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Technical Article

PCB Assembly:Design Decisions That Reduce Manufacturing Costs

Time:2017-04-15 09:52:00 Click:

If you desire to reduce your PCB manufacturing costs, you will usually need to seek the services of non-North American electronics manufacturers. For good pricing combined with high quality and exceptional service, you will learn that assembly houses west of the Atlantic and east of the Pacific are best. But an in expensive manufacturer isn’t the only thing that will keep your costs low. How you design an electronic circuit influences costs in important ways. To understand how design influence costs, let us examine some important design elements and see how they affect costs. 

Extending the PCB manufacturing cycle 
The faster you want your PCBs delivered to you, the more you will end up paying. Sometimes you will need to pay for short manufacturing cycles. Grande Electronic has the capability of sending you a kitted assembly within 24 hours, however, it is very expensive. A more cost-effective approach is to utilize Grande Electronic’s 20-day turnaround time. By extending the manufacturing cycle so you can accept longer delivery dates, you will drastically reduce your manufacturing costs. 

Do not specify leadless QFNs and BGAs 
Grande Electronic manufactures a large amount of PCBs that utilize BGA and QFN packages, including micro BGAs with a pitch as low as 0.3 mm. Since these packages have their leads placed underneath, we must X-ray each part, which increases the cost of the manufacturing process. If you must use leadless packages, that’s fine. However, if you can use TSSOPs or other packages with visible leads, you will decrease your costs considerably. 

Reels or Continuous Strips are Less Costly 
Grande Electronic can assembly PCBs with any kind of parts or any size. However, it is less expensive to use reels or (at the very least) 12-inch continuous strips. We typically pass on cost savings to the customer for reel or continuous strip processing. 

Surface Mount is Less Expensive than Through-Hole Parts 
Hand assembly is usually more expensive than automated assembly. Therefore, surface mount parts are usually less expensive to assemble than through-hole parts. For designs where there are very few through-hole parts, you can save yourself money by letting Grande Electronic assemble the surface mount parts while you solder the through-hole parts yourself. 

Large PCBs are less expensive than very small PCBs 
Large PCBs are easier to assemble than very small PCBs, therefore, they are less expensive because Grande Electronic will have lower labor costs. If you need to use tiny PCBs (i.e. less than 16 sq inches), it’s wise to panelize them in order to keep your costs low. 

Grande Electronic has the reputation for giving top quality service and customer care no matter where you are located in the world. You will know when you will receive your PCBs, not a rough estimate. Using these suggestions, you will receive excellent service and quality at an attractive price.

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