Circuit Board Manufacturers

Written by Adam Blau
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When selecting a manufacturer for your printed circuit board (PCB), it is vital to use the same stringent standards you would use when choosing a contractor for your home. There are many seemingly "good deals" available on the Internet, and it may appear that you can find a plethora of prototype boards for an extremely low cost. Before typing in your credit card number for a massive PCB order for your latest invention, though, it may behoove you to do a bit more research on the prospective manufacturer.

Finding the Best Circuit Board Manufacturer for Your Project

First of all, check the actual board specifications. Some companies may try to reduce board printing costs by using lesser quality conductors or other materials. Will your board contain the industry standard laminate thickness, and will it be of an appropriate size to fit in the desired slot in your end product? If such matters are important to you, does your company offer lead-free PCB printing solutions?

Next, be sure that the quality of the boards is up to your standards. Check for testimonials on your prospective manufacturer's website. Poke around in online forums, asking questions about the true quality of your manufacturer's PCBs. Are there excessive solder gaps or bridges that contribute to defective boards? Is the error percentage low for the boards produced by your company?

Finally, check to see if there are any "extras" that might be beneficial to you and your design team. Some companies offer templates, stencils, or other design aids at little or no cost to the customer. Perhaps your company offers computer-aided design software, which can facilitate the transformation from schematic print to functional circuit board.


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