How to Get the Best PCB Quote Online

Nowadays, getting a quote online for printed circuit boards is pretty straightforward. With the world evolving at a rapid peace technologically, more complex electronic elements are made easier to access without impedance control. A typical example of this is the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) which comes with customer supply parts combo, customer panel for easy route process and out allowance for the PCB layer order.

In this article we’ll provide some basic information on PCBs and the assembly service that comes with it. You will also learn how to get an online PCB quote without any impedance control.

What is a PCB? – Breaking It Down for Beginners

Chances are that you have seen a PCB at least once in a toy car, your favorite talking teddy, or any broken electronics with a gerber file around the house. You maybe didn’t know what it was then, but you’ll know it now.

A PCB is a regular board which is usually green in color and embedded with several tiny electronic components that make up PCB fabrication. They often come as a single board with different components soldered upon them with out allowance through an assembly service.

What Does PCB Assembly Mean?

PCB fabrication is done with a process known as “PCB Assembly” or PCBA. The assembly service has both a manual and automated process depending on the impedance control in place. The PCB is made up of a V-scoring panel, a top copper, an inner copper weight layer that forms the traces, a fiber glass layer, electronic components and holes in which the components are inserted. Its layers may be inner or outer  individual layers  and can also come in multilayer PCB prototypes with up to 1-36 layers and 1-10 layers.

During the assembly service process, a single PCB substrate from a custom stackup and its elements or the above options are solder mask insulated and held with an epoxy resin. This solder mask might be in different colors like blue, green or red, depending on the color of the PCB. The solder mask protects the components from short circuits caused by tracks or other components.

The components are assembled on the PCB so that it can perform as intended. The most crucial aspect of the assembly process is ensuring PCB functionality. When a little SMT resistor is installed incorrectly or  a small track is taken from the PCB maker, the PCB may not operate. As a result, it is critical that the components are installed correctly during assembly.

How Does a PCB Function?

There are various types of PCBs built for different electronic devices. Copper traces are used to transport electrical signals from one spot on the PCB to another. These signals are either high-speed digital or discrete analog signals. As for the traces, they can be made thicker to carry electricity and turn on components.

In addition, most PCBs designed to deliver high voltage or current include a separate ground connection. This is achieved by linking the electrical components on the top layer to the inner GND plane. Depending on the criteria provided by the customer or user, PCB functionality might be sophisticated or just basic. The PCB sizes also vary depending on the consumer needs.

What Are the Different Types of PCBs Available?

There are various types of PCBs using different classifications. Types of PCBs based on substrate materials include;

● Rigid PCBs

The bulk of PCBs we see around us in various sorts of gadgets are rigid PCBs. These are thick PCBs that are firm and solid. The major substance is “FR4”, which stands for “Fire Retardant – 4.”

Top copper and bottom copper layers are present on both sides of FR-4. Copper has great thermal conductivity. The main applications for FR4 TG copper covered laminates include power amplifiers, motor drives, and so on.

● Flexible PCBs

The substrate material for flexible PCBs is Kapton, which can bend easily and is used in wearable electronics, LCD display or laptop connectors, and so on.

● Metal Core PCBs

Another PCB base material, such as aluminum, is excellent at dissipating heat, and it can be used instead. These PCBs may be utilized in devices that need heat sensitive components such as high power LEDs, ultra-thin LCD PCB, and so on.

Your choice from the above PCBs will depend on the surface finish you want to achieve on the finished board.

PCB Design and Layers

There are multiple signal layers between the outer layers which are

● Substrate

It is the stiff FR-4 board onto which the components are soldered for it to file successfully and you can order together with PCB based on the online quotation you get.

● Copper Coating

Light copper foil is applied to the bottom copper and top layer of the PCB. This creates top layer and bottom layer copper traces.

● Solder Mask

It is the layer that is used on the top and bottom of the PCB. This is used to establish a non-conductive zone on the PCB and to isolate the copper traces from one another and create a gerber file.

● Silkscreen

The white labeling on PCB fabrication for components is made of a silk screen layer. This silk screen layer contains critical information about the PCB and prevents inaccurate display. This is usually the bottom silkscreen, and this bottom silkscreen is different from others.

Online PCB Quotes

Nowadays, you can get PCB quotes online from various manufacturers. You can get online quotes by registering with these companies or using online tools. From these processes you can place only PCB and assembly orders, get PCB images, use free PCB layout software and many more.

You can also enter your printed circuit board specifications when you register with a company and get a price quotation for your design. Using an online tool you get a PCB quote by uploading your gerber files. Using the registration process you get a quotation form, which you complete to get your quote.

What Are the Advantages of Online PCB Quotes?

With PCB online quotations you no longer wait around to get the perfect PCB quote. You can get quotes instantly when you order online, upload gerber files and your PCB design. You can also get some online PCB quotes for just one design. Then there’s online tracking where you see updates on your PCB manufacturing project through a website.

Furthermore, online PCB quotes give you the option of uploading your designs within secure portals. There’s no need for emails so you completely safeguard your intellectual property.

Who Can Take Advantage of Online Printed Circuit Board Quotes?

Startup companies usually benefit the most from online PCB quotes. It is useful for them because they work with on-demand manufacturing, and do not require a minimum quantity of orders.

Lastly, sourcing teams that make special requests and order online upload designs and get instant quotes for manufacturing. This makes their work easier and their order quantity large enough to get low cost for purchase.

What Are the Payment Methods and Shipping Cost?

Most online PCB stores take Paypal payment, Western Union and other options as their valid payment method and provide detailed information on this. If you order online, you could use PayPal payment for your shipping cost and purchase. Payments through other methods not listed on a company’s website often require detailed information from the customer service and the type of shipping method available.

Conclusion

There is no need to be concerned about your inventory or the exorbitant costs of sourcing and production with online PCB quotations on the rise. You can get the exact quotation for all the individual layers, the SMD stencil order, castellated holes, through hole parts, a single PCB Qty, the v-scoring panel, UL marking, edge plating, and all the files from Hillman Curtis. Before final payment is made, you will be allowed to confirm and review your PCB order and check through the uploaded pass review to ensure everything is okay.