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How to Choose a PCB Assembly Partner and Metrics Evaluation

Posted:05:55 PM March 05, 2021 writer: NextPCB

Selecting a compatible printed circuit board assembly partner is a challenging endeavor. Good decision-making is necessary to achieve the most accurate representation of your PCB prototype in order to reduce cost and save money.
Several Different factors have to be considered all the time when searching for the best PCB assembly shop that has to be the most appropriate for your specific product. While choosing a PCB assembly services partner, the following factors should be highly regarded:

Competency and Capabilities 
The specialist knowledge of the PCB assembler contains the technical know-how required before accepting new projects and can troubleshoot problems that occur before beginning the task. The PCB assembler can independently handle the project and need minimal input from the client after the assembly order has started. Verify whether the PCB assembler you are dealing with has all the required certifications to guarantee quality work such as the ISO 9001:2008 standards. The aim of offloading this job to a contract assembler can make things simpler and the project to be managed smoothly.

Identify the PCB assembler’s list of equipment and know the manufacturer's abilities to predict the quality of the final outcome. The PCB assembler’s ability to provide a timely order based on the precise specifications depends on the available assembly equipment that is used. For example, if the PCB design needs SMT parts, then the ideal PCB assembler should have its own pick-and-place equipment, reflow ovens, 3D BGA inspectors, and rework tools. What are the different types of apparatus that the company uses? If it employs modern machinery, it is more likely to deliver better quality results. Though it is not always a guarantee that sophisticated tools mean quality work, in essence, it is always a good indication.


Technical competency and certifications   
A high-quality PCB assembler must have the necessary knowledge when accepting projects and must have the skills required before starting any PCBA project. The PCB assembler must work in an independent manner with minimal client input once the assembly order has begun. Confirm whether the company has the standard certifications. The objective of checking this with the contract PCB assembler is to make your life easier. To earn certifications, companies undertake unbiased reviews by qualified third parties. This will provide some guarantee that you will get a high-quality product. ISO 9001:2015 certification, for example, shows that a company follows an acknowledged quality control system in its work plan as well as activities.


Industry experience 
PCB assembly is relevant to many different industries. A specific industry, for instance, has distinct, strict, and particular requirements regarding manufacturing or processing standards. It is almost impossible for one PCBA partner to work in all industries accessible. Basically, each PCBA maker is more skilled in servicing particular industries as compared to others. For example, a PCBA house may be well-rounded in manufacturing PCBs for smartphones and has the knowledge to confined space in the final products. Those PCB houses that are concentrated on space industries are certainly better at doing high-density projects. With this requirement in mind, you have to be fully aware of the industries that your PCB assembly partner is good at, so you are sure that you are doing business with a skilled PCB assembly partner instead of a less experienced PCB assembly service provider.

Customer Services
A good PCBA partner recognizes the needs of its clients to become a legit partner.  The PCB assembler knows how to achieve the task while at the same time providing the best quality printed circuit board assembly products at the most sensible prices. It helps in the consultations with the clients in both the ordering and production processes. The PCB assembly services partner offers its customers the best interests when offering innovative solutions for manufacturing their PCB products. The PCBA partner helps its customers from placing an order to its final condition during manufacturing, especially during setbacks, upon delivery, and after it is completed.

Minimum order quantity and lead time 
Every PCB project is distinctive as its scale and scope differ depending on the particular requirements. One customer may request a single board for creating prototypes while another may seek several. Small orders for one company may be similar to another. It is highly recommended that you look for a PCB assembly services company that is able to offer your order on time depending on your specific business requirements. For example, PCBA company specializes in low volume, quick turnover orders. It is best suited for prototyping new products or minor production at the same time as the other PCBA firm partners may focus on thousand units. Based on the time frame, the lead time is a crucial factor. It is recommended that you scout multiple PCB assemblies’ companies to help you identify who amongst them will be able to provide your order in the quickest time possible. Also, thoroughly check the project plan and set time limits. For most PCB assembly services shops, the work starts when after all the necessary components and boards become accessible. This is regarded as the official “Day 1” of the project.

Customer support and regular communication 
Despite the Fact That technical knowledge and experience and product quality are vital, customer support is also a vital component. You would like to work with a company that is prepared to provide the best possible solution for you by quickly respond to your queries and eager to correct the problems that you experience.


Electronic Component sourcing 
Ensure the company is sourcing parts from recognized component suppliers and they comply with the industry requirements for materials. These experts should be able to provide precise BOMs based on the project file and the assembler to ensure that the PCB is produced with the precise specifications cited on the BOM. 

Price and Cost
The location of the PCB assembler and the client's location is a key consideration when selecting a PCB assembly partner. Abroad assemblers may be cheaper while handling bulk orders, but the delivery time may take a long time while local-based assembly houses usually have quicker delivery time. Some PCBA shops even provide overnight shipping service. Labor costs also differ and are dependent on the assembler’s expertise and the type of service necessary. Should you be providing the PCB services provider with all the required parts or save your valuable time by entrusting everything to the assembler to purchase the components.

Tag: PCB assembly pcb assembly capabilities PCB Assembly Capabilities Equipment certifications
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