Do you want your PCB sourcing to be successful? In that case, you have many components to consider, including the requirements of your product, budget, and deadline. It is also vital to pick reliable partners that will meet your expectations.
In this article, we are focusing on the foundational elements of the printed circuit board sourcing. Take a look and discover how to take your strategy to the highest level!
1、What Are the Requirements of Your Product?
The first thing you want to consider are the specifics of your product. You will need an adequate PCB portfolio regardless of what you are making, but it is essential to tailor it to your application.
For starters, you should decide whether your product is low-end, standard, or premium. There is nothing wrong in making affordable products that will have a tempting cost for the clients. It is vital to clarify that because you don’t have to look for a manufacturer that has advanced equipment because the chances are you can design your PCB using fairly simple tools.
Standard products might require a bit more complexity, but the requirements will remain fairly ordinary. The only reason why you would go out of the usual requirements is if you need a high-end printed circuit board. In that case, you will need a premium manufacturer with modern equipment that can handle your demands.
Additionally, your product might require a specific design of the printed circuit board. For example, wearable consumer electronics like smartphones might need flexible or flex-rigid PCBs. The level of flexibility will also determine your PCB sourcing expectations.
Please note that you can also choose between standard and HDI PCBs. The latter use high-density interconnect technology, which allows them to place extra components while maintaining minimal size and weight.
Image 1: Idea sketch of product design
2、Determine Your Budget
In a dreamland, you have an unlimited budget, and you can design and assemble whatever you like. In reality, that is not the case, which is why money is an integral element of your PCB sourcing.
The budget will directly affect the materials that you want to use. If you want to make a top-quality product that will provide consistent performance for years, you want to go with premium materials for your board.
On the other hand, if you have certain budget constraints, you don’t want to waste more money than necessary. That is why you may want to go with materials that are reliable but belong to standard PCB assembly materials.
If you are a startup business, you may want to consider starting slow. The chances are the budget is your primary concern, and it may be wise to test the market and see which products have the best sale numbers. Once you confirm that, you can consider investing more to perfect those items. That will imply using better materials during PCB assembly, as well as optimizing all other details to offer an improved product.
Image 2: Budget illustration – a man putting a coin in a jar
3、How Quickly Will You Need the PCBs?
Image 3: Hourglass measuring passing time
If you are a small company that cares about every invested cent, it is vital to stay on schedule by releasing new products and services. That is why you can't afford that any item takes longer delivery than predicted, and that includes printed circuit boards.
You need to be realistic in setting the deadline for your PCB assembly finish and delivery. It is always wise to set aside several extra days because you can never predict what could go wrong. Maybe you did everything perfectly, but your package gets lost in the mail. Perhaps the manufacturer’s machine breaks down (although that shouldn’t happen if you choose a reliable company).
Plenty of unexpected things could go sideways, which is why it is vital to find a suitable partner for designing PCBs as soon as possible. Even if you receive your boards a bit earlier than expected, it is better than having to push the deadline. That would result in pushing back product release, which could significantly harm your finances, and that is not something you would like to happen.
The good news is that most reliable companies are ready to assemble and deliver a large number of boards in the shortest possible timeframe. Feel free to look at a manufacturer that offers the best ratio between price and quality, and will design and deliver reliable PCBs at affordable rates.
4、Consider the Capabilities of the Manufacturer You Select
Image 4: PCB processing on CNC machine
Once you have all the details regarding your product set, you can move to choose a suitable provider. Please note that we are not saying the best provider because you should decide on a company based on your budget, and the requirements of your product.
For starters, you want to ensure that the provider has manufacturing capabilities required to design your board. That includes appropriate equipment that can design the type of PCB you want. Additionally, you want to confirm that they use the materials you would like in the PCB designed for your application. Ultimately, the company needs to be ready to meet your expectations in terms of cost and delivery of the boards.
OurPCB is your perfect partner in the world of PCB sourcing. The company has state-of-the-art equipment that complies with the latest standards. We have years of experience in the PCB industry and a portfolio of simple and complex projects that we completed. OurPCB is ready to offer affordable prices, and the best ratio of cost and quality you will find on the market. The company is experienced, reliable, and ready to deliver around the world in the shortest possible timeframe.
5、Do They Have a Professional Staff Ready to Help?
Image 5: Customer service concept
The company needs to have the right combo of equipment and staff. Modern machines and tools are not worth much if no one can use them properly. That is why you should look for a manufacturer that gathers a team of trained and experienced engineers.
The experience can be crucial because the chances are that they have already done a similar project to the one you are asking. That way, you can ensure that someone knowledgeable and skillful will be handling the PCB assembly, and ensuring that your board is high-performing and reliable.
Professional staff will be there with you every step of the way. They understand the need to clarify your dilemmas and answer any question you might have related to your product’s PCB. That is particularly important if it is your first time working with that provider. Pay special attention to the behavior of the staff.
The company should treat every client equally, and do everything in its power to ensure customer satisfaction. Whether you sent an initial query or a follow-up question, they should respond quickly because time is money. You can’t afford to lose days in arranging everything as that may lead to not meeting the deadline for product release.
6、Always Choose a Company That Fits Your Needs
Image 6: Robotic system for PCB automatic checking
We said it once, but we will underline it once again. It is not about choosing the most expensive company, but the one that suits your needs the most. But what does that mean?
A manufacturer that suits your needs should be capable of meeting the following requirements:
1. Manufacturing capabilities are suitable for your product, and the potential needs of your future applications.
2. Delivery time fits into your predicted deadline for your product release. The company should be capable of producing a large level of boards in a short timeframe.
3. The support team is ready to help with any dilemma or issue you might have to optimize the performance and reliability of your board.
4. top of this, the rates they offer should meet your expectations. If you ensure that, you’ve probably selected the most suitable provider for your out there.
7、Continue Working with Reliable Partners
Image 7: Businessmen shaking hands
Did you have a pleasant experience with the company that designed and assembled your PCBs? If the manufacturer fulfilled everything they promised and you agreed on, and your board works well, you should stay loyal to them in the future.
The chances are both companies can grow together, and you can help to boost each other’s profit and sales. On top of that, finding a new manufacturer to work with every time increases the risk of something going wrong. The company you already cooperated with is familiar with your requirements, and that can only speed up the assembly process in the future.
People say you should change a successful formula, and they say that for a reason. However, if you had an unpleasant experience, you may need to look for an alternative. Learn from your mistakes and find a reliable manufacturer with top-quality equipment and professional staff.
You need to make many important decisions when it comes to PCB sourcing. The essential principles indicate that you should start from the requirements of your product, and the capabilities of your company. From there, you should choose a trustworthy manufacturer that can meet your expectations in terms of reliability, price, and delivery.