PCB Assembly

Optimizing Cost and Quality with the Right Turnkey PCB Assembly Supplier

Turnkey PCB Fabrication and Assembly

Cutting down costs and maximizing profits are every electronic company’s goals so that they can continue operating in their niches. However, to attain that goal you will need to secure a deal with the ideal turnkey PCB assembly supplier and settle a turnkey contract with their company.

In this article, we’ll be exploring how you can find the right turnkey PCB assembler so you can optimize the costs and quality of the PCBs that you’ll soon receive.

What is a turnkey contract?

Before we proceed on how you can find the ideal turnkey PCB assembly supplier and settle a contract with them, let’s understand what is a turnkey contract and how it works. A turnkey contract is best summed up as an agreement in which you relinquish control of your project and give it to your contractor.

The base idea behind this type of contract is that the manufacturer that’s partnered with you must deliver the finished PCB by the deadline and doesn’t exceed the prescribed budget. With that said, here are some of the key aspects present in a turnkey contract.

  • The contract has control over the design. In a turnkey setting, the contractor governs what should become the outcome of the PCB design and is required to create a detailed design that will be prototyped, tested, and then mass-produced.
  • Utilizing technical components and the like. A turnkey PCB assembly supplier must also know the ins and outs of manufacturing the PCB that’s specified in the client’s project. The creation of the PCB might involve the use of technology belonging to their clients, but that only happens when it is due to contractual obligations or at the behest of the PCB designer or client.
  • All duties fall in the hands of the contractor. Obligations ranging from procuring materials and supplies and manufacturing the printed circuit board are handled by the contractor or the manufacturing plant that’s handling the PCB project.

Turnkey PCB Assembly and Production

What defines the right turnkey PCB assembly supplier?

Now that we’re familiar with what a turnkey contract is and how it works, let’s discuss the traits that are the hallmark of the right turnkey PCB assembly supplier. By carefully assessing these traits, you can settle with a reputable manufacturer that can help you bring your PCB project to fulfillment.

Here are the traits or characteristics that show that the manufacturer you wish to have a turnkey contract with is desirable to ensure that your production costs are lowered and the PCB quality is maximized.

1. Experienced and certified for the job

The first key characteristic of the ideal turnkey PCB assembly supplier is that they have a wealth of experience and have certifications that allow them to do work in your niche. That means, the manufacturer has been around for a long time and is experienced to tell you what they can do for you if you secure a turnkey contract from them.

For certifications, you’d want to look for certificates such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 as they are indicators that the manufacturer adheres to industry standards. Whereas certificates such as ISO13485 and IATF16949 are indicators that manufacturers can work in specific niches, the certificates specified in this case are for medical electronics and automotive electronics respectively.

  • In addition to experience, they also need to have an experienced crew that will work on the project. Not only they can provide a streamlined approach to bringing your PCB design to reality, but they can also review errors and recommend tweaks and modifications to ensure that the assembled PCB will work as intended.
  • Speaking of experience, they also need to have an experienced purchasing or procurement department. For those who are not familiar, a purchasing or procurement department is the manufacturer’s personnel that is tasked with negotiating and purchasing parts from different suppliers. An experienced purchasing department is more likely to negotiate with vendors quickly and procure the right parts. At best, they could obtain parts at a fraction of the original cost.

2. Utilizes the latest and cutting-edge technology for manufacturing PCBs

Another key trait you need to be on the lookout for is that the manufacturer you intend to partner with uses the latest or at least, cutting-edge technology for fabricating your PCB. The reason why you’d want to settle with a manufacturer that’s up to date with the latest fabricating technology is to ensure that they can assemble your PCBs efficiently.

Take note that the faster you get your printed circuit boards, the lower the bill you’ll pay to your manufacturer.

Turnkey PCB Assembly and Testing

3. Checking the manufacturer’s online reputation

If you want a clearer view of what’s like to settle a turnkey contract with the turnkey PCB assembly supplier you’re interested in; the best way to do that is through reading reviews and reaching out to previous clients. Reviews will give you an overview of the quality of the circuit boards they provide and customer service.

In comparison, reaching out to previous clients tells you a more detailed story of what’s like to collaborate with the manufacturer. Previous clients could tell you what was good and bad in their experience working with the manufacturer in their PCB projects.

4. Assessing the quality of the manufacturer’s fabrication process

Another key criterion that you need to be on the lookout for when searching for the ideal turnkey PCB assembly supplier is the quality of their manufacturing process. You need to look for a manufacturer that documents their fabrication process down to the last detail; which also includes quality control measures and their testing protocols.

You need to also check whether the manufacturer you’re interested in has a flexible and robust supply chain management system, that way you won’t have to worry about the quality of the materials as it is most likely that they obtain their parts and components from reliable sources.

The right manufacturer for a contract is worth the time and money

Selecting the right turnkey PCB assembly supplier to handle the PCB project for you may be an arduous task at first. However, there are workarounds which is through assessing the key traits ranging from experience and certifications to the way they manufacture their products.

Taking note of these key characteristics can help you narrow down your options to find the right manufacturer and settle for a turnkey contract that’s worth every dollar invested into it.

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