6 tips for looking for a PCB prototype manufacturer
Best PCB Prototype Manufacturer
As a PCB designer, you finally designed an excellent printed circuit board through countless revisions and continuous efforts.
Now, another important task for you is to turn your design into a tangible object and verify your design again through prototyping. You have two options: do it yourself or find a suitable PCB prototype manufacturer.
The problem is that there are too many PCB suppliers to choose from in the world, and you will find it too difficult to determine. Therefore, to help you narrow your choices and help you find a suitable PCB factory, here we have listed six tips for looking for PCB prototype manufacturers.
The Necessity of PCB Prototype Manufacturing
Before PCB mass production, PCB prototype manufacturing is vital.
PCB prototype will help test the rationality of your design and manufacturability; JHYPCB can provide a free manufacturability design check.
PCB prototype manufacturing is usually minimal, sometimes 10 pieces, 100 pieces, depending on your actual needs.
Learn more about why is prototype PCB manufacturing so important？
How to look for a suitable PCB prototype manufacturer?
To ensure your printed circuit boards meet industry requirements, you should take steps to choose a PCB prototype manufacturer with the capability and expertise to perform PCB manufacturing and assembly.
When choosing a PCB prototype manufacturer, it is very important to verify the competence of this supplier, because failure of PCB manufacturing will have serious consequences for you.
Tips #1: Work with an experienced PCB prototype manufacturer
The first question before working with a potential PCB prototype manufacturer is whether they have previously manufactured circuit boards with equal or stricter quality requirements, such as printed wiring boards for aerospace, medical, automotive and other industrial fields. You will get twice the result with half the effort when you cooperate with an experienced PCB prototype manufacturer.
Tips #2: Sign a NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT
Determine the PCB supplier’s commitment to data security and sign an NDA.
Tips #3: PCB prototype manufacturing price
The price of PCB prototype manufacturing is generally determined according to the information and process requirements provided by the customer. For example, the quantity, process requirements, solder mask color, board thickness, PCB manufacturing difficulty, etc.
As we all know, the unit price of PCB prototype manufacturing is usually higher than the unit price of mass manufacturing. This is because the quantity of PCB prototypes is generally relatively small, and some PCB factories have minimum consumption requirements.
Tips #4: Delivery time for PCB prototype manufacturing
The critical point in PCB prototype manufacturing is time, and the ability of PCB prototype manufacturers to deliver on time is vital. Sometimes to get the test results quickly, they will not hesitate to pay a high expedited fee.
To control the cost of PCB prototype manufacturing, please set a reasonable time frame to make the PCB prototype manufacturing to mass production proceed in an orderly manner.
JHYPCB provides Fast turn prototype PCB service.
Tips #5: Manufacturing capabilities of PCB prototype manufacturers
Each new PCB design has different, unique specifications, such as PCB material, board thickness, PCB layer number, aperture, PCB surface treatment, copper thickness, etc.; confirm its manufacturing capabilities with potential PCB prototype manufacturers to ensure They can fulfill your manufacturing requirements.
Learn more about our PCB manufacturing capability and PCB assembly capability
Tips #6: Choose a local or other PCB prototype manufacturer?
You must consider whether you must choose a domestic PCB manufacturer based on various factors or whether you are willing to produce your PCB overseas. This will also affect your PCB prototype procurement costs.
1) If you are in the European and American countries and choose a local PCB supplier, the PCB manufacturing cost may be higher than choosing an overseas PCB supplier. It is because the cost of PCB services highly depends on the labor cost. If the labor cost is high, the PCB service will be expensive, and the cost per board will be huge. The local PCB supplier’s labor cost in such countries is usually higher than the overseas PCB suppliers. Consequently, you will have to pay more even though you are getting a local service. Thus, an overseas supplier is a better and cheaper option for the buyers.
2) If you choose an overseas PCB manufacturer, it means that you have to face time and language barriers.
However, there are many instant chat tools and convenient mail tools, time and space are no longer issues.
More and more people are in international trade, and language is no longer an obstacle to communication.
Tips #7: Ensure your PCB prototype manufacturer employs a good quality control system
All PCB prototype manufacturers should have a complete PCB quality control system and strictly implement it to manage the PCB manufacturing process. QC standards, such as ISO9001 certification, are common QC compliance standards for all industries. In addition, printed circuit boards also need to comply with IPC-related standards in the PCB industry.
Tips #8: Perfect testing service
Whether it’s a PCB prototype or mass production, your PCB manufacturer should be equipped to handle all testing, including flying probe testing, in-circuit testing (ICT), and more.
Tips #9: Document Management Capabilities
As your prototype is being built, it will probably undergo many changes to its form factor, bill of materials (BOM), and circuitry. Your PCB manufacturer must be able to clean up and organize your original documentation and re-generate it for you in a format easily adaptable to your in-house documentation system. This will allow you to control future changes to the PCB, and you will be ready to push the design into full production when it is ready.
Tips #10: The world's major PCB prototype manufacturers
Below we have listed PCB prototype manufacturers from all over the world for your reference and selection.
1) Top 10 Prototype PCB manufacturers in China
China has become the most important PCB production base globally, and there are many good PCB manufacturing companies in China. Below is our selected list of the top 10 PCB manufacturers in China. (Note that the order of this list of China’s top ten PCB prototype manufacturers is random, not according to their strength)
- ① PCBWay
PCBWay is one of the well-known PCB manufacturers in China and has an advanced PCB manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China. PCBWay can provide customers with one-stop PCB design, PCB prototype, PCB manufacturing, SMT stencil, and PCB assembly services.
- ② JLCPCB
Everyone should be aware of the existence of JLCPCB, which is the leader of another PCB manufacturer in China. Founded in 2006, the company has always been at the forefront of the PCB industry. It has become the leading PCB manufacturer, providing high-reliability and cost-effective PCB rapid production.
JLCPCB has its online quotation system and has developed EASYEDA online PCB design software.
Learn more about PCB Design Software Free Download.
- ③ JHYPCB
JHYPCB, namely JingHongYi PCB (HK) Co., Limited, is located in Shenzhen, China, with a complete industrial infrastructure and the strongest economic activity. It has a large-scale PCB factory? one-stop leading PCB manufacturer for component procurement, PCB, and PCBA batch manufacturing.
JHYPCB can provide customers with free DFM (Design for Manufacturing) and DFA (Design for assembly) services.
JHYPCB is not just an ordinary PCB manufacturer, and it is dealing with complex PCB manufacturing issues for customers every day.
JHYPCB can provide customers with the following PCB prototype and manufacturing services:
- Rigid PCB Fabrication
- Flexible PCB
- Rigid-Flex PCB
- HDI PCB
- Impedance Control PCB
- Multilayer PCB
- Heavy Copper PCB
- Aluminum Based PCB
- Gold Fingers PCB
- ④ A-Tech Circuits
A-TECH is also a PCB contract manufacturer located in Shenzhen, China, specializing in quick turn PCB prototypes, small and medium batch PCB manufacturing, and assembly services. The main products and services include rigid FR4 PCB, flexible PCB, rigid-flex PCB, metal core PCB, HDI PCB, etc.
- ⑤ PCBgogo
PCBGOGO is a manufacturer that provides customers with a full range of PCB prototype and assembly services. PCBGOGO has more than 10 years of PCB manufacturing and PCB assembly experience. It offers its services to Companies associated with the Military, Aerospace, Medicine, Commercial, Industrial, Automotive, University, School, and Amateur sectors.
- ⑥ ChinaPCBOne
ChinaPCBOne is located in Baoan District, Shenzhen, China. The company also provides one-stop PCB services, including multilayer PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, prototype manufacturing, small and medium batch production, PCB design, and component procurement services.
- ⑦ Hitech Circuits
Hitech Circuits is located in Shenzhen, China, and has three PCB factories, providing quick turn PCB prototype manufacturing service, small and medium-sized printed circuit boards, and flexible PCB manufacturing services. Focus on the manufacture of high multi-layer PCB, HDI PCB, and special material PCB.
- ⑧ PCBcart
PCBcart is located in Hangzhou, China. It is a professional PCB manufacturer with more than 10 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing industry. Founded in 2005, the company focuses on providing comprehensive and high-quality PCB manufacturing and component procurement services for companies of all sizes.
- ⑨ PCBWIN
PCBWIN is a supplier of high-quality PCB prototypes and PCB assembly services based in Shenzhen, China, and provides reliable products for customers in communications, industrial automation, IT, medical, electronics, and aviation.
- ⑩ AVARY HOLDING
AVARY HOLDING was established in 1994, located in Shenzhen, China, and was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on September 18, 2018. The company is mainly engaged in designing, R&D, manufacturing, and sales of various types of printed circuit boards. It is a professional service company focusing on providing a full range of PCB products and services for industry-leading customers. According to Prismark’s ranking of global PCB companies based on revenue from 2018 to 2021, the company ranked the world’s largest PCB manufacturer for four consecutive years from 2017 to 2020.
2) Top 10 PCB Prototype Manufacturers USA
- ① Advanced Circuitry International
Advanced Circuitry International is a world-class supplier of RF/microwave and antenna PCBs, established in Duluth, Georgia, the USA, in 1992. Advanced Circuitry International has four advanced PCB factories on three continents, providing customers worldwide with rapid PCB prototype production to mass production services.
- ② Rush PCB Inc
Rush PCB was established in San Jose in the United States in 1997, with offices in the United Kingdom and Australia. It can provide customers with PCB design, PCB manufacturing, and turnkey PCB assembly services, focusing on multilayer-layer PCBs, rigid PCBs, flexible PCBs, and Rigid-flex PCB manufacturing services.
- ③ OnBoard Circuits, Inc
OnBoard Circuits, Inc. is located in Arizona, USA. It is an earlier manufacturer and supplier in the PCB industry and can provide customers with PCB prototype manufacturing to mass production services. The main products include rigid PCB, flexible PCB, rigid-flex PCB, HDI PCB, etc.
- ④ Imagineering, Inc.
Imagineering, Inc. was established in 1986 and is located in Illinois, USA. It focuses on rigid PCB, flexible PCB, double-sided PCB, and multilayer PCB. Its specialty is that it can complete PCB prototype design to manufacturing within seven days.
- ⑤ Advanced Circuits
Advanced Circuits, located in Colorado, USA, is the top three PCB manufacturer in North America. It can provide customers with 24-hour service support and has always maintained the best on-time delivery record in the industry. Since its establishment, the company has always provided customers with the most innovative printed circuit board technology and the highest quality inspection standards. It can provide customers with design services from the most straightforward PCB board to the most complex small-batch and large-scale production.
- ⑥ Advanced Electronics, Inc
Advanced Electronics, Inc has an advanced PCB factory in West Chicago, Illinois, USA, which can provide high-quality PCB manufacturing services for customers in the telecommunications, military, commercial, automotive, and computer industries. Its advantages are:
- 24-Hour Prototype Production
- 2-Week Standard Production
- UL, Canadian, and ETL Recognitions
- Precision Electrical Tests
- Just-in-Time Delivery to Minimize your Inventory
- ⑦ American Standard Circuits
Founded in 1988, American Standard Circuits is located in West Chicago, Illinois, USA, and is the world’s leading manufacturer of circuit board solutions.
American Standard Circuits manufactures quality rigid, metal-backed, flex, and rigid-flex printed circuit boards on various types of substrates for a variety of applications, including:
- Consumer Electronics
- ⑧ APCT Inc.
APCT Inc. was established in 2008, with factories located in Santa Clara, California, the heart of the Silicon Valley, and Wallingford, Connecticut. APCT has become a leading manufacturer of high reliability, rigid printed circuit boards.
- ⑨ Epec Engineered Technologies
Epec was founded in 1952 and is located in Massachusetts, USA, and is one of the founding members of the IPC organization. Epec Engineered Technologies is the ideal choice for an OEM seeking customized product solutions from a focused and agile partner, having supported over 5,000 customers across all electronics industry sectors. By providing highly skilled technical resources, a proven manufacturing platform, and the fastest delivery in the industry, we can provide cost-effective and innovative solutions that faster deliver the highest reliability products to the market.
- ⑩ Cirexx International Inc
Cirexx International Inc was founded in 1980. Cirexx International, Inc. is an electronic solutions company offering PCB Layout, Fabrication, Assembly, Testing & Validation of high-reliability Flex, Rigid-Flex, RF/Microwave, HDI, and Rigid Circuit Boards. Recognized as a time-technology leader, Cirexx offers a genuine Quick Turn service and provides a “one-stop-shop” and all in-house solutions with 100% USA manufacturing.
3) PCB Prototype Manufacturers in the UK
- ① ABL CIRCUITS
ABL CIRCUITS, located in Hertfordshire, Baldock, UK, is a company that has been engaged in the printed circuit board business for 30 years. It can provide customers with single-sided PCB, double-sided PCB, multilayer PCB, rigid-flex PCB, LED PCB, etc.
- ② ALN Printed Circuits Ltd
ALN Printed Circuits Limited is located in West Midlands, Birmingham, United Kingdom, is a leading manufacturer of printed circuit boards specializing in quick turnaround prototyping, low to medium volume production, and high volume offshore manufactures. And can also provide solutions for PCB design and assembly.
ALN Printed Circuits Ltd can provide prototype and manufacturing services for rigid PCB, flexible PCB and rigid-flexible PCB.
- ③ ALR Services
ALR Services Ltd was formed in July of 1995, located in Oxfordshire, Thames, UK. ALR Services has developed into one of the largest independent printed circuit board suppliers in Europe.
- ④ Amphenol Invotec
Amphenol Invotec is operating from facilities in Tamworth and Telford, UK. Since 1974, Invotec has been pushing boundaries in circuit board technology.
- ⑤ B2M Technology Limited
B2M Technology Limited is committed to becoming the best PCB manufacturer in the UK. The goal is to ensure that customers receive reliable and cost-effective services and product quality to meet all customer requirements for printed circuit boards. B2M Technology Limited is located in the center of the United Kingdom and provides PCB manufacturing services to customers in the United Kingdom and across the European continent.
- ⑥ Bassett Electronic Systems Ltd
Bassett Electronic Systems Ltd, located in Swindon， Wiltshire， United Kingdom， has been providing contract electronic manufacturing services since 1986. It specializes in designing, manufacturing, and assembly printed circuit boards and can offer a complete in-house turnkey solution for B2B industrial and commercial applications.
- ⑦ BPC Electronics LLP
Formed in 1993, with over 25+ years of experience, BPC Electronics is now one of the UK’s leading companies for printed circuit board, LED assembly, and electronic contract manufacturing.
BPC Electronics LTD offers a variety of tailor-made printed circuit board manufacturing and design services ranging from production and testing to contract electronics manufacture.
- ⑧ CAMBRIDGE CIRCUIT COMPANY, LTD.
CAMBRIDGE CIRCUIT COMPANY, LTD. located in Milton, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom. Cambridge Circuit Company Ltd is a leading PCB manufacturer in the UK, providing complete in-house services, including multi-layer, flexible, flexible, rigid, PTH, and single-sided PCB production. Prototypes and fast turnaround are their specialties.
- ⑨ CC Electronics (CCEE)
CC Electronics (CCEE) is located in Cheshire, Winsford, United Kingdom.
It is based in the UK, one of the leading manufacturers of high technology printed circuit boards. CC Electronics has built its success on its expertise and longstanding experience in the UK and the Far East, coupled with over 25 years of PCB engineering and manufacturing experience.
- ⑩ CHILTERN CIRCUITS LTD
CHILTERN CIRCUITS LTD is located in Bucks, Princes Risborough, United Kingdom and was founded in 1981. CHILTERN CIRCUITS LTD has been manufacturing printed circuit boards in the UK for nearly 40 years. It can provide insulation boards of FR4, SRBP, and many plastics with thicknesses ranging from 0.2 mm to 8 mm, serving various industries, including defense, medical, aerospace, And the automotive industry.