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A Guide to Evaluating a Complete Printed Circuit Board Box Build Assembly Quote

 Jun 10, 2024

 Box Build Assembly Quote

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) box build assembly includes all the processes involved in creating a fully functional electronic device from start to finish. It is more than developing a standard PCB assembly and encompasses additional steps to integrate the PCB into a complete enclosure or so-called "box," resulting in a finished product. When it comes to PCB box build assembly, it is extremely important to closely evaluate PCB box build assembly quotes to ensure that your project meets its budget constraints, technical specifications, and delivery timelines. Several key factors must be considered when evaluating a complete printed circuit board box build assembly quote. Would you like to know about those key factors that can help you to make informed decisions? 

Factors to Consider When Evaluating a Printed Circuit Board Box Build Assembly Quote

To receive a comprehensive and accurate estimate that aligns with your project requirements, it is important to consider the following elements:

  • Bill of Material Accuracy: The BOM is not a just a list of components, rather the backbone of your project. It must be meticulously detailed, listing all components necessary for the assembly, including PCBs, electronic components, cables, connectors, and enclosures. A highly accurate BOM is not just a nice-to-have, it is a necessity. It helps avoid delays and additional costs due to missing or incorrect parts, ensuring your project stays on track.
  • Quality of Components: Closely evaluate the quality and specifications of the components being used. The use of high-quality, reliable parts is critical for the longevity and performance of the final product. For instance, check the precision, quality, and durability of the stencil used by the service provider in the process of box build assembly. This is important to avoid soldering defects and ensure robust connections.
  • Assembly Capabilities and Technology: Ensure that the service provider has the necessary technology and capability to assemble the specific type of PCBs required for your project. For instance, ensure that the service provider has enough experience to program SMT components accurately, and necessary fixtures to accommodate your production volume, among others. Also, check their capability to handle fine pitch components (components with a pin pitch of less than 0.8mm) and ball grid array (BGA), which are often considered as specialized requirements.
  • Testing and Inspection: Quality of product is not a nice-to-have feature, rather a guarantee of its performance. Check the types of testing and inspection methods used to ensure the quality of the assembled PCBs. Ensure the service providers’ visual inspection, Automated Optical Inspection (AOI), In-Circuit Testing (ICT), and functional testing procedures are up to the standards to meet your project's stringent requirements.
  • Cost Breakdown: A detailed cost breakdown is a critical factor in ensuring transparency, while also understanding the allocation of costs in the project. Ensure that the quote provides a breakdown of the following:
    • Costs for individual parts
    • Assembly labor
    • Testing
    • Packaging
    • Additional services like design modifications or expedited delivery
  • Lead Times and Delivery: As delays in PCB assembly can significantly impact the overall project timeline, it is critical to evaluate the projected lead times and delivery schedules of your service providers.
  • Compliance and Certifications: The assembler should comply with relevant industry standards such as IPC-A-610 and hold necessary certifications such as ISO 9001 or ISO 13485, among others. This compliance indicates a commitment to quality and compliance with industry standards.
  • Prototyping and NRE Charges: Ensure to check whether the quote includes options for prototyping, which is important for validating the design before full-scale production. Also, note if the quote encompasses any non-recurring engineering (NRE) charges, which are one-time costs that could apply for tooling and setup. These charges are typically incurred for the initial production run and not included in the product costs.
  • After-Sales Support and Warranty: Verify the level of after-sales support offered by the service provider. These services can range from warranty periods to repair services to customer support. Some common after-sales service includes technical assistance, repair turnaround time, and spare parts availability.
  • Location and Logistics: Since the location of the service provider can impact the logistics costs and the ease of communication, it is a wise to consider proximity; this is helpful in case frequent visits for audits or meetings are necessary.

By carefully assessing these key factors, you can ensure that you are making an informed decision and selecting the best option for your needs. It is crucial to conduct a thorough research and analysis before making any commitments to guarantee a successful project outcome. By thoroughly evaluating the factors mentioned above, you can partner with a trusted service provider like Accelerated Assemblies, who own an extensive range of automated tooling and testing equipment, ESD and climate-controlled production environment, and assure cost-effective assembly and shipping prices, among several others.

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