Archive for December, 2015

Choosing the Perfect PCB Assembly Partner

Written by Rush PCB Inc on . Posted in PCB Assembly and component

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.

pcb assembly

 

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.

Equipment

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.

Speed/Lead Time

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.

Components Used

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.

Cost Saving Tips for PCB Fabrication

Written by Rush PCB Inc on . Posted in PCB Fabrication

Money is the most common problem in any type of business, and many American companies are looking for ways to cut costs, but still make sure they end up making a profit. They also want to ensure the quality of what they produce remains the same, or exceeds present quality, and in the electronics sector this is essential for staying in business. Therefore, it can be especially concerning.

One of the biggest issues many electronic companies face is that technological advances are occurring on a regular basis, with nothing ever staying the same for any length of time. To satisfy consumer demands electronics are becoming more and more complex, forcing companies to seek newer processes to meet that demand. The following tips can help you save money and still keep the quality of your merchandise high.

PCB Fabrication

Better Designs

You can scale back your spending by engineering boards more strategically, and using fewer parts and other components. This will enable your company to reduce the cost of each PCB, thus increasing the savings realized.This can be achieved by involving your manufacturing vendor right from the design stage for raw material availability, providing ease of manufacturing with expected or better yields.

Supplier Relationships

Find one or two parts suppliers that you can rely on, and develop a good working relationship with them. This often leads to discounted prices because they appreciate the business you bring them, and they may even offer lower prices if you buy in bulk, or pay in cash each time.

Keep Your Business Stateside

If you are thinking about going offshore in hopes of saving money, don’t. You are running the risk of ending up with poor quality workmanship that can affect your reputation considerably. You can also end up paying hefty fines if the parts used are not genuine or fail to comply with US standards.

Hire a Contract Manufacturer

While this may seem like an additional expense, partnering with a team of experts may be saving you a lot of money over time. These professionals have access to equipment and resources that you may not have, which would have otherwise made you to accrue unnecessary costs for added man power – and they can now work for you without you having to pay them a salary for their expertise!

There are many ways for you to save money on the PCB fabrication process, and the integrity of your product does not have to suffer. Learn how to cut your own costs without sacrificing quality, and still keep your customers happy with the products you supply.

The tips listed above are only a few ways for you to cut your costs without losing your profit margin. Work with members of your company to come up with other strategies to effectively reduce expenses, while at the same time developing and manufacturing a PCB that meets public expectations and demand.

For further information about PCB fabrication, contact the engineers at RUSH PCB .

PCB fabrication

The Evolution of Printed Circuit Board Finishes

Written by Rush PCB Inc on . Posted in PCB Manufacturing

pcb finishes

The surface you choose to use on your printed circuit board is actually the most important decision you will make. This finish will make all the difference when it comes down to the reliability of the product, the quality, the manufacturability, and of course, the cost.

The final finish process used to be relatively simple just a few years ago. It was one of two choices-electrolyte nickel/gold, or hot air solder leveling. (There is also the concern about the amount of lead in the HASL, although EPA studies show that this lead does not leach into the land when components are dumped into landfills.)

 Since technological improvements have increased at such a rapid level, more sophisticated materials have been developed to use as final surface finishes, and alleviate the concern about lead in the atmosphere.

Now, just a few short years later hot air surface leveling methods make up only about 10% of PCB finishes, clearing the way for other, better surface finish materials that include Hard and Soft Gold, White Tin, Silver, ENIG, or ENEPIG and OSP. Currently, these finish materials each have attributes that make it a desired surface finish for certain applications. There are certain questions you might want to ask to assist you in determining which surface finish is best for your applications.

 

  • Does it need to be lead free?
  • What quantity do you need?
  • Where will this PCB assembly be marketed, and what will it be used for?
  • What are the types of components and pitch to be applied?
  • Will it be wave soldered or wire bonded?
  • Are there any environmental or handling issues that the finished product might be exposed to?

 

Final finish is meant to imply that you have only one choice, but in actuality this is not true. You now have many options available to use to cover the exposed copper surfaces, and the global industry is now delving into various surface materials. It won’t be too long before you will not be able to use HASL in products being shipped overseas, so having to switch to a newer style finishing product is imminent for all manufacturers of printed circuit boards. Each new method has benefits, but there are also weaknesses that have yet to be discovered and dealt with.

 

The business of supplying printed circuit boards has evolved into something much more complicated than it once was, and manufacturers are paying particular attention to areas that are going to change the way they do business, cost being the number one factor. Even though PCB’s are getting smaller by the day, the price of the materials used in the final finish is not. Consumers should expect to pay more because of this, but that is the price of advanced technology. The higher cost of newer finishing materials aside, companies that manufacture and supply printed circuit boards also keep quality and reliability first and foremost. You can be assured that the PCB is as strong and dependable as it once was, even though this market is steadily evolving.