Are you prepared to develop cutting-edge technology in future? If so, before placing an order for a printed circuit board (PCB), you must take into account a few key variables. Choosing the appropriate printed circuit board (PCB) is crucial when developing a complex project. Every electrical gadget consists of a printed circuit board as its backbone, which give us control and performance monitoring capabilities. We are unable to accomplish any project without them. Technology advancements has resulted in the creation of printed circuit boards (PCBs). As a result, there is a growing need for PCBs of excellent quality.
By online ordering, PCB manufacturers are now easier to reach in order to meet this demand. However, it would guarantee a successful project if you took such elements into account as cost, lead time, quality, etc. As a result, choosing the right PCB manufacturer is crucial when making an online purchase. It can be difficult to design custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) for your applications. However, it doesn’t have to be that scary. The procedure might be straightforward and stress-free if you chose the right manufacturer. This article will cover the top six online PCB manufacturers, the things to think about before ordering a PCB, and potential difficulties that might come your way when you are ordering your PCB.
Factors to Consider When Ordering a PCB
There are several things to take into account when ordering a PCB. Let’s examine each one in more detail:
Depending on the manufacturer and the options used, the PCB manufacturing cost can vary significantly. For larger orders or loyal clients, some manufacturers may provide discounts. However, it’s crucial to remember that the cheapest option might be better in lead time or quality.
Depending on the manufacturer and the delivery method selected, the time needed for the manufacturer to make and send the PCBs can vary significantly. For a price, some manufacturers provide fast shipping options. To guarantee that the PCBs arrive in time for testing and assembly, it is crucial to consider the lead time while designing a project.
The PCBs’ quality can differ across manufacturers. To ensure the PCB quality meets your expectations, it’s crucial to look into the manufacturer’s reputation and read customer reviews.
Amount of PCBs:
The cost per board may vary depending on the number of PCBs required. Frequently, ordering more will result in reduced per-board costs. In addition, it would be of much help if you consider the upfront cost of acquiring a larger amount and if it fits within your budget.
The thickness of the PCB may also impact its flexibility and durability. Although smaller boards may be more flexible, thicker boards are often more robust and can tolerate larger currents. You should select the board’s thickness based on the project’s needs.
The kind of finish:
The conductivity and durability of the PCB can vary depending on your finish. ENIG (Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold), HASL (Hot Air Solder Leveling), and the OSP (Organic Solderability Preservatives) are a few distinctive finishes. While choosing the type of finish, please remember to consider the project’s requirements.
Non-standard drill diameters, cuts, or other unique needs may impact the order’s price and turnaround time. You should make any specific requirements clear to the manufacturer up front for them to meet them and give an accurate price.
By considering these things, you may select a PCB manufacturer and solutions that best suit your requirements and guarantee a project’s success.
Top 6 Online PCB Manufacturers
Several well-known online PCB producers are:
1. Unimicron Technology:
Unimicron Technology Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of printed circuit boards. The company moved its headquarters to Hsinchu, Taiwan, in 1989. PCBs, flex-rigid PCBs, and high-density interconnect are a few of the numerous goods Unimicron offers to the electronics sector. Additionally, Unimicron has more than 25 years of PCB industry experience and has a substantial global footprint because of its facilities in China, Taiwan, and the US. To provide its clients with high-quality goods and services is Unimicron’s mission.
Unimicron provides online PCB design, manufacturing, assembly, and testing services. The company offers both fundamental and advanced PCB design tools for signal integrity testing, thermal analysis, and the construction of circuits and PCB layouts. Furthermore, Unimicron provides high-volume production capabilities, rapid fabrication, and prototyping assembly services. Customers can, therefore, benefit from Unimicron’s online quote system, which delivers immediate quotes for PCBs and assemblies.
2. TTM Technologies:
TTM Technologies is a major international PCB manufacturer offering high-quality, highly reliable, affordable solutions. They provide a comprehensive range of PCB goods and services, such as fabrication, assembly, testing, and turnkey solutions from prototype to mass production.
Since its founding in 1985, TTM Technologies has developed into a market leader with a network of more than 20 production sites and four technology hubs headquartered in the US, Europe, and Asia. Engineers with knowledge of PCB design, fabrication, and assembly work for the company. They also provide extensive maintenance and customer service.
TTM Technologies has a robust dedication to providing exceptional customer service. Furthermore, it has invested in the newest tools and technology to guarantee its clients receive the best goods and services available. They promise to offer their clients the most dependable, economical solutions. They have a customer support team ready around the clock to address any queries or problems you may have.
For the past 15 years, NextPCB, one of the top online PCB manufacturers in the world, has been shipping high-quality PCBs worldwide. They have a staff of skilled engineers and technicians committed to offering their customers the best goods and services. They provide various PCBs, including standard, advanced, and custom-made solutions.
Printed circuit board layout, quick-turn prototype and mass production, component sourcing, and assembly are just a few of the services and goods that NextPCB provides. Their PCBs have premium components, cutting-edge technology, and strict quality controls. They also offer a wide range of surface treatments, including HASL, OSP, ENIG, Immersion Gold, and others.
NextPCB aims to provide top-notch products and services to its clients. Furthermore, it offers fast delivery, 24/7 customer service, and affordable prices. Additionally, they provide ways to reduce costs and raise the caliber of their products. Customers may obtain their items in the shortest possible time because of their effective production system, which guarantees quick turnaround times.
4. San Francisco Circuits:
Since more than two decades ago, San Francisco Circuits has provided global clients with trustworthy, high-quality Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing services. The business is famous for delivering premium PCBs for several applications, including consumer electronics and medical equipment. The company stands out in its industry due to its commitment to providing the highest quality services, beginning with design and ending with fabrication and assembly.
San Francisco Circuits provides a comprehensive range of services, from prototyping to production, to satisfy the demands of its clients. The business offers comprehensive PCB fabrication services, including design & layout, fabrication, and assembly. Additionally, the company provides engineering services like layout, testing, circuit design, and schematic design. Moreover, San Francisco Circuits provides specialized services like solder masks, microvias, and assembly. Due to its ISO-9001 certification and UL approval, the company ensures that all its products exceed the highest quality standards. San Francisco Circuits also provides a wide selection of materials, such as FR-4, FR-5, Rogers 4003, and several specialty materials to meet customer needs.
5. Advanced Circuits
Since 1989, Aurora, Colorado-based Advanced Circuits has provided services to various industries, including the military and aerospace, medical, automotive, industrial, telecommunications, and consumer electronics. The business offers high-volume manufacture, custom PCBs, and quick-turn prototypes. Many PCB types, including single- and double-sided, multi-layer, flexible, and rigid-flexible, and cutting-edge materials like FR4, Rogers, and Arlon, including high-frequency materials, are available from Advanced Circuits. SMT, BGA, and blind/buried vias are all production-ready components. Additionally, the business offers online services, including PCB layout, DFM verification, and design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis.
6. Sunstone Circuits:
Sunstone Circuits, a well-known online PCB manufacturer, offers a wide range of prototyping and production services for straightforward and intricate PCBs. They have been in operation for more than 40 years and have developed a reputation for offering outstanding products and services. In addition, customers can quickly order PCBs from the comfort of their homes via their web platform.
Sunstone Circuits customizes its offerings to meet the requirements of its clients. They offer services for PCB design, PCB fabrication and assembly, component procurement, testing, and inspection. The company aims to provide high-quality, dependable, affordable goods and services.
Sunstone Circuits’ extensive global network of various production sites enables us to provide customers with products and services of the highest caliber. To ensure the exceptional quality of their products, they employ cutting-edge technology. Surface mount technology, rigid boards, flexible boards, and conventional and customized printed circuit boards are all in its product line.
Additionally, they are always available to address any questions or concerns from clients. Also, customers may easily make orders and receive their products quickly thanks to their web platform. Therefore, the company is the best option for all PCB requirements because of its dependability and excellent customer service.
Upload your design file to the manufacturer’s website and supply any further instructions, such as number, thickness, color, and finish, when ordering a PCB online. The majority of manufacturers base their prices on the provided specifications. Also, verify the manufacturer’s price estimate before placing your order. Next, wait for the manufacturer to make and transport the PCBs. Finally, after arriving, test and assemble the PCBs according to the project’s specifications.
Challenges You are Likely to Encounter When Ordering a PCB Online
Making custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) for your projects can be easy and affordable by placing an online PCB order. However, to achieve a successful project, the following are obstacles that you must take into account:
When obtaining PCBs online, it can be challenging to ensure their quality. To ensure that the PCBs fit your criteria, examining the manufacturer’s reputation and reading customer evaluations is crucial. In addition, the quality of the PCBs can differ between manufacturers.
Contacting the manufacturer:
When placing an online order, communication can be difficult, so it’s important to express any specific requirements upfront and request clarification if necessary. This information will assist in preventing misunderstandings that can result in mistakes during the design or manufacture of the PCBs.
Depending on the manufacturer and the delivery method selected, the time it takes to make and ship the PCBs can vary significantly. To guarantee that the PCBs arrive in time for testing and assembly, taking the lead time into account while planning a project is crucial. Although expedited shipping choices are frequently chargeable extras, including these costs in the project budget is essential.
Depending on the manufacturer and the parameters selected, the PCB production price can vary significantly. Considering the upfront cost of acquiring PCBs and whether it fits your budget is crucial because the least expensive alternative may be better in quality or lead time. Consider these possibilities if they are within your price range because certain manufacturers might provide discounts for larger orders or for returning clients.
Handling and shipping:
The order may incur additional fees and take longer due to shipping and handling. Make sure the shipping option you select is both cost- and time-effective. Also, some manufacturers might allow for local pickup, which might assist consumers in avoiding entirely paying shipping fees.
Ordering a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) can be an intimidating process. But by taking into account the various factors such as price, lead time, quality, board thickness, finish, and particular conditions, you can find the best fit for your project. There are several well-known online PCB manufacturers such as:
- Unimicron Technology,
- TTM Technologies,
- San Francisco Circuits,
- Advanced Circuits, and
- Sunstone Circuits.
Each of them offer a wide range of services and products, so it’s important to research and find the one that best fits your needs and budget. Furthermore, when ordering a PCB online it is important to keep in mind factors such as quality control, communication with the manufacturer, lead time, cost, and handling and shipping.
By considering all of these factors, you can be a savvy PCB shopper and find the best deals to suit your needs. Every project is different and unique. But with the right manufacturer and the appropriate tools, you can create a successful, stress-free PCB project.