Finding just the right PCB partner is often a daunting project, especially when there are so many options available world-wide. There are so many things to consider that making the right decision can seem to be impossible, but it is something you have to do in order to achieve the results you want, which are profits for your company.
Factors you need to consider before making a choice:
Where Are They Located?
If you are considering an oversea partner, keep in mind the time it may take for shipping. Yes, they may be able to handle large orders, but then again, the shipping may take as long as six months! Can you afford the wait? They can ship quicker but additional freight costs need to justify the savings you have for going overseas. A PCB assembler that is based right here in the US have speedier delivery times, and may even offer overnight shipping as part of their services. Getting the product as quickly as possible is crucial to your sales.
All Important Pricing
One thing you are going to find out is that what you pay for labor costs will depend on experience. You have to decide whether you want to trust the assembler to obtain the components needed, or if you will supply them. It will save you a lot of time if you allow your assembly partner to do this, but the question remains as to whether the parts and components used are of the highest quality.
The end result of the PCB assembly will depend on the equipment used by the company you partner with. Do they have the latest state-of-the-art machines needed to assemble a PCB to exact specifications? Are the operators fully trained to operate this equipment? Ask these questions before making this all important decision.
Experience of the Technicians
Expertise is needed by any person assembling a PCB, and he or she should be able to work independently without having to ask questions. Ask whether they have received quality certification, because the reason you are outsourcing the contract is to save you valuable time as well as money.
You have deadlines, and you want to be sure that the assembler you hire can meet those deadlines. Get in touch with the companies you are considering to decide whether they are able to accommodate the orders you have in the shortest time possible. Quick turn-around times are crucial to your business.
You have to ensure that the components used by the assembly company come from certified suppliers, comply with US standards, and are genuine, not counterfeit parts. Do they have a substitution policy in case the exact part you need is not available? And last, how do they ensure that all the materials they use are genuine, or what you ordered?
As you can see, choosing the perfect PCB assembly partner is not a simple or quick task that be completed overnight. You need to research each facility you are considering before making that all important decision, because the reputation of your company is what is at stake.