Electronic assembly services provide services for arranging the components on the circuit board. When you are done with the selection and production of the printed circuit board and are going into the assembly phase, you require a good assembly service provider for your assembly line.
What is PCB assembly?
To hire the correct company for the job, you need to understand what goes into PCB assembly. So, what is PCB assembly? It is the process in manufacturing in which a flat board is populated with different electrical components so that it turns into a functional electronic board. The assembly generally follows two methods.
- Surface Mount Technology
SMT is commonly used in the market. It is the easiest and most cost-effective method of mounting electronic components on the board. This method entails the mounting of components directly on the surface of the board.
- Through-Hole Technology
THT is an old method of making PCBs. In this method, the leads of the components are passed through holes in the board and then they are soldered on the opposite side, sticking them to the board. The bond created with soldering is stronger and makes the PCBs more durable. THT is time-consuming and much more expensive than SMT but some products require it. Products undergoing mechanical and environmental stress. It’s also used in larger components such as Transformers and Connectors.
Choose the method based on your product’s specifications. You can also use both techniques for maximum durability and cost-effectiveness on a single product.
Following are some critical aspects on which you should base your decision to choose a company for electronic assembly.
Experience is the most crucial aspect when it comes to choosing a company for your assembly needs. You don’t want to give this critical task to someone who is a novice. Search for companies that best suit your needs & then look for experience. If they have the experience of working with something similar to your product then you may consider signing a deal with them. Following are some steps to help you find if the company you have set eyes on has relevant experience or not.
- Do they have experience with SMT or THT? Or do they work with both of them?
- What is their production capacity?
- What kind of projects have they worked on in the past?
- What industries have they worked with?
- What other services do they offer?
- How long they have been in business?
These questions may help you determine whether the client you are starting to work with is worthy of handling your project or not.
Set a Timeline
Working in a competitive market, you must know that time is money. You require a company that best suits your needs & that can provide you with their services on time. Don’t rush the decision of making your choice. Sometimes the decision made in a hurry can cause serious time troubles. Your rushed decision may waste your time more than you imagine. Take your time, research the market thoroughly and then make your decision.
Also, look for companies whose timeline matches yours so you can work simultaneously without wasting an hour. Even an hour of waste in the production line can cost you many valuable customers. You want the assembly done as soon as possible so your production line is not affected and your products are always available in the market.
Quality is just as important as any other aspect of a product. If a product is not up to the mark, then the feedback from the market can ruin your company’s image. You need to make sure that the company you are looking for has high-quality standards and their products are always top-notch. Judging the quality of an assembly company without getting the product is difficult, although you can order a prototype or a small run from the company & if you’re satisfied with the results, you can order a larger run later. There are also some other factors that can help you evaluate the quality standards of a company.
- You can look for their equipment. If they use high-quality machinery, then they might produce better results than their counterparts. Though it’s a good sign, it’s not definite.
- You can also look for certifications. If the company has ISO certification, then it means that it has passed the quality assurance test and has the quality system in place.
- Client feedback is also important. In this age of modern technology, you can find people’s feedback on different platforms. A company’s clientele can say a lot about them.
Several Testing Options
Testing is an essential part of the production line. You cannot put your product on the market without testing it first. Before signing a deal with a company, you need to make sure that they have adequate testing options for your product. Aside from the visual inspection, the company must have a set of comprehensive testing methods and quality control processes. Some of the other testing methods that PCB assembly companies perform are automated optical inspections, component-level checks, and in-circuit verification. If a company is ISO 9001 certified, you can be more assured of their testing services.
Cost is always a significant factor. Customers want quality products at affordable prices. You need to make sure that you get the most value with fewer expenses. The cost of PCB assemblies can vary with the following factors.
- Larger orders usually have a per unit cost savings sometimes called quantity breaks.
- The technology used in the assembly can also make a very significant difference in the costs. THT will cost you way more than SMT. Similarly, different testing methods can make a huge impact on the cost structure.
- Complex projects require more attention & oversight which can add up.
- The location of the assembler is also important as the shipping charges can be significant.
Quality should not be compromised when making decisions to save cost. Cost is important but not more than quality. Investing in higher-quality products can save you both time and money in the long run.
Hope this blog helps you in choosing the best assembly service for your business.