The printed circuit board assembly is an extensive process, which involves various steps. Owing to their increasing complexity and demand, today, contract electronic manufacturers allow users to choose from various PCB assembly types, volumes, and services. You will find manufacturers who especially specialize in prototype building, low volume production, mid and high volume production or all. After analyzing various factors, you may choose to work with a specific PCB manufacturer, who may offer you three assembly type options to choose from – kitted, partial-kitted, and turnkey assembly. What are these three types of assembly services? How do they work? This post aims to answer this less answered question in detail.
A Basic Introduction to Kitted PCB Assembly Services
In this type of assembly, a customer provides all components to the manufacturer for assembling. The components to be provided include bare printed circuit boards, electronic components, and all requisite PCB design files, and the manufacturer will assemble the components using automated equipment. This type of PCB assembly is also referred to as consigned PCB assembly. There has been an increasing demand for kitted PCB assembly services, owing to the following reasons:
- This is one of the most economical ways of PCB manufacturing.
- A customer can be assured that components and PCB boards supplied by them are used and no inferior parts are used in the process.
- A customer has better control over the cost of production.
In short, kitted assembly helps OEMs to avoid quality-related issues, and improve their time-to-market capabilities.
Partial Turnkey or Partial Kitted PCB Assembly – What are its Specific Advantages and Disadvantages
As the name suggests, in this type of pcb assembly, a customer sources some components and parts, and the rest is sourced by the manufacturer. In this process, the manufacturer has to seek approval from the customer on parts’prices, their quality, and availability, before the actual assembly starts. Partial turnkey or partial kitted PCB assembly is favored by many OEMs owing to the following reasons:
- This type of assembly helps strike a good balance between kitted and turnkey.
- A customer provides expensive parts such as connectors, IC’s, LEDs, and so on, whereas the PCB assembler will source less expensive parts. This saves time on both sides.
- If a customer has built strong supply chain relationships then they can easily benefit in terms of prices by sourcing parts at cheaper rates.
- Assembly process and preparations will be much faster than the full turnkey assembly.
An Introduction to Full Turnkey PCB Assembly and its Various Features
Full turnkey PCB assembly requires customers to send their design files, whereas the contract manufacturer will purchase the stencil, PCB boards, and the parts required for the assembly. This means everything right from parts procurement to assembly is performed by the contract manufacturer. The following are the key benefits of availing this PCB assembly service.
- Most manufacturers have strong relationships with parts suppliers, which helps them source the parts effectively. Also, they may have common parts in their inventory, which helps boost the preparation times.
- The parts are mostly procured in assembly friendly packages, and not in strips, which again helps improve the assembly times.
- A customer can be relaxed that all procurement and assembly is being handled by the manufacturer.
So, the next time, whenever you approach a PCB manufacturer for assembly, be sure to make clear choices. If you already have some parts in inventory, you can share them with the manufacturer and figure out the options. If you are planning to outsource your PCB assembly to a trusted manufacturer like Accelerated Assemblies, you can be rest assured of quality. The company provides all three types of PCB assembly services.