How to Save Money on PCB Design and Assembly

Rapid prototyping pcb

Quality printed circuit boards are essential for companies far and wide, but as with any business, cost is always an important factor. You don’t need to spend a fortune to find a reasonable PCB assembly quote. Here are some quick and easy tips to help minimize production costs when it comes to printed circuit boards.

  1. Stick with Standard Specs
    While you might initially envision special customization options for your PCB fabrication, stop to think if those changes are truly necessary, especially if cost is a concern for you. Manufacturers will be able to handle simple, standard-specification designs much more quickly and cost-effectively than they would having to test and re-test for special requests. The simplest type of printed circuit board has only copper tracks or interconnections on just one surface, which is referred to as a one-layer PCB. If you can limit your needs to this type of design, it’ll produce substantial savings.
  2. Perfect Your Prototype
    Sending out a fast PCB prototype isn’t always the best way to get things done. Instead, have a third-part PCB inspection service test your design for effectiveness before you send it off to the manufacturers. Doing so will save you loads of money should your initial prototype come back with any errors — in which case, you’d have to start all over again.
  3. Order Only What You Need
    Your PCB assembly quote will likely include the cost of necessary parts as well as the labor of assembly itself. But be careful: Some PCB manufacturing companies will charge you for a minimum number of parts sold in large reels or packages, of which you may only need several dozen. You can cut costs by making sure that you’re only charged for the parts you actually use. Leftovers shouldn’t be your concern.
  4. Buy in Bulk
    At the same time, if you do need a large amount of PCBs, it’s always smarter to order in bulk — but only after your prototype is perfected. Try to project your future needs as well as your present concerns, and ask your manufacturer about PCB assembly quotes for various quantities. You may find that a few extra orders can actually reduce your spending in the long run.

You don’t have to compromise quality in order to find affordable printed circuit board assembly. But you do have to plan ahead. Follow these tips for great PCBs that are functional and affordable.

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