PCB price always changes over the years. Many people are not familiar with the reason, even though some people with years of experience in the PCB industry. Price is an essential factor for customers and manufacturers. Lower costs with high quality make manufacturers more competitive in the PCB market. Why do people pay different expenses for the same PCB with the same technical requirements and materials? What determines the price of a PCB?
Most people will think that it is mainly the material that affects the price, but the whole process of PCB manufacturing is very complicated, so the factors affect the PCB price composition are also various and complex. This article will briefly discuss the main factors of the PCB price composition.
Firstly, the price of laminated materials may be a huge difference between different factories. Take FR-4, FR-1, and CEM -1 as examples. The price of FR-4 is cost three times than FR-1 or CEM-1, and the price difference range of FR-1 and CEM-1 is from USD 3.3 to USD 11.0. Secondly, the board thickness and the copper weight also will cause a difference in the price. Board thickness can be 0.6mm, 0.8mm, 1.0mm, 1.2mm…2.0mm. Finished copper weight has 1oz, 2oz, and 3oz for choice. Thirdly, laminated material of high TG, middle TG, and low TG is different, too. Finally, it is the ink for solder mask and plug holes. The cost of ink has something to do with the colors, varieties, and brands. And the copper spheres, tin bars, and OSP will also determine the cost of materials.
2. The difficulty of the PCB
The costs depend on the width/space of the line. The price is different if the two boards are the same, but with different line width/line space. One is larger than 0.2mm, and one is smaller than 0.2mm, the cost will be different. What’s more, the hole diameter of the board also will cause different drilling costs.
3. Production processes
Different production processes used in PCB manufacturing cause different prices. Among several kinds of surface finish, the cost of immersion gold is the highest, lead-free HASL is the second, and the OSP and HASL is the lowest price. Besides, different prices will happen in the shape of the milling plate and beer plate. The use of dry film lines and silkscreen also results in a variety of prices.
4. Other costs
First, labor costs may be greatly different in different regions. Second, the delivery time is the final factor that affects the PCB price, and it is very vital for customers. Usually, customers need to pay extra cost for speedy services of PCB prototype or PCB assembly. The diversity of manufacturers' equipment and the different levels of technology will also form a different price.
Except for these factors mentioned above, there are still some other causes that will affect the price composition. Please enter the PCB price calculator on NextPCB' s website to fill out the custom PCB specifications, a rough PCB prototype price and delivery time will show up on the right column automatically.