All the electronic equipment manufacturing companies regardless of how simple or how complex their products are, need to work with a reliable PCB manufacturer so that they could ensure a steady flow of PCBs that are required for their ongoing manufacturing needs. If this is your first time selecting a PCB manufacturing company and working with one such supplier, here are some of the most important factors for you to consider.
Selecting the right PCB manufacturing partner is a time consuming process. Firstly, you need to be clear with the nature of your requirements. The type of PCBs to be sourced and the volume of PCBs that need to be sourced every month. Your PCB manufacturer should have the required skillset to process your PCBs and they should also be equipped enough to deliver the number of PCBs you need every month.
All the PCB manufacturing companies will have their own scope of services. When you are picking your PCB manufacturer, you need to look for someone that will take care of end to end requirements. They should cover the entire PCB manufacturing cycle from PCB prototype building to PCB assembly. When you work with such a manufacturer, you will be able to save a considerable amount of time as well as money. There will be no need to deal with and to follow up with multiple PCB manufacturers. Moreover, if you are going to get different aspects of the PCB production from different service providers, a lot of time would be wasted in the shipping of your partially finished PCBs from one vendor to the next. It does not only waste time but it also wastes a lot of money on the shipping expenses. You are required to keep this factor in mind when shortlisting your service provider.
All the PCB manufacturers will have their own turnaround time too. You need to work with your PCB manufacturer closely to understand their production capabilities and limitations. This should be matched with your requirements so that you do not experience any delays in the delivery of your PCBs. It is highly recommended that you are at least two cycles ahead of the requirement cycle. This will cover up for any delays in the delivery of the orders by your manufacturer. If your requirements are going to be uniform and if it is not going to change in the near future in the form of product upgrades or new product launches, you can place a blanket order for an entire year and let your PCB manufacturer deliver the orders in a phased manner. When finalizing your PCB sourcing calendar, you should also take into consideration the shipping time.
You cannot source your PCBs in bulk quantities without taking into consideration the warehouse space that you have. All these call for careful planning – you need to keep in mind the production speed of your PCB manufacturer, the shipping time, your monthly requirements and the maximum storage space available to stock your PCBs.