Without printed circuit boards, you will just have a bunch of plastic and metal. PCBs are responsible for the functioning of electronic devices. As a PCB designer, you might have spent more time making a circuit board. This happens when you really don’t know your way around the PCB industry. After learning the crucial rules in PCB design and layout, it is now time to transform your design into a real board.
There is a long list of manufacturers on the internet. These manufacturers offer varying prices, capabilities, and services. Turn-around times, production sizes, and electronic component listings may differ. With all of these differences and variations in what these companies offer, how do you choose the right manufacturer for your PCB needs?
PCB Design Process
These days, PCB design has become very simple and straightforward for both professionals and designers. Also, PCB manufacturing often begins with circuit board design. However, before you begin the design process, you need to create a schematic. A schematic is a blueprint that displays all components and the relationship between these components.
You will integrate professional software like ExpressPCB, Quadcopter, and Altium among others. These software applications will help you design your circuitry. Some of these versions aren’t free, so, you will have to pay for them. However, there are some free online board design software.
Component placement is a tricky aspect in PCB design. When placing component, you will need to prevent any form interference and some potential problems. Also, each electronic component should have an exact location. This is why it is important to create a PCB layout during PCB design. However, creating a PCB layout may be challenging since you need to find the best location to fit all components.
After creating the PCB design, the next step is manufacturing. You will need to send the Gerber file to your manufacturer. Also, the Gerber file is an important document that describes the information of the physical board. Gerber files display the graphic description of a printed circuit board.
PCB Fabrication Process
Once you have designed your board, the next step is PCB fabrication. You will need to send your manufacturer some manufacturing outputs. Also, your manufacturer will demand for some documents like CAM draft, BOM, Gerber files, and drill files. Furthermore, your manufacturer will need to provide you with information about the PCB fabrication and assembly process.
The PCB fabrication board houses need to create a step-by-step process to fabricate your board. Also, your manufacturer might need to determine the best process for your PCB fabrication with the help of the manufacturing outputs.
Some designers panelize their printed circuit boards even when ordering a small run. Panelization involves arranging your circuit board in a pattern. Also, your manufacturer arranges these patterns through a PCB layout on large printed circuit boards.
PCB assembly is the next step after PCB fabrication. This step is the final stage of PCB assembly manufacturing. Also, PCB assembly involves the mounting of an electronic component on a bare circuit board. However, PCB fabrication provides the bare circuit board in which the components will be carefully placed.
Layouts for Advanced Circuits
Advanced circuits such as multilayer and rigid-flex PCBs usually have more extensive design and manufacturing process. Also, these boards are highly preferred in a number of applications. These advanced circuits are more specialized and as such, they have longer turnaround time and high costs.
Multilayer circuit boards enable connections to route below surface layer. Therefore, they enable PCB manufacturers to enhance component density and connection. Also, multilayer PCB fabrication involves overlaying the layers and bonding them together. In this PCB fabrication, you will need to place vias at some particular points in every layer to link internal layers.
Also, your manufacturers need to get your requirements on how the usage of vias in your circuit. Multilayer board fabrication process is different from that of a single sided or double sided PCB. These boards require more advanced processes and techniques. Edge plating is a problem commonly associated with multilayer boards. Edge radiation may occur when edge plating isn’t properly done.
Rigid-flex PCBs integrate flexile conductive ribbon to link two or more boards. Also, these are advanced circuits ideal for use in more complex packages. One important step in the manufacturing process of this board involves the application of a coverlay over the flexible area of the circuit board. The coverlay offers a form of protection to the circuit. Also, it prevents the circuit from damaging.
Just like standard PCB fabrication, your manufacturer needs to identify some design challenges in more advanced circuits. These design problems may create manufacturing problems. Rigid flex board manufacturing involves the use of non-plated holes.
Companies Offering Online PCB Services
When you search the internet, you will find different types of online PCB services. Also, these PCB services offer integrated manufacturing and design.
JLCPCB is an online circuit board platform that provides PCB design and manufacturing services. Also, this company specializes in small batch production and quick PCB prototype. JLCPCB has more than 10 years experience in PCB fabrication. With over 200,000 customers abroad and home, this PCB company offers quality PCB design and manufacturing services.
You can get an online instant quote from this company. JLCPCB has an ERP system that enables customers to keep track of their order. Also, this JLCPCB integrates an online EDA tool, EasyEDA. This EDA tool is a free PCB design software that helps to move a design from schematics to PCB. Also, the EasyEDA Gerber viewer helps you view your Gerber files before ordering your circuit board.
JLCPCB has an online electronic components store where you can get high-quality components at competitive pricing.
PCB power is one of the most reliable online PCB services. It is a leading online PCB manufacture in India. Also, this online board service company offers quick-response customer support. This company provides one-stop PCB solution. It offers services such as PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, PCB stencil, and PCB layout.
With more than 25 years experience, PCB Power has been able to gather insights on the whole circuit board value chain. This company helps customers to get what they want. With a vision to offer quality PCB services of global scale, this company has been able to meet the demands of innovators across the electronics industry.
Also, PCB Power is thriving towards becoming an integrated manufacturing and design partner to innovators. This customer centric online board platform aims to offer dynamic solutions to PCB design and manufacturing issues. Also, you can get your PCB prototyping within a short time.
Sierra Circuits offers transparent pricing for easy and fast ordering. This online circuit board company integrates sophisticated processes and technology in PCB fabrication. Also, it employs a group of professional engineers who can efficiently assemble and manufacture rigid PCBs.
In addition Sierra Circuits offers low cost, high-quality PCB services to customers. It offers services like PCB manufacturing, PCB design, and PCB assembly. Also, you can get your exact quotation online. This company offers PCB prototype to customers. Its fabrication board houses comprise state-of-the-art machines.
Also, Sierra Circuits make use of conformal coating. It integrates surface finish options like immersion gold and lead free HASL. Its PCBs feature UL marking, which indicates that these boards are UL certified.
PCBWay offers exclusive services to its customers. This company offers a one-stop solution to all of your PCB needs. When ordering for your PCB, you will need to provide information on some features like solder mask color, stencil side, types of copper plating, and more. PCBWay offers a wider range of solder mask color.
You can get your minimum order from this PCB company. PCBWay offers hardware innovation platform and instant quote to customers. Also, this company offers 24 hours lead time, low minimum order requirement, non-stop customer support, and more.
This reliable PCB company designs top-quality PCB prototype for customers who demand for minimum order. Also, each finished product in this company undergoes stringent testing procedures to ensure quality.
How to Choose the Right PCB Manufacturer Online
If you want the best quality PCB for your project, you need to work with a professional manufacturer. This will guarantee you a perfect product and long-lasting solution. Here are some criteria you should keep in mind when choosing a PCB manufacturer online.
Knowledge and skill are crucial. Also, your manufacturer’s experience and expertise will help in responding to any problem and complete your PCB order.
This refers to the time it takes to complete a production. The complexity of circuit board may determine the turnaround time. However, a reliable manufacturer will help you complete the order soon.
You should also look out for the ordering process. This means you should have easy access to the company. Also, you should be able to get the necessary detail and place order.
The quality of your PCB matters. Therefore, you should opt for PCB manufacturers who have some crucial PCB certifications. This indicates that your manufacturer integrates standard process and procedure in its PCB manufacturing.
There are a lot of PCB manufacturers on the website. However, it can be difficult to know the manufacturer to opt for. However, with the above-mentioned criteria, you can easily determine the manufacturer that can meet your requirements. We have also discussed some of the best PCB manufacturer you can find online.