Top 10 Features to Look For In A PCB Prototype Service
PCBs are required in large numbers and none of the pieces can be low in quality. These are expected to perform a certain function and the function primarily is to ensure the seamless flow of signal. This part in any device has to be manufactured after lot of planning, designing and testing. Thus, prototyping is a major part of manufacturing process. The prototyping service companies do the job of meeting the requirements of design and ensure achieving all functionalities expected from the prototype PCB. Thus, relationship with a PCB prototyping service is more of co-working nature. That is why; it is necessary that the PCB prototyping service should have these features:
You may require having multiple layered printed circuit board. This requirement calls for a lot of experience as well as expertise of printed circuit board fabrication. So, taking a look at the track record is a good advice to consider. How they established and what their customers are saying about them can give you a fair idea of their style of working and their credibility.
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Cost is the biggest factor to consider as you require PCBs in bulk. The company that charges heavily may not be as affordable as a service provider offering cheap PCB prototype. At the same time, it is worth paying attention that cost-efficiency does not mean good quality. So, compare the prices along with the quality of the work done by the PCB prototyping services before picking the one for your purpose. Though it is advisable that quality should always be given preference over cost, but you have to take decision keeping budget in mind too. Else, you may chip in more funds first, after doing the market research, and then make a choice.
Least turnaround time
PCB is such part that actually forms the core of the device. So, the whole manufacturing process of the device is on hold when the PCBs are under process (in case purchase management guy is new!). It is advisable to get that PCB prototyping service on board that requires minimal time for delivering order, no matter what size it is. Prototype orders are to be processed on a very tight schedule. No buyer can wait beyond a week. Thus, use that service that guarantees delivery of order within a week.
Minimum Order Size
Sometimes, it is essential to have some samples prepared before placing the bulk order. So, check the minimum order quantity that the printed circuit board prototyping service accepts. If it matches your sample group size, you certainly have got the service you needed. At times, you may require negotiating the minimum order size with the service provider. This can be done by giving the provider an overview of future demand which may help it taking the decision, and you may get the best quote too.
Availability of Instant Quotes
Time crunch needs to be managed very wisely in case of getting PCBs. Normally, PCBs are ordered just a week or two before the requirement and so, the service providers that send you the quotes instantly can be of great help. There are certain providers who are available online and offer instant quotes over the web itself. Thus, lot of time likely to be wasted in delayed communication can be saved by doing business with service providers offering instant quotes.
Quality of the PCB board
This is the most important of all features worth looking for in a PCB prototyping service. Quality can be checked by finding out what kind of material is used by the company. Only quality of product is not sufficient, you must check the quality of customer service too. Obviously, you have to be in constant touch for feedback, updates etc. So, a service company with a dedicated support team can be a good option to consider for getting the job done. Customer support must have detailed knowledge of the prototyping and they should be professional and prompt too.
If you are searching a company manufacturing PCB prototype in China and you have requirement in some other country, you must ensure that the company has policy in place for cross border shipments. Many of the companies in China are into overseas shipping and accept the orders from all across the world. In addition to specialized shipping, the packaging procedures adopted should also be quite safe and fool-proof. There should be in-transit insurance in place too.
Facility of customization
The prototyping company should be able to customize the product as per the client’s requirement. This will help the buyer in making the best use of the product and there would be nil chances of mismatch and reviews. Customization may be required on parameters such as size, shape, components, printing method etc. Flexibility of design is what the service provider should be open to, so that you can get the best possible results which are all in your favor and serving exactly to your requirements.
Choosing a PCB prototype service is certainly a big task. Above are the few pointers that may help you in finding the correct PCB service provider. Thankfully, there are various PCB manufacturing companies like Elecrow that are experts in the job and have excellent quality to offer to the clients. If the prototyping is done correctly, it is a battle half won. Thus, it is essential to shop for the service providing company wisely to avoid any serious regrets in future.