Printed circuit boards or PCBs have become very important of electronic equipment. From powering cell phones to laptops and other electronics, PCBs—those green chips found in most electronics—have quickly become a part of everyday life. PCBs are the nucleus of most modern world electronics and their use continues to grow.
Traditional PCB assembly is costly, mistake prone and can be a little intimidating. It is designed for huge projects with plenty of lead times. On the flipside, turnkey PCB assembly has revolutionized PCB assembly and is making everything easier.
Turnkey PCB assembly uses cloud-based software and onshore PCB manufacturing to make the assembly of printed circuit boards a whole lot easier. Rather than having to go through the old, labor-intensive way of assembly, turnkey PCB assembly boils down to this: upload a design, get a quote and the manufacturer builds what you need.
There are many advantages to turnkey PCB assembly and they include:
- Faster prototyping: turnkey assembly cuts down on slow lead times and cuts expenses by allowing for more effective and efficient prototyping.
- Quantity: whether you need one PCB or 1,000 PCBs, turnkey assembly allows your design to be reproduced as much or as little as you may need once cloud manufacturers have it on file.
- Easier Communication: turnkey PCB assembly eliminates expenses brought on by dealing with multiple vendors and improves communication and turnaround times.
When it comes to turnkey PCB assembly, the process boils down to six basic steps:
- Prototyping: Board designers use computer-aided design (CAD) systems with special software to layout a circuit pattern on the board. The spaces between electrical conducting paths are usually .04 inches (1.0 mm) or smaller.
The software allows PCB manufacturing companies and designers to turn around prototypes faster, give instant quotes and deliver the finished product faster. For example, a single automatic line can place and solder more components than 50 hand solder operators and do it with more accuracy.
- Manufacturing: The advent of machine-assembly for any size orders means some shops can assemble PCBs in a fraction of the time it would normally take for hand placement. Some PCB manufacturing companies have a turnaround time of five days or less, 75 percent faster than the industry average.
- Assembly of Electronic Devices: With turnkey assembly, the manufacturers who make a prototype PCB will also put it together. This cuts down on shipping mishaps and speeds up production.
- Inventory Storage and Management: Quite simply, when your PCBs are done will be stored until they’re ready to be shipped.
- Integrated Fulfillment: PCB manufacturing companies will package and ship your products right to you.
System Integration: Turnkey PCB assembly frees you up from the production side of the business and makes the process easier. When it comes to filling orders or re-ordering, it can be done easily with cloud services or apps.
If you need help with prototype assembly, a PCB assembly quote or general circuit board assembly services, there are many PCB manufacturing companies like NexPCB that can take you through the process.