How to Cut PCB Assembly Costs?

 In PCB Assembly and component

At Rush PCB, we face this question from almost all our customers. They want to know how they can reduce their expenses when assembling their printed circuit boards (PCBs). Those assembling a large number of PCBs know how the expenses can pile up, and therefore, any reduction, however small, really helps in the long run.

As one of the leading experts in the electronics manufacturing industry, Rush PCB has a long history of producing and assembling PCBs. As a contract manufacturer Rush PCB has earned itself a good name as a high quality but low-cost fabricator. Therefore, we can provide ample guidance to designers struggling to contain their expenses within project budgets.

PCB Assembly Costs

Cost of a PCB

The total cost of manufacturing and assembling a PCB can be broadly divided into two parts:

  • Cost of the Components (BOM) including the PCB
  • Cost of Assembling and Testing the PCB

The cost of the individual components and the board far outweigh the cost of assembly and testing. As a PCB designer, he/she can influence the cost of components by selecting them judiciously, as the latest and most advanced components will invariably cost more.

However, to maintain profitability in business, the electronic product must be feasible, and the designer must learn to reduce the PCB cost, without sacrificing the quality and functionality, as it is crucial to remain competitive. Therefore, PCB designers must balance their skills of creating a PCB from scratch with their knowledge of cost control.

Component Availability and Price

One of the major contributors to component pricing is its availability—components that are abundantly available are also cheap. Price of a component starts to rise as it becomes more and more difficult to find. As a full turnkey service provider, Rush PCB has the most up-to-date data on components available from suppliers.

Therefore, even though designers may feel tempted to use the latest micro-controller or memory chips in their designs, they must consider factors such as availability and price of the components.

Optimizing Components

Sometimes, a design may not warrant the use of highly sophisticated components, as these can be an overkill. Designers should consider using cheaper components with which they can meet design requirements. Rush PCB has experienced resources that can help with the selection of components in a design.

Although the difference in the cost of a new component may be only a few cents, when using large numbers of the component, the difference will add up.

Please call Rush PCB to discuss your requirements.

Design Strategies

Design influences the complexity of the assembly process. The number of components on the board, their type, and their method of placement all affect the assembly process. Rush PCB offers the DFM or Design for Manufacturing process, where our experienced resources discuss the above factors to reduce the cost of assembly. Designers should adopt the following strategies to achieve cost-efficiency:

  • Surface mount component on one side of the PCB
  • Same orientation of polarized components
  • Proper designator labeling
  • Panelizing the PCB
  • Use fiducial markers for orientation

Placing all SMTs on one side of the PCB reduces the iterations of the pick-and-place machine, saving the cost of setting up the machine twice.

Keeping the orientation of polarized components in the same direction saves time for the machine head to reorient itself when placing components.

Designators help in identifying the component easily. Keeping the designators clear, legible, and close to the components they represent is a great help during inspection and testing.

When producing PCBs in large numbers, panelizing them reduces the cost of manufacturing, as it increases the efficiency during the assembly process by minimizing the assembly runs.

Presence of fiducial markers make it easier and faster for pick-and-place machines to orient components and increases their accuracy of placement, thereby reducing rejections during inspection and testing.

Full Turnkey Assembly Service

Rush PCB provides full turnkey assembly service to its customers. This is one of the best ways to cut assembly costs. We take care of everything starting from design, fabrication, component procurement, assembly, and testing.

Give us a call now to receive a quote for your requirements.