Nowadays,PCB manufacturing is hot competitive, and there is lot of worldwide manufacturing capacity factories for any technology challenge circuit boards. If you’re ready to look for a professional PCB manufacturer for your next project, more or less it can be difficult to determine who is the best option to produce your circuit board.
Different PCB fabricators offer different levels of service, different capabilities, and different price with accessing to different processes and materials,such as some suppliers now in internet offering 5USD cost including shipping cost for prototypes,but some other suppliers still keep their reasonable manufacturing cost. Thus,there are a lot of options to consider when selecting a PCB manufacturer for your project.
In this article, our hope is that we can walk the intrepid designer through the thought process involved in choosing the best PCB manufacturer for a new electronic project. You might be in a buyer position or where you need more advanced manufacturing services, or it might be your first time engaging with a full-service manufacturing firm. Either way, there are some questions you should ask your PCB manufacturer and yourself to ensure your decision on the best fabricator for your next project.
The developing history of PCB manufacturing
There are many PCB manufacturers in the world today, most of them locates in Asia,who are professional in regular technology PCB’s fabrication. Some of them locates in Europe who only focus on high technology or quick turn PCB’s fabrication.
|04||Nippon Mektron||Flexible PCB||Japan|
Through the development history of the PCB manufacturing: The initial manufacturers was from Europe, and then developed in Japan,South Korea，Taiwan of china, mainland of China.
Today,there are around 2800 PCB manufactures in the world, but most of them (around 1500 manufacturers) locates in China,some others locates in Asia, only small facilities locates in Europe and America as since the year of 2000 to now, most PCB manufacturers in the Europe was closed their production facility and moved their production to Asia (China, Malaysia,Thailand). Only some of them still keep their production for prototypes, quick turns and high technology production. The manufacturers in Japan,Korea only focus on high volume with higher technology PCB’s manufacturing
So,How to Find the Best PCB Manufacturer
If you are locating in Europe or in the US, possibly it could be difficult for you to find a ideal PCB manufacture for your projects due to the rare manufacture at that territory.
But if you are not a professional PCB buyer you can attempt to place your PCB order by your local PCB trading company who have professional management and famous reputation in this field: Such as NCAB Group who have branch offices in the global with their facilities in China,of course their price could be high to your budgetary as well.
Or you can source your PCB suppliers from china by internet,this is an easy work but the the questions could be coming to your final decision accordingly as in the internet you would see various of PCB manufactures from China.
|01||ZD Tech||PCB||China facility|
|06||AT&S China||PCB||China facility|
|08||WUS Kunshan||PCB(HDI)||China facility|
From the internet, normally you will see some attractive price such as these ones with offering 5USD plus free shipping to global site.
For this type of PCB manufactures, mostly you should be very cautions to them: normally there not the the traditional professional manufacturer. In order to save the cost, they do not have any DFM service but jsut subcontract their engineering work to out cheaper source (so your potential design debug in CAM files) and employ the low knowledge or young workers to optimize all the same feature PCB order in one panel production and then cut them separately ship to different customers. Also, the raw material and the production equipment they used is not in high grade. The PCBs they produced is lack of necessary process of IPQC and QC. So,if you do not mind the quality but just concern the cost, this type of manufactures is your possible ideal ones. You would take the potential risk of time consumed once any failure in your received PCBs.
Also, you will see other ones who do not present any price in their presentation,but focus on the quality. Normally they do not present their advertisement in the internet as they always have long-terms cooperation customers. All the work released to this type of manufactures can be trust-able:
- All their PCB production process is regularly approved and all the raw material they used is officially certificated by UL, or other reorganization.
- And they have advanced production equipment and final product inspection equipment accordingly.
- Also, they have necessary test labs (chemical and physical) to inspect some necessary parameters of productions to make sure the PCBs manufactured by correct time and parameter. Such as AOI,X-ray, impedance test,impedance coupons, gold thickness measuring, etc,all of these is a basic work to them but is no service from 5USD PCB prototype supplier.
- They do IPQC action from beginning to end and perform QC action with official report attached before shipment,who is no service to the 5USD PCB prototype supplier.
- They have professional engineer to review your Gerber data and your PCB specification and good at English communication with you at any technical issues such as: stack up, impedance calculation, etc.
- They fabricate most special technology in house production, not subcontract the them to outsource: such as hybrid PCB fabrication, any layer HDI, Coplanar Waveguide PCB Fabrication, Embedded copper coin,etc.
So,if your final electronic device is a high commercial value product, really you should have high cautions and alert to select your PCB suppliers.
WELLER is a professional PCB fabrication and assembly manufacturer here in China with provide electronic manufacturing service for medical, automotive, industrial products,etc. We have professional team to support our global customers.