The word assembly means to gather or integrate something onto some platform. In the terms of electronics, the electronic assembly means to integrated or assemble electronmic circuits into single enclosure or to solder electronic components on to a PCB.
Electronic Assembly Types:
There are many companies that provide services in electronic assembly work. The most popular domain is PCBA (PCB Assembly china). This work requires a very simple yet expensive setup that includes automated machines like pick and place robots and soldering machines which are used to do PCBA. This automated assembly will save a lot of time and effort and is very useful in batch / bulk manufacturing. The major factors that contribute to higher cost are
- 1. Pick and Place SMT machine programming
- 2. Process of reflow soldering
- 3. Solder stencil making
- 4. Cleaning of Solder flux
- 5. Different QC inspections
- 6. Labor Charges
These factors contribute to higher prices, but the process is speedy and highly suitable for bulk electronic assembly / PCB Assembly. The automated SMT components assembly price is directly proportional to the BOM (Bill of Material) lines. The automated electronic component assembly cost also depends on the components size and type. For example BGA and QFN, lead less components will increase pcb assembly cost, 0201 package of resistors, capacitors will also increase assembly cost.
The double sided electronic circuit boards, means boards having components on both sides of PCB, have higher cost in assembly then single sided boards.
The manual PCB assembly includes hand soldering and de-soldering. This method is good when you need some customized product assembly and you need only few prototypes. In this case there is no need of CAD file for automated placement of components, you just place components by hands and solder it. To de-solder, you just need a solder sucker and hot air gun to pull components out from the PCB. This is advantage in manual PCBA that you can de-solder components at will. This is also useful in electronic circuit boards repairs and service. The BGA and QFN components soldering is done manually to ensure neat and tidy work. Hot air gun and solder balls are used in hand soldering of these IC packages.
Prototyping, Modular, Product Assembly:
In this type of assembly, the PCBs stuffed with components can be assembled in an enclosure made of plastic, sheet metal or similar material. For this purpose, the electronic assembly companies use 3D modeling software like Solid Works, PRO-E and AUTOCAD to design enclosure. These software can also design the wiring / harness of the entire product. For example, in Servo Drives, there is a separate PCB for power supply, relay board, micro-processor board and signal conditioning board. So these companies fabricate the enclosure and then assemble the stuffed PCBs in and interconnect all wires and harness and finally test the product and deliver.
How to Choose Electronic Assembly Companies:
Most of the companies that are electronic assembly companies, deal in bulk quantities of production. Choosing an electronic assembly company is not difficult if you know your requirements. It is better that you get all services from single supplier/company that provides, PCB fabrication, PCB assembly, product assembly and delivery of product at customer location.
So in order to choose an electronic assembly company of your requirements, this should have
1- A company that provides the best quote in terms of “quantity” required and “price”
2- The company should have least “MOQ” (Minimum Order Quantity)
3- If the customer wants large quantities, then larger MOQ is also good. Usually 500,1000,10,000 quantities are offered by bulk product assembly companies.
4- The company should have “least lead” time
5- The “quality” of product matters a lot, but quality can only be observed when you receive your consignment. If you experience good quality of PCBA or electronic assembly of products then you can place “repeat order”. Means you can again hire the same company for the same product and quantity.
6- Online websites like Alibaba, Aliexpress, HKTDC, Made in China, eBay, Amazon have the options to search for the online suppliers and manufacturers. The manufacturer is the one is that has its own factory and production facility and also has its own warehouse. On the other hand, supplier is the one that picks the products from other factories, and keep its commission and sell at higher price.
7- You should approach directly to manufacturer rather than supplier or retailers
8- You should check for feedback and ratings given to supplier / manufacturers from other clients.
9- You should read reviews given online to supplier / manufacturers
10- You should also watch for the snap shots of the products, so you can have idea to visually check the quality of product. This is not guarantee that what you see is what exactly what you get, but you should check these snapshots and compare with other suppliers to filter those suppliers who do not satisfy your needs.
11- A supplier with money back guarantee is always good
12- Avoid free delivery suppliers. Because this will take lot of time may be around 60 days to shipment reach your location. Or maybe it never reach. This is usual for free shipment. Select suppliers that support DHL or EMS delivery
13- Select those suppliers / manufacturers whose response and customer support is good
14- Select those suppliers / manufacturers who have most experience and awards on online stores like mentioned in Sr#06
15- Nowadays most of the suppliers and manufacturers factories and warehouse are in China. So they have cheap labor and low cost products that can meet your requirements.
Electronic Assembly Companies near Me:
There are numerous PCB and PCBA companies around my location. They produce plastic boxes, enclosure, casings as well as sheet metal and aluminum products. The most popular is acrylic plastic boxes. There are many workers who are experts in making these and have very low labor cost as well. I prefer to approach individuals having small setups in their shops. Big companies do the same job but cost very much.
Some popular electronic assembly and prototype PCB assembly companies in my location is Raypcb