What to Consider When Buying a PCB

Rather than purchasing a PCB, most hobbyists and other professionals will want to find a PCB fabrication facility that does fast, high-quality work. PCBs come in a variety of multi-layer configurations and sizes, but the first phase is usually the same; Design the board layout. When the layout is finished, one must do some research to find a qualified printed circuit board manufacturer. Click here for more PCB information.

Depending on the size and amount of components to be installed on the PCB, its manufacture can take just a few days and a few hundred dollars, or a few weeks and a few thousand. If a PCB is standard size and has 4 layers or less, the cost of fabrication is not very high. Boards with 6 or more layers will see the prices rise dramatically as layers are added.

Multilayer PCB assemblers are plentiful and easy to find on the web. When choosing a PCB manufacturer, designers should research the quality of a company's manufacturing process. Because this is probably a prototype PCB, the amount of boards that can be produced is not very important. It is important to note that some manufacturers have order minimums which will simply not work for people who just want a handful of test PCBs. Some PCB manufacturers produce their products in house while many others choose to outsource the manufacturing to Europe or Asia. There are a bunch of reasons why it's smarter to choose an in-house PCB manufacturer. Doing some research will show that there are a handful of low-cost, in house options out there. To learn more about PCBs, click here.

It's also important that the PCB layout files be carefully checked for errors before the assembly process begins to avoid delays and even more serious problems that could cause the manufacturing run to be cancelled. The majority of PCB manufacturers offer some sort of design rule check, but FreeDFM from Advanced Circuits has got to be at the top of the list. When the PCB files have been sent, this tool will check the design and produce an entire report outlining any areas of interest or areas that need redesigned. Click here to learn more about PCBs.

When researching manufacturers, look for a guarantee. That usually means companies are confident in their processes. It is common for a guarantee to cover the entire cost of PCB fabrication if the quality or time requirements aren't met. Printed circuit board fabrication is an extremely precise process, and it pays to perform as much due diligence on the available manufacturers as possible before submitting an order.


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