There is no doubt that customers always look for the best deals anytime they buy an electronic gadget or device. They believe that it is possible to spend less and still get good quality. This means PCB designers need to look for a way to cut manufacturing costs if they plan to satisfy their customers and clients and also make some profits for themselves.
A PCB manufacturing worker is working
If you are into the design and manufacturing of printed circuit boards and you want to learn how you can reduce the PCB manufacturing cost, you have come to the right place. This article will provide the necessary details to enable you to achieve your goals in this regard. Let’s get started with point number one.
How to reduce the PCB manufacturing cost?
- Work with Less Complicated Designs
- DFM inspection
- Use the PCB prototyping service
- Material Type
- Shape Matters A Lot
- Using panelization to reduce PCB fabrication cost
- Board Complexity
- Special Designs
- Apply For Large Quantities
- Board Surface Finish
- Choosing professional and cheap PCB manufacturers is the most important
Work with Less Complicated Designs
Reducing PCB manufacturing costs actually starts with a great design. Your printed circuit board is as expensive as its design. It is easy to predict the way a product will perform when you consider its product design. An optimized printed circuit board design will bring about a great reduction in manufacturing costs.
You need a clear picture of the PCB design you intend to achieve from the onset. Looking at similar product designs and comparing them with what you have in your head will help immensely. Such an approach will save you time and help you avoid unnecessary mistakes.
PCB manufacturers can accomplish this task well. We provide free DFM inspection services. The benefit of DFM inspection is to prevent errors and reduce costs in the first place.
Use the PCB prototyping service
Before mass production, a small part of the prototype is produced and assembled, and a series of functional tests are performed. The advantage of this work is that potential problems can be discovered before mass production so that the design can be modified in time.
Material type is a critical part of any PCB manufacturing process. The type of material used will impact board performance and durability. Not only that, but the material type will also determine where such PCBs can be applied. That is why PCB manufacturers must be careful with their choice of material. To choose the suitable material, consider the performance of the material against properties like tensile strength, temperature resistance, dielectric constant, flexibility, as well as other important factors.
In the PCB industry, the most popular material is the FR-4. It is considered to be perfect for a wide range of applications. Other suitable materials make a good choice for PCB manufacturing, but using them may increase the process’ cost.
A good PCB manufacturing company like ours knows how to strike the right balance for you by offering you PCB material types that are incredibly cheap, and having a similar quality to that of the FR-4.
Shape Matters A Lot
The shape is one thing that most clients and manufacturers easily ignore. But anyone with enough experience in manufacturing printed circuit boards knows that shape can affect the cost of the process.
Using a board with a complex shape will lead to an increase in price. This is often the case for designers and clients hoping to have particularly unique PCBs in the market. The problem with achieving such shapes is that they require high-precision equipment, which usually costs additional. The rule of thumb here is to make your printed circuit board designs as simple as possible.
Using panelization to reduce PCB fabrication cost
At present, PCB manufacturing plants generally use panelization to reduce material costs. PCB board panelization with identical specs is grouped together in a panel. The more boards in the panel, the less the amount of material wasted. The more orders per panel, the larger the spread of the tooling cost.
Sometimes PCB boards of different specifications can also use the panelization process. This mainly depends on the technical level of factory PCB engineers. Moreover, this is also more suitable for Small amounts and multi-spec PCB orders.
Besides board shape, the complexity of the board itself is another thing worth considering. Complexity in any form will not do you a lot of good if you are working on a budget. The design, as it concerns how the internals of the board should look, has to be simple enough to cut costs.
Some PCBs are meant to have special designs on their interior. Some of those designs may include printing cuts onto the board to enable it to fit the casing where it would be used. It is necessary for such designs to be implemented in such instances.
That said, there are other cases where designers put those cuts when it is totally unnecessary for them to do so. It doesn’t serve any relevance to the board other than to make it look more attractive. Such costs can add to the PCB manufacturing cost. So, to reduce cost, you can simply avoid such unnecessary designs.
Apply For Large Quantities
This is a simple economic rule that businesses apply from time to time to make customers buy more of their products. The more products you buy, the lesser you may need to pay for them. The more popularity a product has, the lesser the amount of money that will be required to manufacture that product. This golden rule is equally applicable in the printed circuit board industry.
When you order for a large quantity, you get a discount for your patronage. Most PCB manufacturing companies are using this means to sell their products. We also offer discounts to our customers.
Board Surface Finish
The importance of a board’s surface finish cannot be overemphasized. It is actually one of the most sensitive aspects of the PCB manufacturing project. The durability and performance of a PCB can be affected by the quality of surface finish.
A good surface finish would prevent oxidation of pads. It will also increase the board’s conductivity and soldering abilities. You should look for something that is cheap and one that satisfies the product requirements. We currently have a number of surface finishes that is economical and durable for people on a budget.
Choosing professional and cheap PCB manufacturers is the most important
Almost all PCB assembly services providers declare to provide cost-effective service, but not all of them offer what they claimed.
How to choose the right PCB supplier?
You can comprehensively consider the following factors: factory location, factory equipment, process capability, factory size, qualification certificate, etc.
Sticking with your regular expensive way of manufacturing your PCBs will be of great disservice to you at the moment because customers prefer to buy the cheapest products. Nobody wants to know how an electronic device is produced. If it is cheaper than other options, they will definitely go for it. That is why PCB manufacturers need to cut costs, so they don’t end up losing out in the marketing of their boards. Thankfully, this article has highlighted a couple of tips to consider when it comes to reducing PCB manufacturing costs.