of the equipment

    The precision of the printers and their consistency also influence the durability of the printing of circuit board pastes when produced with higher concentrations and timber. Pressure drove solder lead or patchy lead paste if the Board provides proper care or has suitable reinforcement. The PCB mounting should be level and perhaps even to achieve closeness between the design and the Circuit.

Conclusion

Many factors improve SMT soldering, including new statutory, PCB and solder filler efficiency, and PCB layout. Because these elements’ splicing wires’ imperfections are harder to pin down with technological problems, PCB design is the foundation of quality management for installing. As a result, effective inventory performance measurement and outstanding PCB patch design are two advantages of enhancing soldered reliability. We can predict that experts are preparing various surveys to make engineers understand the beneficiary facts of SMT. SMT is undoubtedly going to be the pace of technical aspects and building with a designated period.

Mer-Mar Electronics is an ISO certified company and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) compliant manufacturer who deliver the best RoHS Compliant PCB Assembly services for over 4 decades. We have the capabilities to handle single-sided or double-sided, SMT or through-hole. Our consistent quality and quick turnaround time endear itself to our customers, who look at us as a one stop-shop for all their PCB requirements.

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How to Get an Accurate PCB Assembly Quote from an Electronics Contract Manufacturer?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: September 18, 2021
PCB Assembly Quote

Can you imagine a day without electronics? Electronic devices have become a ‘must-have ‘ commodity of our day-to-day life. In every aspect of the field, electronics have flourished its presence. So, with the increasing need for electronics, the demand for PCB Assembly also rises exponentially. But making a PCB Assembly is not a simple task. To make a perfect assembly, an electronic manufacturer must prepare the circuit board according to the project demand.

So, when you deal with an Electronic Contract Manufacturer for developing a PCB assembly, you have to be very careful about the quoting process. Especially in the case of PCB assembly quote, manufacturers have to keep in mind some very crucial points during bidding. Here, in this article, we have point out the factors or tips that have to be considered during the PCB assembly quote with electronic manufacturers to get the accurate, precise and specified PCB assembly for your project.

The points you have to remember to get an accurate PCB assembly quote:

Some points between the manufacturer and you have to be clear to get both side’s win-win situation. Information about the quality preference, desired design, estimated cost, quality and quantity of the circuit boards, any special requirements, etc. of the client needs to know in detail for the precise quote. So, the factors that have to make sure during quotation are-

Clarity of data:

Transparency of communication between the client and PCB assembly manufacturer is the key factor of a successful PCB assembly quote. Give abundant detailed information as you can for the best result. Point out what you need, make every detail straightforward and precise.

If you are getting confused at any point while inquiring for PCB assembly, cross-check and be sure about it by directly asking them. Don’t give any room for confusion for both your and the manufacturer’s shake.

No Middleman:

You need to communicate with the manufacturer in person without any involvement of the middleman. It might increase the chance of misconception and misleading.

The authenticity of the Manufacturer:

Before moving forward for the PCB assembly quote, check the authenticity of the Manufacturer. Make sure that your patterning company is an original manufacturer with past work experience. You can check the customer reviews and ratings for evaluating the electronics contract manufacturer. Or you can check the presence of valid certificates or awards they gain in this field.

Documentation of every verbal and written detail:

All terms and conditions must have to be documented, which will be confirmed by both parties. From the design to the quality, everything has to be put in detail in this document. This written statement is called the Request for Quotes document, which contains the planning of the design.

All dates like the contract date, delivery date, and every schedule have to be mentioned clearly. Each Payment details, for example, the fees which are given in advance, due payment also has to be put in the document. In simple words, the whole production facts and figures must be written as an abidance through documentation.

Draft of the design:

Before entering into the manufacturing process, a draft of the expected layout is necessary to avoid errors in the future. When the manufacturer provides the structure of the circuit board, the shape, size, and the whole design will be clear to the client, giving their opinion regarding the layout. Not only it’s beneficial from the client’s perspective, but the manufacturer also concludes whether the design is suitable for this specific PCB assembly project or not.

Budget details:

Try to point out component cost, labor cost, shipping cost, outsourcing cost, all types of cost separately and add them in total. For best quoting an estimated budget must be created. And depending on the budget, the project has to proceed. Every element of the production has to be on the budget list with separate price details.

BoM:

The Bill of Materials (BoM) include the name of manufacturer, part number, parts description, value of components, material information, sub-assemblies, product quantity, reference designator, placement method and more. Most of the electronics contract manufacturers will provide the format to reduce back and forth mails or communication. The accurate BOM is an integral part to get the precise PCB assembly quote with specified functionalities.

Specialized details:

Some particular information like the technical elements, software, and hardware used, Gerber file, fabrication details you need to know as a client. So, you can check the excellence of the manufacturing.

Order Volume:

The volume of the circuit board assembly and production is varying for each different project. So, provide clear informational about the number of circuit boards or PCB assembly you want in your desired project. Notify the manufacturer of the type of order volume you want, either a large volume PCB assembly or small volume PCB assembly, so that according to it the manufacturer will arrange their production process.

Quality Lead Time:

Generally, Electronics contract manufacturers support all your requirements from prototype to large production. At the time of the quote, they will perform a complete review of all the information provided by you; check about the production time and get back to you with accurate quote price, lead time and delivery time. In case if you have desired lead time, require PCB assembly in quick turnaround; all you need to do is to request manufacturer upfront and they will do their best possible.

Inventory details:

Inventory details are essential to cut down the extra cost of production. List down the product used and their quantity; by calculating the market value, you can estimate the price of the inventory. This way, you can verify your budget also.

Reviewing of the final circuit board:

Testing of the final circuit board through various processes like X-ray, conformal coating, automated visual inspection, etc., according to your preferences, is a very necessary step to check the ultimate quality of the circuit board. IPC standard rules follow the checking method. If an error presents on the circuit board, PCB manufacturer will track those through the testing process and change those according to your inclinations.

Conclusions:

Now, you got a detailed information about PCB assembly quote and it’s focusing areas when you want to deal with an electronic contract manufacturer. But there is one thing to keep in mind that; not all quote processes maintain the same rule. So, the point of consideration is quite different from project-to-project requirements. But the above-discussed features are applied grossly in general aspects of PCB Assembly. So must consider getting the accurate PCB Assembly Quote.

With over 4 decades of experience, we provide fast and reliable PCB assembly services. We ensure the consistent results and superior quality of PCB assembly. All the applications are carefully manufactured with certified workmanship, reliable testing, and specialized support. We assure end-to-end PCB Assembly services to numerous industries including Aerospace, Medical, Commercial, Military, Telecommunication, Electrical and more.

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