With the right approach to printed circuit board design and manufacturing, a business can gain a significant time-to-market advantage over its competitors. After all, PCB fabrication has a large impact on a company’s quick turnaround capabilities.
However, to see these benefits, companies need to be careful to choose the right quickturn PCB fabrication ship. If the manufacturing partnership comes up short in any way and rework is required, the advantage has been lost.
Here are four of the most important factors to keep in mind when evaluating PCB fabrication companies with quick PCB turnaround times.
Location is an critical factor when it comes to quickturn PCB efforts. Naturally, the further away the PCB fabrication partner is, the longer PCB delivery will take. For some, this may not be a major issue. However, if a business requires quick turnaround time and immediate time-to-market, the PCBs need to arrive as soon as possible following the placement of an order.
A number of PCB manufacturers are based outside the U.S.; primarilyy in Taiwan, China, Japan, or South Korea. A PCB manufacturing partnership with such a firm will cost you additional time—due to geographic distance, not to mention any other outstanding factors. By choosing a U.S.-based PCB fabrication partner, your potential turnaround time immediately becomes much quicker.
2. The Potential for Consistent Delivery
Another key consideration for choosing a quickturn PCB partner is delivery consistency. You should have confidence that your circuit boards meet all your design specifications, with no exceptions. Otherwise, you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to review each individual PCB.
To determine whether a potential PCB manufacturing partner will be able to meet these consistent delivery standards, you need to look at past performance and word of mouth. If a PCB fabrication company has truly achieved consistency with its PCB delivery efforts in the past, it will develop a reputation that speaks to that strength.
3. Expert Guidance
Expert guidance is an invaluable aspect of any PCB manufacturing partnership. Every PCB shop has its own capabilities, covering everything from layer count to board thickness to drill diameter. To ensure a given printed circuit board will turn out as desired, it’s essential that you work closely with the PCB manufacturer. In addition to providing checklists and other collateral detailing capabilities and limitations, the PCB vendor should be able and willing to offer the services of dedicated, professional staff.
Why does this matter when it comes to quick turnaround time? Without expert guidance on PCB designs from the manufacturer itself, there’s a very good chance that the designs will need to be revised before production begins. This means there will be multiple discussions between the manufacturer and your company as you try to figure out how to meet requirements on both sides, and that will significantly delay PCB delivery. With expert guidance, however, these conversations can occur earlier on, before the design is actually submitted. This streamlines the whole process and makes quick turnaround times a very real possibility.
A PCB manufacturer that uses the best parts and employs the most skilled personnel will meet your quality standards every step of the way
4. Circuit Board Quality
Finally, you need to look at the circuit board quality when looking for a quickturn PCB manufacturing partner. To reach the market quickly, you need to speed up every element of this process, including research and development, prototyping, and wide-scale production. At each of these stages, any PCB quality issues may lead to significant complications, as you’ll need to investigate shorts and any other problems that arise.
A PCB manufacturer that uses the best parts and employs the most skilled personnel will meet your quality standards every step of the way. That’s what it takes to gain a time-to-market advantage over your competitors.
Keep all of these factors in mind as you debate between PCB fabrication companies, and you’ll be prepared to make the best decision for ensuring quick turnaround time for your companies’ printed circuit board needs.