Guidelines for Outsourcing Prototype Circuit Boards
October 29, 2018
If you are planning to build a prototype before launching a new product line or for other reasons, you would need to use the services of a professional company that builds PCB prototypes. Building a PCB prototype is a task that must be left to the professionals as it needs to be executed according to precise specifications. Any errors during the prototyping stage can have a cascade effect on your PCBs and products during the production run.
Taking your designs to a professional PCB manufacturing company that can build your prototype accurately can eliminate errors that can cost valuable time and money. Following are the things you should expect from a reputable company that builds circuit board prototypes:
The process should ideally begin with a professional review of your files for design for manufacturability (DFM). That means your product will be better able to manufacture, addressing various aspects of feasibility and performance. Your files will also be reviewed for quality materials and quick response.
Speeding up a file review is not the best business practice. It is best to choose a company that guarantees a complete review, even if it takes longer. Checking problems at an early stage ensures that no time is wasted during critical phases.
The chosen company must also have sufficient exposure to the product design process and relevant stages / timelines. This will make your interactions with your circuit board prototype more efficient.
Most people underestimate the invaluable contribution that the designers and engineers of the supplier can make to their product. If things are not going as planned, designers and engineers may suggest smart design alternatives. In this case, recruiting services from a vendor that has a proactive team can also add value to your end product.
Choosing a company with experience in PCB assembly services is another prerequisite. If your company enjoys a reputation for quality, you can rest assured that your prototype circuit boards will be highly accurate in all respects.
All in all, you need a prototype circuit board provider that can help troubleshoot, redraw, or produce variations of the same circuit. These value-added services are what differentiate mediocre manufacturers from professional companies.