After creating a PCB design, you need to get a manufacturer that transforms the design into a finished board. You need a PCB quote before you begin the PCB fabrication process. Getting a quote from a contract manufacturer for PCB assembly is of great importance. This is because a quote offers necessary details about the time and cost requirements of a project.
A PCB manufacturer can only produce an accurate board only when all necessary information is provided. Also, PCB quotes offer details of what you will be expecting in a finished product. Your CM works according to the information provided in the quote. Let’s shed more light on what a PCB assembly quote is all about.
What is a PCB Assembly Quote?
A PCB quotation is an estimate of the cost, time, and capabilities of a manufacturer in fabricating a physical circuit board. Also, a quote isn’t only ideal for the assembly process. You can get a quote for PCB design or manufacturing. This document provides a broad estimate of the capabilities of the PCB manufacturer to turn the design into a physical PCB.
A PCB quote doesn’t just state the cost for the required number of PCBs, it offers an idea about the time required to complete fabrication. Also, the manufacturing process becomes easier when the quotes are accurate. It is important to include all necessary information in the PCB quote. Also, the contract manufacturer will contact the designer if there is any missing information.
In addition, the information provided in a quote is very paramount to the success of a board assembly. A manufacturer will achieve a successful PCBA if all necessary information is provided. Also, the accuracy of this information is very vital.
You can get a PCB online quotation form from a manufacturer’s website.
Printed circuit boards assembly quote will include vital details like:
- Number of holes
- Type of material
- Number of board layers
- Board type
- Annular ring requirements
- Board dimension
- Minimum trace width
- Outer layer copper finish
- Minimum space between trace
What are the Documents Needed to Quote a PCB Assembly?
There are four main documents you need to quote a circuit board assembly. The information provided in these documents depends on the technologies of a company.
Bare board print
This is a vital document you need when quoting a PCBA. Bare board print is also known as a fabrication drawing. It offers essential details required to fabricate a bare circuit board. These details include number of holes, board thickness, outer dimensions, and more. Also, it offers more detailed information on what to include in the bare-board print.
Furthermore, you will need to include both the revision and component number in a bare-board print. Also, you will have to design files known as Gerber file. You will need to upload gerber file and fill the necessary details. However, ensure you supply the design files in a format. A data interchange format like ODB++.
Bill of material
The bill of material is a crucial document you need for PCB assembly quote. Also, BOM governs the components. Every line item on this document should feature a description, internal part number, and a reference designator. Also, the BOM will include the authorized vendor list. Excel is the most popular format for this document.
This is the blueprint of the manufacturer. The assembly print reveals information about the location of parts. Also, it shows special markings for the printed circuit board. The assembly print should consist of the revision and assembly part number. Also, it is often available in a PDF format.
Approved vendor list
This document offers the part number of the manufacturer associated with the internal part number. Sometimes, there are multiple approved manufacturers for every IPN.
Missing Information when Requesting a PCB Quote
Paying details to information is very important when requesting a PCB quotation form. Some designers are very careful when providing basic details. This is because these details will contribute to the success of your circuit board assembly. However, some may miss necessary information. For instance, secondary details are crucial for calculating the time and cost estimate. Hence, the designer should submit them while requesting a quote.
These details comprise the thickness of every layer, number of layers, and the thickness of the stack-up. Therefore, they are all crucial for creating a PCB stack-up. Also, missing this information in an exact quotation can lead to failure in PCBA.
Solder mask details
Solder mask details are crucial to share with a contract manufacturer. Also, these details comprise solder mask type, finish, color, and sides.
The requirements for impedance control of a PCB determine the choice of various parameters. Therefore, this information can delay the quote if it is not provided.
Any hole in a PCB not created by mechanical drilling is a cut-out. Also, the positions and dimensions of the cut-out are part of the details needed for a quote.
Silkscreen is information you might miss in a PCB quote. There are questions regarding where you want to apply silkscreen. Also, you need to know the color of the silkscreen you need to use.
The surface finish options used for a PCB impacts its functionality. Surface finish type like electroless nickel immersion gold plating and hot air solder leveling are commonly used. Therefore, it is important to provide details about the surface finish you intend to use.
What is PCB Assembly Process?
The PCB assembly process involves the mounting of electronic components on printed circuit boards. Also, it is different from circuit board manufacturing. This process involves bringing all other components and installing them on a bare PCB.
In addition, there are several technologies used in circuit board assembly process. This includes surface mount technology (SMT) and through hole technology (THT). SMT involves the use of automated machine to place other components on a board. THT assembly involves the placement of THT components with bare hands.
There are several steps involved in PCB assembly process. The first step is the application of solder paste. Also, SMT process requires the application of solder paste. THT doesn’t require this step. Furthermore, the placement of component is the next step. For THT assembly, manufacturers place components with their hands using a pair of tweezers.
The SMT process requires the use of robotic systems to place components. Also, this assembly process requires reflow soldering. Reflow soldering involves moving the PCB and its components through an oven. Also, this oven heats the solder. Thus, ensuring the connections are properly formed.
However, THT doesn’t require reflow soldering. THT requires manual or wave soldering. After the soldering process, the final step is inspection. Also, the manufacturer needs to inspect other components and parts of the PCB. You can test your circuit board using the X ray test.
Factors that Affect PCB Assembly Cost
There are several factors that determine PCB assembly cost. The type of technology, the cost of material, and more are factors that influence PCB assembly cost. Also, the cost charge by a PCB assembly service differs.
Type of mounting technology
The type assembly process you opt for will determine the cost of your PCB assembly. SMT is commonly used in circuit board assembly. However, through hole technology is still in use in today’s world. Through hole parts require through hole components. Surface mount technology is a faster process for printed circuit board assembly. It using automated machine to mount SMD parts and components.
Lead time affects PCB assembly cost. If you request the completion of your project within a short time, you will likely pay more. Shorter lead time contributes to higher PCB assembly cost.
Shipping cost contributes to the cost of PCB assembly. Some PCB assembly services charge extra cost for shipping. Also, you will need to pay for shipping cost if you order large PCB quantity.
Number of layers
The number of layers will impact the cost of assembly. For instance, it costs more to produce multilayer PCBs that single PCB Qty. Also, PCB manufacturing cost will increase as the number of layers increase. This is because the lamination process involves more production step. A single board doesn’t require much cost and time to fabricate.
The type of surface finish you choose will impact PCB assembly cost. Some surface finish options are more expensive. Also, immersion gold is a good surface finish to opt for. Also, immersion gold boasts of longer shelf life and higher grades.
PCB assembly quote is crucial for the successful fabrication of a PCB. Also, the information provided in a PCB quote aids PCB manufacturing process. There are several PCB assembly services that offer free online quotes. However, it is important to choose a reliable PCB assembly service.