Blog  /  PCB Cost – How To Optimize It In Different Technology Areas

PCB Cost – How To Optimize It In Different Technology Areas

Your primary goal when designing an electronic device is that it performs well. A reliable printed circuit board plays an integral role in performance.

However, you don’t want the expenses to exceed your budget. That is why you should know more about PCB costs, and our article will help you learn. Keep reading to find out more about different technologies that affect the price of PCBs!

 

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1、Printed Circuit Board – An Essential Component of Electronic Devices

 

Before we discuss the latest changes, it may be interesting to learn more about printed circuit boards' history.

People were first connecting circuits by using wrapping and wires. However, this has led to frequent failures, including connectivity losses and wire damage.

It was Paul Eisler who came up with a unique solution in 1936. He made the first PCB ever, and it as a lot different compared to what we use today. For example, it even included wood as one of the base materials.

Corrosion protection was the next thing implemented, but these advanced methods didn’t come until the 1960s. Over the next decades, the creators started considering how to reduce the size of a PCB. Printed circuit boards became extremely popular with the appearance of the internet, smartphone, and wearable technology.

As electronic devices became more accessible to the entire world, the PCB production increased. The manufacturers started making boards for specific applications. At the end of the 20th century, the implementation of high-density technology (HDI).

Today, we have boards of various sizes and forms. As a result, their cost significantly varies, and it depends on your desired application and how you plan to use them.

 

PCB costImage 1: A modern PCB with electronic parts

 

2、What Factors Affect PCB Cost?

 

Do you know what factors you should consider when determining PCB cost? The truth is that many things can affect the price of a printed circuit board.

Here are some crucial factors that you should consider when it comes to PCB cost:

• Choose the right materials – different materials have different prices, and that makes sense. If you want a reliable board, go with FR4 lamination. Keep in mind that the grade quality of FR4 can also vary. That is why you need to ensure it meets the needs of your application. Although standard FR4 will suit most products, make sure to talk to a professional before choosing the material.

• Layers – depending on your needs, you will have to pick a suitable number of layers for your board. Most users choose somewhere between two and 12 layers, although there are products that require even more. The crucial thing to know is that the more layers your board has, the more expensive it will be.

• Size – the logic is simple – a small printed circuit board doesn’t use as much material as a big one. As a result, compact-sized PCBs will have a lower price than large units. The good news is that HDI technology and other techniques have managed to reduce PCB size significantly.

• Thickness – apart from being small, a PCB also needs to be thin. The latest user demands have made the manufacturers look how to make boards thinner, too. Once again, a thin printed circuit board will cost less than a thick one because it doesn’t utilize the same materials.

 

PCB cost – printed circuit board and cash on top of itImage 2: PCB cost – printed circuit board and cash on top of it

 

3、How 3D Technology Affects the Cost of PCBs

 

It is amazing how much technology progressed over the last several decades. Among other innovations, 3D printing is a technology that took the world by storm.

Many industries welcomed 3D printers, including printing, entertainment, arts, and even the military industry. Technology also meant a lot for printed circuit boards because it made manufacturers' jobs a lot easier.

It takes significantly less time and effort to complete PCB design and assembly with 3D Technology than with the classic 2D approach. Thanks to that, the companies can decrease PCB costs, making boards more attractive for those on a tight budget.

Apart from reducing the overall cost, 3D printing also minimized the chances of a mistake. The 2D approach involved humans a lot more, which increased room for error. But with 3D Technology, accuracy has been taken to a whole new level. It is another reason manufacturers are more efficient today, and they can deliver a high number of PCBs quickly.

 

PCB costImage 3: PCB cost-the 3D Printing process

 

Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

One requirement only: Order must be placed using a company account.
Please email [email protected] for details.
Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

4、How did Wearable Technology Help to Reduce PCB Cost?

 

Smartwatch used by a manImage 4: Smartwatch used by a man

 

If you are a fitness enthusiast, then chances are you have an activity tracker or a smartwatch on your hand. Smartwatches are almost like portable computers, considering the number of functions they have.

Wearable products have gone a long way over time, and we can now use their advanced versions. They combine functionality and compact size, and PCBs are in charge of ensuring everything runs smoothly.

If you design a printed circuit board for a smartwatch, you need to make it both thin and small. These wearable products industry demands have inspired PCB manufacturers to decrease board sizes as much as possible. While doing that, they also keep the performance and reliability of the boards at the maximum.

It is how wearable Technology has helped the PCB industry to move to the next level. By using small and thin components, the manufacturers were also able to reduce overall expenses. As a result, PCB cost is lower, thanks to wearable technology.

 

5、Medical Technology and Its Effect on PCB Costs

 

We love using electronic devices for entertainment, but they are also utilized for serious purposes. The healthcare industry uses a wide range of devices and instruments to help patients recover and save their lives.

Nobody can deny that the medical industry has many benefits from Technology and printed circuit boards. For starters, doctors can now save all data about patients electronically. That enables easy access to a patient's medical history whenever necessary.

You can also see products with PCBs in medical instruments. Doctors often use micro cameras that patients swallow to see their organs from the inside. It is a revolutionary approach that helps with the diagnosis.

These devices use printed circuit boards, and the PCB needs to be as small as possible. We already established that compact-sized boards are usually cheaper than bigger units.

 

Doctor using a portable tablet deviceImage 5: Doctor using a portable tablet device

 

6、How Can OurPCB Help You to Optimize PCB Cost?

 

Your primary considerations when ordering a PCB should be the performance, fit, and price. First, you want the board to perform well and last as long as possible.

Next, you need it to fit your application and space you planned for it. Finally, the overall PCB cost should meet your budget.

If you would like the best PCB solution for your needs, you should look for a reliable manufacturer. It should be someone with years of experience, modern equipment, and skills required to build high-quality printed circuit boards.

OurPCB fits right into that description. Professional engineers will start by helping you choose the right solution for your application. They will look to make the best combination of performance while optimizing the cost. You cannot only expect to receive reliable boards, but you should look forward to affordable rates, too.

The company can respond to any PCB manufacturing challenge out there. Whether you need simple or complex design and assembly, OurPCB will deliver your boards quickly so that you can launch your product on time. The staff is polite and knowledgeable and ready to answer any question you might have.

 

PCB cost-Manufactured printed circuit boards close upImage 6: PCB cost-Manufactured printed circuit boards close up

 

7、What Can We Expect from the PCB Industry in the Future?

 

It has been almost a century since people made the first printed circuit board. However, it seems that the PCB industry has skyrocketed over the last two decades. Today, millions of people want to know how PCBs work and use them in their next product.

The demand for printed circuit boards can only increase. The reason lies in the fact that electronic devices are becoming more popular every day. We can see the demand in PCBs for wearable products, flexible screens, and even medical products.

Decreasing the overall PCB cost can be beneficial for both the manufacturers and the users. By reducing the expenses, companies can maximize their profit. As for the users, they will also spend less onboard, so reducing costs is the case.

The primary goal of the industry will remain to decrease the size of the boards. That is how the PCB industry will be capable of reducing the overall costs. With Technology reaching unimaginable heights, we can't rule out innovations that would make the manufacturing process even faster and easier.

 

Man touching electronics circuitImage 7: Man touching electronics circuit

 

8、Conclusion

 

Although they have started slowly, printed circuit boards have hit it off in the last couple of decades. We have seen many upgrades that improved PCB performance and reliability.

It may sound hard to believe, but Technology has also helped to reduce overall PCB cost. Since boards have become smaller in size, their price has also gone down. That is something you should use to your advantage to get the best printed circuit board for your application at an affordable cost!

 

 

Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

One requirement only: Order must be placed using a company account.
Please email [email protected] for details.
Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!