You’ve brainstormed, evaluated and analyzed your ideas and designed a fantastic new innovative product. You’re ready to make the leap and take your design to the development and production phase of your actual product. Now you have the task of finding a PCB manufacturer to produce your product and be catapulted to success. However, with so many different choices of PCB vendors available, you’re finding it difficult to take the next step. So to help you narrow down your options, here are 4 tips for startups looking for a PCB manufacturer.
Tips for Startups Looking for a PCB Manufacturer
1) Is a prototype required?
Determine whether you will require a prototype first, and whether you will require low volume or high volume production on your product.
A prototype will help you test the functionality of your product and easily make major design changes or minor tweaks to get your product working the way you envision it. Once you have a successful prototype, you will take that prototype to production.
Low volume production will typically fall in the range of about 100 boards per year, while high volume production can vary from 1,000 boards per month and upwards. Discuss your prototype and production requirements with potential PCB vendors.
2) Do you need a domestic supplier?
Determine if you must use a domestic supplier, or if you are willing to take your production overseas. This decision will ultimately impact cost.
A good alternative to dealing with the nuances and time/language barriers of communicating with overseas manufacturers is to work with a domestic PCB vendor that has proven, successful working relationships with overseas suppliers.
3) Time frame
Set a reasonable time frame to complete your design process through prototypes and take your product to production.
4) Special requirements
Evaluate your design for any special requirements such as material, thickness, number of layers, hole sizes, etc. Confirm capabilities with potential vendors to ensure they can actually make the PCB for your product.