With the dynamic change in the field of electronics and technology, there is need to adapt the most effective and reliable techniques for your PCB designs and fabrication. Previously, PCB assembly has been a tedious process since it involves accessing different service providers, each with their level of contribution to the process. However, since the establishment of turnkey PCB assembly process, the task is now manageable. PCB turnkey solutions are the best of that kind. Getting the whole process manageable under the same roof is quite interesting. The following details explains more about PCB Turnkey solutions.
What Is Turnkey PCB Assembly?
Turnkey PCB manufacturing is a comprehensive PCB assembly process that starts with designing the PCB, component sourcing, assembling, testing, and delivery of the product. In other words, a turnkey manufacturer undertakes all the processes involved in the entire assembly process and later ensures that the PCB gets to the client’s hands safely. Moreover, the manufacturer offers after-sales services such as repairing the PCB, providing spare parts, and offering any required technical assistance.
Advantages Of PCB Turnkey Solutions
Since PCB assembly is a long iterative process, mass PCB manufacturing can be tedious. For example, sourcing the necessary components for every PCB is quite involved. Additionally, making component orders from different dealers and settling all their bills requires a lot of time. It may carry away the engineer’s attention and hinder the success of the entire process. The following are the benefits of considering turnkey PCB solutions:
Firstly, most turnkey PCB manufacturers have established robust market relations with their component suppliers. Consequently, the suppliers provide the components at relatively lower prices since the order involves component supply in bulk. Secondly, the turnkey PCB manufacturers have a team of workers who work based on a monthly salary. The turnkey manufacturer, therefore, generalizes the assembly work as contractual rather than counting the price per circuit board, which would be more expensive. Consequently, we can term turnkey PCB assembly as the best cost-saving PCB manufacturing solution.
PCB turnkey solutions eliminate the manufacturers’ and their employees’ work of coordinating with different component providers and going through several invoices from the individual companies. Conversely, a turnkey contractor ensures that they meet all the PCB design specifications. Consequently, assembling and testing the PCB becomes relatively more straightforward.
Carrying out all the PCB assembly processes at the same assembly point saves you the time you would have spent accessing different individual service providers to assemble your PCB. Consequently, you can spend the waiting time you would have paid at each point to do other essential activities. Furthermore, since a turnkey manufacturer offers all the iterative processes at a single station, the waiting time is relatively low. Consequently, the assembly process will be quick, allowing for a timely delivery.
A turnkey manufacturing company has a strong team of talented and highly-skilled designers and engineers. In addition, a reliable technical support staff ensures a top-notch manufacturing service and excellent product quality.
Categories of PCB Turnkey Solutions
There are two types of PCB turnkey solutions, namely:
- Partial PCB turnkey solution
- Full PCB turnkey solution
Partial PCB Turnkey Solution
In Partial turnkey manufacturing, the client provides all the necessary components. Therefore, the manufacturer’s work involves providing unavailable required parts and finally carrying out the PCB assembly process. For instance, a client may have such requirements as the conducting pathways, the base material, and some of the circuit elements. The client should therefore consider the partial PCB manufacturing solution as it will save the material procurement cost and reduce the assembly bill.
Full PCB Turnkey Solution
In full turnkey PCB manufacture, the manufacturer undertakes the entire PCB manufacturing process, from designing it to delivering it to the client. In this case, the client provides the manufacturer with instructions and information about what the PCB should do. The engineer, therefore, decides on the most appropriate design of the PCB, the required components, provides the components, assembles the PCB, and later tests its functionality. The client, therefore, has a more manageable task of just placing their order and waiting to make the payment on delivery.
As opposed to partial turnkey manufacturing, full turnkey assembly is more expensive. However, it is a solid solution for a client without any requirements. The contractor takes care of everything and creates your PCB according to your specifications. Although full turnkey manufacture is more expensive than partial turnkey assembly, it is cheaper than sourcing the components and carrying out in-house assembly. In addition, the full turnkey solution eliminates the client’s hassle of settling multiple assembly bills and compiling several invoices.
Turnkey PCBs Cost Determiners
The following are the factors that determine the cost of a Turnkey PCB:
In many cases, high-performance and high-frequency boards require classy components to produce. Consequently, their cost is relatively higher than typical PCBs. For instance, manufacturing military-standard PCBs incorporates more processes and high-class technology. Their price is pretty higher as a result.
Large-volume PCBs require more components than standard PCBs. Consequently, these extra components call for an increase in the turnkey PCB’s price.
It is the duty of a full turnkey manufacturer to source all the required components during PCB fabrication. In addition, if your PCB’s components are readily available, the cost of your PCB may be relatively lower. Conversely, the price will be higher due to the manufacturer’s effort in acquiring the necessary components.
Nature Of Manufacturing Equipment
Most manufacturers nowadays are applying up-to-date technology and designing software. Consequently, if your manufacturer uses outdated technology or software, the PCB price will be lower than that of employees with state-of-the-art technology.
The shipping fee may vary depending on your distance from the manufacturing point. The client should pay the total delivery cost after receiving the PCB during delivery. The manufacturer usually incorporates the shipping fee in the final PCB price amount.
There are various techniques for mounting the individual components on the bare board. For example, surface mount technology is a complex method that involves placing components on the bare board using the pick and place machine. Generally, surface mount technology (SMT) employs automated machines in the placement process. Consequently, the method is faster, simpler, and has a relatively higher production capacity. On the other hand, the through-hole assembly technique involves drilling holes on the bare board, where you later mount the individual components and solder on the lower side. Finally, mixed assembly involves combining surface mount technology and through-hole assembly. Mixed assembly, therefore, has the strength of both of these methods. In addition, mixed assembly allows for mounting more components on both sides of the bare board.
When applying mixed assembly, the cost is higher compared to the other two methods as it involves more components. On the other hand, the price of a surface-mounted PCB is lower than through-hole and mixed PCB due to the ease of component mounting.
Unlike traditional in-house assembly, Turnkey PCB assembly provides a faster and more convenient manufacturing method. Besides Turnkey PCB assembly being wearisome, it is not as expensive and time-consuming as in-house assembly. From the above details, Turnkey assembly is easier to manage, cost effective, and saves the customer a lot of hassle. However, please consider the inventory before settling on either partial or full PCB assembly technique.