What is contract PCB assembly?
Contract PCB assembly is when a PCB manufacturer assembles the PCBs at their manufacturing facility for one particular customer. And they may grow their business by getting additional contracts. This is a widespread practice in today’s electronic industry.
A PCB manufacturer is a company that manufactures printed circuit boards. The price for this service is cheaper than having the customer design their boards and have them made from scratch. We attribute this to economies of scale. In addition, the foundry has everything they need to manufacture the board laid out in front of them.
Contract manufacturing PCB assembly takes logistics out of the equation by having all the necessary components to assemble each board. It is important to discourage the customer having to order the different components and parts from different vendors. Instead they should be having them all in one place saving time and effort for both parties.
Are you ready for your journey into the world of contract PCB assembly? You’ll need to get familiar with all aspects of board production. Understanding some essential basics can make life easier for your lead foundry. It will also provide insight into what makes contract PCB assembly rewarding.
Why Choose A Contract Manufacturer for Your PCB contract Assembly?
Nowadays, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are outsourcing more and more production jobs to contract manufacturers. The main reason for this is that companies are releasing too many products each year, making it impossible to keep up with the demand.
Contract manufacturers become involved in the production process early, allowing them produce all the system components into a single product. This strains the mass producer’s management system and limits their ability to react quickly to market changes.
Contractors can be more flexible and often require less investment from the customer side. Instead of buying new equipment, a contractor’s only investment is paying their contract manufacturer for services rendered. In some cases, a customer can also send items to a contract manufacturer for assembly, thereby minimizing upfront costs.
Contract manufacturers have the technical knowledge and experience needed to complete projects on time and within budget. They have a huge advantage over other companies due to their automation processes, which allows them to release products at higher volumes.
Here are some key reasons for you to opt for contract PCB assembly:
Accuracy and Production Speed:
One biggest benefit of using a contract manufacturer instead of doing it in-house is the speed at which you get your products. It takes contractors months to build their production lines and optimize them for maximum efficiency. Once they’ve done so, it becomes very easy to replicate products repeatedly. This is the reason they can handle high volumes so well. Speed is also the reason why contractors can offer large discounts on their products. Even though you may have to wait longer for your product, they know it’s still cheaper than producing them in-house.
Minimum Designing Time:
PCBs are products that require a lot of design work involved to ensure proper functionality. Designing PC boards is very labor-intensive for the contractor because they must make sure they are compatible with all the components required. It can translate to nearly 100 parts. By allowing them do the design work, the contractor can save an enormous amount of time, resulting in more money.
Most electronics manufacturers produce a product line consisting of different models, each with slight modifications. What happens when you outsource the production of your boards to a contractor? You can allow them to focus on the production of certain components that are present in most of your products. This allows your company to focus on developing that one unique feature that is only available in the latest model. Good contract manufacture will produce what you need quickly and efficiently to begin working on new models.
One-Stop-Shop for Circuit Board Manufacturing:
Most companies outsource their circuit board production to a contract manufacturer because they want to cut operational costs. Having one vendor take care of everything from procurement to shipping and warehousing lets them focus more on the designs. Lead foundries can also provide assembly services or even repair your circuit boards. This means you don’t have to pay for the internal expenses of the internal process. In-house circuit board assembly is not always an option because of time constraints or lack of resources. Most companies must wait for a few months before getting their internal staff trained and up to speed. In addition, vendors require a lot of upfront investment in equipment. You do not have to acquire such equipment when outsourcing the job to a contractor.
Low Operational Costs and Improved Production:
By outsourcing the production to a contractor, you can have a faster turnaround time. This also allows you to have a much larger variety of products. Your company does not have to deal with the time constraints involved with in-house assembly. Contractors can do mass-production at a much faster rate which lets them offer their services at a cheaper rate than doing it in house. The savings from outsourcing the production of your board greatly lowers your overhead costs and enables you to reinvest that money into other areas of your company or new ventures.
Quick Component Sourcing:
By selecting contract manufacturers that provide all the needed components, you can save time and money on sourcing your components. You can also save time by not having to do initial parts procurement because the contractor already has them in stock, and you don’t need to spend time searching for them. You can take advantage of fast-paced changes in the industry by investing in a contract manufacturer instead of doing it in-house.
Reduces Costly Rework:
Redesigning a circuit board is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of money and effort. Therefore, some companies choose to do it in-house while others outsource the task entirely. When doing it in house, you still must order more components that can get lost or damaged during shipping. You also must deal with the hassle of sourcing the parts yourself, which can take time and money away from more profitable areas of your business. When doing it through outsourcing, you do not have to worry about any of these issues.
Ease of research:
Some companies choose to do it in-house because they want to keep the proprietary information within their company. They don’t realize that they need to hire more workers if doing it in-house, which will cost them extra money. One can accomplish the same by outsourcing to a contractor at a much lower price. You already have all the components to use the technology without needing labor intensive employees.
Access to quality materials:
Most of the time, the components used in the design are not the best quality materials, which allows them to retail at a lower price. Contractors can work with you and find the right quality components at a cheap price for your project. This means better options without having to spend any extra money on R&D for finding better materials.
Disadvantages of using contract manufacturer for PCB assembly
Higher initial investment:
Companies often underestimate the cost of outsourcing their job to a contractor. Most companies opt for this because they believe their company is cheap enough not to subcontract PCB assembly. If you do not have enough money to invest in a private contract manufacturer, you will come up short in some areas of your business. Unless you are ready to put a guarantee down on your work, there is no reason why you should outsource your circuit board assembly.
Lack of control:
When doing it in house, you have full control of your work and can be as fast as you want. The same doesn’t when outsourcing to a Contract Manufacturer because they will need to deal with many things that you may not be able to deal with. Companies that outsource their circuit board assembly often feel like they are losing control of the process. Often, there is delay in delivery of the components, or they don’t get shipped at all. This can be frustrating for the company, and they do not know how to deal with it. Therefore, a company needs to choose a reliable and experienced supplier who will care for everything they need.
Lack of knowledge:
Companies that outsource often feel like they aren’t as knowledgeable as they would be if they were doing it in house. This is because most companies will deal with only one industry and only one type of production. Assigning a contractor is like trying to teach someone how to do something they have never done before. If you want your company to succeed in the future, you need to learn as much as you can and assess where you need help.
The time constraints involved with outsourcing a job can often lead a company to decide that is not best for their company. For some companies, the time constraints involved with doing it in-house are not as big of an issue, but it can be very problematic for other companies. When you outsource your jobs, you are open for more time and can always change the payment schedule or deliver later.
The labor cost involved with in-house assembly is often several times higher than that of a contract manufacturer. This implies that the employees doing the assembly in your company must be get proper training and pay for their work. This does not happen in many organizations, and less experienced employees typically do the work. Many companies do not bother to train their employees when outsourcing to a contractor because it will be less expensive in the long run.
The cost of outsourcing your assembly may require you to hire a tax accountant or set up new systems for your business. This can be very costly for some companies, so you must think carefully before making the decision.
Companies that do it in-house often do not add the shipping cost to the product because they think they will include it if their workers are shipping components from their homes. This can sometimes lead to a problem where there is an extra cost when the product finally arrives at the end customer. Also, when you do it in-house, you will need to ship out each component for later assembling and testing. This can be very time consuming and costly if done through outsourcing.
How to choose the right contractor for your PCB assembly
By the time you’ve reached the assembly phase in your PCB production, you should have already decided on the raw material that you want to use to reduce costs. Now, it’s time to think about how much you are willing to spend on your PCB assembly. There are many Contract Manufacturers in the world today. It can be rather tricky if you’re trying to find one since many options are out there. One way of finding the right Contract Manufacturer is by asking other companies if they were happy with their work or not. You can also ask for references to make sure that they are reliable.
Another thing that you can do is search online. There are many review sites where you can read what other people have to say about the company that you are looking into. This allows you to find out if they were truly satisfying or not. It’s also a good idea to check the company’s website to overview their services and products.
What goes into contract PCB assembly?
To get a reliable PCB contract assembly, you should always give it a lot of time to do the job if you want to get a good product. Here is what you should consider:
Follow an Appropriate Timeline:
When the Contract Manufacturer is finishing up one of your jobs, you should be able to get it done in a month. It will take time for them to learn the proportions fully and how everything should look like. If you wait too long, they may start forgetting what they should be doing, which could get messy quickly. Remember that it’s likely that the Contract Manufacturer will not be too happy if you’re not willing to wait for an assembly job.
Ensure Quality by Inspecting the Finished Product:
After you have approved the product, the Contract Manufacturer should send it out to you right away. You can then check to see if it is good enough for your sale or not. If you are not happy with what they have done, give them a few days to change it up but make sure that they complete everything before moving on. This will help ensure they are doing their best since there is nothing left to do once the product goes off.
- Equipment quality:You should receive the PCB assembly if the Contract Manufacturer sends you their products’ samples. You can then see if it is good enough for your needs. If you don’t get it, you can call them up and ask for an explanation. What happens if they don’t deliver on time? Keep in mind that if they don’t finish their work, there is nothing much they can do, right? The quality of your PCB assembly should be reliable.
- Certification:You should ensure that all your components are compliant with the CE and RoHS standards. In many cases, you will be able to get this for free from the manufacturer. But in some cases, it may cost a lot of money.
- Client feedback:This is almost the last thing that comes to mind, right? But you need to ensure that the Contract Manufacturer cares about what the client wants it. They should be willing to follow your guidelines, communicate with you regularly, and be willing to fix up any problems you’re having with their service. If they do not, then they are probably not worth your time. Having an assembly contract with two of your suppliers is one of the best ways to do business when buying electronic components.
The Contract Manufacturer you choose must have a lot of experience in this industry so you can find out if they are truly good at doing it. If they say that they have been in business for a long time, then it’s likely that they will be able to work on your PCBs. This is because you will not have to wait too long for them to finish the job and get it shipped out. The services they offer must also be doable for you as a customer. If there are parts they can’t fulfill, your Contract Manufacturer must have the necessary options to create them from scratch or other suppliers. The industries they are working with should also be in good condition. It’s a good idea to have a Contract Manufacturer equipped with the newest techniques in PCB Assembly. Having a global manufacturer such a RayMing PCB and Assembly will help ensure that your product will be up to standard since you are contracting them for an assembly job.
Evaluate testing options:
Before you decide to go out and find a Contract Manufacturer, it’s essential to decide if you want them to do everything on their own or want them to do some of the work for you. If they can’t fulfill some parts or need a little help from another person, you should try asking around if they have anyone in mind. This is important because it can help ensure that your PCBs undergo thorough testing before shipping out. You can always have them test it for you or find someone to help them out with the testing. It’s an important negotiation that you will have to sit down with your Contract Manufacturer on.
Consider customer support:
You must choose a Contract Manufacturer that is willing to give their best to you. One way of doing this is by offering customer support or service that can help your business grow. This should include them giving you feedback about your product so they can help you improve it. They may also need to escalate issues you might have with the designs or other things if they cannot fix them independently. It should be a good rule never to hide any issues related to your PCBs because it can cost you much money.
You should always compare costs for your PCB services to make sure that you are getting the best deal. This is important because it will help you determine if the contract manufacturer is worth all of the money that you are spending on their services. You should also find out how much their daily rate is to calculate how long they can take to finish up.
- Order size:You should estimate the order size and how many PCBs you want them to produce in each time frame. This will help you determine how much money they will need from you to cover their expenses.
- Services Requested:They should give you this in a quote. Make sure that it’s not extremely higher than the usual price since you are only asking them to do a simple job for you. This usually applies when you want them to help with the testing or assembly of your product.
- Resources provided: If they need any resources to produce your PCBs, you should find out how much they need to pay for them. They should also tell you if there is any other cost involved when looking into outsourcing some parts for your product.
- Labor cost:It’s essential to know if they pay their employees well so you won’t have to overpay them. They should also tell you the hourly rate to manage how much money your money is going towards.
- Shipping cost:If you are not willing to pay for shipping, there should be no problems because this should be ready on their quote.
Now, you have a better idea of choosing the right Contract Manufacturer for your PCB assembly. If you choose a good one, you won’t have to waste any money on this part of your production. The best option is first to find a Contract Manufacturer that is reliable and experienced. Pick a company that you feel comfortable with and talk to them about your needs. They will be able to give an estimate for the project depending on its complexity. Once you decide on your Contract Manufacturer, make sure they are ready for production before investing any money in them. The good news is that most companies can deliver a prototype of your product in a few days. Doing this will ensure that the components are in their best condition and compatible with your design. You can then decide if you want to do it in-house or outsource the project. The reasons for outsourcing are endless, but there is always a reason you should do it over in house assembly.