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  • Material: High TG FR4, Halogen free FR4, High-Speed FR4, PI (polyimide), PET, Aluminum, Copper, Alumina Ceramic, Special alloys, Microwave & RF, PTFE+FR4 hybrid, Ceramic+FR4 Hybrid
  • Layer Count: 1-100 layers for Prototypes
  • Controlled impedance as low as 5%
  • Copper thickness(oz):1/3oz to 20oz
  • Blind and buried vias, via in pad, stacked vias, staggered vias
  • Technologies: Backplane, back drill, countersink holes

What is Considered a Quick Turn for Printed Circuit Boards?

As technologies are developing rapidly in the electronics industry, many companies want to produce their electronics in a very short time. To meet this requirement in the electronics market, PCB manufacturers have developed a type of fabrication service so-called as “quick turn” which can shorten the turnaround times for PCB fabrication from weeks to only within a few days, or even 24 hours.

With the increasing demand and rigid requirements for fast turnaround printed circuit boards, manufacturers have come up with a rapid method to produce PCBs at low cost, and high performance. This type of rapid manufacturing is called quick turn PCB fabrication which can be achieved through high production speeds and superior fabrication techniques. Quick-turn PCB fabrication provides certain advantages like scalability, flexibility, and customizability for various applications.

Quick turn PCB boards are circuit boards that can be manufactured and delivered to the customer in a much shorter time than standard PCBs. They are often used for quick-turn PCB prototyping, allowing engineers to quickly test and refine their designs without significant delays.

Quick turn PCB in China is developing rapidly. Viasion is a trusted fast turn printed circuit board manufacturer in China that specializes in prototypes and small to medium-volume fast PCB manufacturing. Our delivery times of quick turn PCBs are:

Prototypes: 1-3 days (or even 24 hours)
Small Series: 1 week

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    Benefits of Quick Turn PCB Fabrication

    Why quick turn PCB fabrication is a viable option for your business? Here are some of the benefits you will reap from quick turn type of fabricating printed circuit boards:

    Choose Viasion As Your Quick Turn PCB Supplier

    If you’re looking for a reliable partner in your next quick turnaround PCB project  – look no further than Viasion!

    • With advanced production technology, a mature manufacturing process, perfect production equipment and strict quality management and process control, Viasion provides our customers with high-performance and reliable quick turn PCB fabrication.
    • Our engineers have a good level of professional and technical knowledge and rich practical experience in the PCB industry, which enable us to provide a high level of fast turn PCB board to our customers.
    • We listen to the details of each customer's needs and provide an ideal solution, which constantly leads to successful cooperation between both parties.

    Applications of Quick Turn PCB Fabrication

    1
    Timesaving

    Immediately after you submit the PCB design, a quick turn fabrication company will conduct an assessment of the manufacturability of the boards. The review will include identifying potential risks that could be sources of delay during the manufacturing process. Quick turn PCB fabrication is mostly preferred for building prototypes if the objective is to shorten the product validation timeline. Most quick-turn PCB fabrication companies would post their lead time for expedited options on their websites.

    2
    Overall Cost Effectiveness

    In quick turn PCB fabrication, the product can be released earlier in the market. With the faster turnaround times, especially for prototyping, errors in the design can be easily seen. Fabrication issues can be detected early, thereby reducing expensive fixes during high-volume runs. Quick turn fabrication is also a very good marketing pitch as this means high convenience and less headache on the part of the customers and users. So quick turn PCB manufacturers help brand owners save overall costs.

    3
    Scalability and Reproducibility

    Quick turn printed circuit board fabrication can be applied during prototyping, pre-production, and mass production. This means that suppliers can offer this type of fabrication from small to large quantities. Design for manufacturability or DFM is an important requirement in the design and prototyping stage, which allows engineers to assess if the materials, schematics, and layout are optimized to attain ease of fabrication, assembly, and inspection.

    4
    Flexibility

    In quick turn PCB fabrication, design can be assessed in a short period of time, allowing more room for iterations and testing. This gives project owners the flexibility to adjust the design accordingly, to re-run and re-test and to have quick verifications of the design. The emergence of new technologies and complex functionalities pose challenges to manufacturers, but quick turn fabrication provides flexibility and adaptability to stay ahead in the market. China quick-turn PCB manufacturers are very good at supplying flexible one-stop services.

    Quick turn PCB fabricators often specify in their technical brochures and websites what type of printed circuit boards can be manufactured with fast turnaround times. Some fabricators will only specialize in standard FR-4 PCBs, but some are also capable of manufacturing all types of PCBs, such as flexible or rigid-flex or rigid boards, and even High-Density Interconnect (HDI), depending on the type of available machines and tools. Quick turn fabrication has a wide range of applicability and will depend on the capability and the type of services being offered by the quick turn PCB manufacturers. Below are the various stages of the product where quick turn fabrication can be applied.

    Prototype Printed Circuit Boards

    Quick turn PCB fabrication is an efficient method to identify and mitigate risks in the design, especially if the product development is of high time sensitivity. Since prototypes are of small batches only, a quick turn is a wise option to get the results ahead of time to give ample room for further assessments and improvements.

    Pre-Production

    In transitioning to production runs, a slightly higher quantity than the prototyping batches are being run to simulate performance of the printed circuit boards. Some issues cannot be captured in small sample sizes, a higher, more statistically reasonable sampling size is produced to know if the final design is indeed manufacturable. At this time, another batch of quick turn PCB boards may needed as a pre-production test.

    Production Runs

    Quick turn PCB can also be applied to production runs, wherein early delivery is of utmost importance. If the preliminary stages like prototyping and pre-production runs have been passed successfully, there will be greater confidence that high volume manufacturing will run without hiccups.

    Factors Affecting Turnaround Time of PCB Fabrication

    Let's be practical, risks will always be present in every stage. There is no such thing as a perfect design and production, especially during the initial stages. To be able to anticipate what can affect the turnaround time will help you know the options to take. It will help to get the best quick turn PCBs without any mistakes.

    Production Capability

    PCB manufacturer's process capability is critical in quick-turn PCB production. Producers with rich experience and excellent capability in Quick Turn production can produce PCBs quickly. Quick turn PCB manufacturers need to be equipped with suitable types of equipment and personnel to be able to do everything quickly, from engineering to fabrication and testing.

    Type of Equipment Used

    The compressed timeline will be difficult to meet if the quick turn PCB fabrication company offers outdated and slow equipment. Each machine has a different capability and Unit per Hour (UPH). High-speed machines that can cater to customized PCB designs have a higher advantage in quick turn fabrication. Some suppliers, especially experienced companies, can offer flexibility in terms of machine back-ups and simultaneous runs. For instance, a company with more than one drilling machine will give higher capacity and an alternative in the event of machine breakdowns. Some of the China quick turn PCB manufacturers are using the most advanced types of equipment.

    PCB Materials Lead Time

    Material procurement time will affect the delivery time of quick turn PCB fabrication significantly. We have stock for the most commonly used materials, but some special materials may need a few weeks to buy.

    The design engineers check for the availability of materials before coming up with the design of PCB quick turn. The chosen materials play a critical role in the rapid completion of the product. The vendor must secure material availability since production cannot commence if there is a constraint in the materials. A good sourcing strategy is to plan for alternative materials and supplier for cases wherein shortages are no longer avoidable.

    PCB Design

    Undoubtedly, printed circuit boards with complicated via structures will have longer lead times due to additional and intricate drilling processes. More stack-ups or layers also mean longer lamination cycles affecting the overall project timeline. Simply put, the PCB design will highly affect the time to fabricate and assemble the printed circuit boards. So the quick turn PCB company should work closely with the designer to optimise the PCB design.

    PCB Complexity

    The manufacturing complexity of the circuit board is also essential.  For example, a higher-layer HDI board needs a longer lead time, a simple double-layer PCBs can be produced quickly. With the development of equipment and technologies, quick turn PCB manufacturers are able to supply more and more complex types of circuit boards. 

    Engineering Expertise

    Throughout the course of the fabrication process, engineering dispositions are often needed especially during set-up and inspection processes. This is one of the reasons why engineering expertise is extremely important. If the quick turn PCB company does not have enough resources and good engineering judgment, then certain decisions during fabrication may not be provided on time causing an impact on the timeline of PCB quick turn.

    Special Technologies and Process

    Special process requirements will also affect the lead time for quick turn PCB boards. For example, countersink holes, peelable masks, hard gold plating, VIPPO via plug, etc.

    Quality standard

    Quality control and planning may also affect the production time of quick turn PCB manufacturing. An IPC Class 3 standard PCB need a longer time for quality inspection.

    Delivery Time

    Every day counts for quick turn PCB services. You may worried that China quick turn PCB suppliers cannot meet your requirements. But it is very easy to deliver goods from China to other countries worldwide. Air shipment will take one week usually, and sea shipment will take 3-4 weeks. But an expressed delivery can be 2-3 working days.

    Quick Turn PCB Fabrication Processes

    To get to the finished product, a quick turn printed circuit board goes through the below processes.

    PCB Design and Development

    A PCB design must first be developed by means of a Computer-Aided-Design (CAD). The design serves as a blueprint for the succeeding processes are. The design stage is where the circuit layout and schematics are defined. Different circuit elements are populated to each PCB layer.

    It is imperative that all pertinent details of the PCB are indicated in the design documents. The submitted format type to the quick turn PCB manufacturer is called “Gerber files”, which is a known industry format for the board layers. The Gerber files dictate the equipment what to follow and where to go. An aperture library and drill file are sent separately which determines the hole sizes to refer to.

    Procurement of PCB Materials

    An output of any PCB design is the preliminary which lists down the substrate, copper foil and other materials required to build the printed circuit board. The PCB file format is usually Gerber 274 format, which is widely accepted by PCB manufacturers. In Gerber files, the PCB material will be written clearly, such as FR-4, aluminium, ceramic, PTFE, polyimide., etc.

    Patterning of the Circuits

    The patterning process is where the design is transferred into the copper sheets using techniques like photolithography, which makes use of a photoresist, a photosensitive material that can be soluble or insoluble upon exposure to light. This type of process allows the desired copper pattern to be printed onto the board.

    Etching the PCB Traces

    The boards with patterns undergo an etching process to remove the unwanted copper foil, with the intended traces and patterns remaining on the PCB. A stripping solution is then used to clean after the corrosive etching process.

    Drilling the Holes

    Specialized equipment is utilized next to drill the layers which can be done through mechanical, or laser means. PCBs with higher density and smaller holes will usually require a longer time to process, which is, consequently, more expensive as well.

    Copper Plating

    Since the holes or vias serve as the connection in-between layers, the vias are plated with copper to make conductive paths between each layer of the PCB. Copper plating has another function, it is to increase the copper thickness of copper traces.

    Solder Mask and Silkscreen

    Solder mask are printed on the top and bottom sides of the PCBs, to protect the copper areas except the pads.

    Silkscreen is also called components notations, it is printed on the PCB surface as to cearlify the components, which is very helpful in the PCB assembly process.   

    Surface Finishing

    The exposed copper pads on the PCB can also be surface treated using various chemicals as protection against variations of temperature and humidity in the environment. Since copper easily oxidizes, surface treatment or finishing is extremely an important step. The most commonly used PCB surface finishes are HAL, ENIG, and OSP.

    Quality Inspection and Testing

    The main objective is to fabricate boards that conform to the design and functional requirements; thus, the PCB should undergo visual inspection processes like Automated Optical Inspection. For quick turn PCB fabrications, these are still mandatory steps to know the defects and issues early.

    The PCBs also undergo testing to check circuit issues like shorts and opens. For small-scale fabrication and prototyping, flying probe testers can be used to access the contact pads. For larger batches, in-circuit testing is a better choice due to faster operation time.

    Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Quick Turn PCB Supplier

    Now that you have learned some basic foundations in quick turn PCB fabrication, we will go to the different factors that you need to consider in choosing the right Quick Turn Supplier.

    Lead time and Efficiency

    Time is a golden requirement in realizing a quick turn PCB project. The right supplier should have a short lead time with a detailed strategy on how to follow the committed timeline. To fulfill the urgency of the builds, efficiency should be present in every process as any delay and non-standard work in the process will slow down the entire project. Potential delays should have corresponding mitigation plan so that issues are immediately addressed. The typical turnaround time are tabulated in most quick turn fabrication supplier websites to guide customers with their decision-making.

    Technology and Capability

    The supplier should have advanced machines that have enough features and capability to support a quick turn PCB type of processing. Manual work will only interfere with the flow of the process as it is slow, prone to error and susceptible to misprocessing. With decades of development in PCB fabrication, China quick turn PCB fabrication is outstanding in the world.

    Cost

    The right supplier should also be able to offer lower costs. This is a deal-breaker factor as with any business. Make sure to understand the scope and the terms and conditions specified in the submitted quotation to prevent miscommunications and further revisions. The right supplier will also offer recommendations on how to be flexible in terms of payments and how to cut down costs. China quick-turn PCB manufacturers can produce high-quality circuit boards in a short lead time.

    Quality

    With the right supplier, quality should also exist in every process and in every area. This means that the quick turn PCB fabrication company follows a quality management system with a set of rules and standards that need to be complied with. Since printed circuit boards are highly technical products, various certifying bodies like UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and IPC outlines the requirements and guidelines for designing and building electronics that are of high quality, safety, and reliability.

    Customer Service

    A good customer service is also vital to ensure a smooth design, pre-production, and mass production. Some quick-turn fabrication suppliers are only responsive at the start of the project which should not be the case. Throughout the lifecycle of the product, the right supplier should still be engaged and committed to responding early and fast to inquiries, both technical and non-technical.

    Conclusion

    China has become the largest printed circuit board fabrication center in the world since the industry’s rapid development in the 1990s. More than a thousand PCB fabrication services have sprung up in China to compete and support the rising demand for consumer, industrial and automotive electronics. PCB manufacturers in China have expanded their capability to custom and high-end PCB, such as High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCBs, rigid flex PCBs and flexible circuits. At the same time, China quick turn PCB is also developing quickly. Many China quick turn PCB manufacturers are supplying high-quality PCBs at a very short lead time.

    Quick turn PCB fabrication is becoming a trend for manufacturers as this offers beneficial solutions to customers, especially in the fast-paced and rapidly evolving electronics market.  This type of fabrication is a wise option but should still be coupled with anticipative risk evaluations to ensure that the printed circuit boards abide by the prescribed timeline and that quality is not dismissed.  So when you are trying to find an experienced quick turn PCB manufacturer, Vision is a good choice to produce your custom quick turn PCB China.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Quick turn PCBs are printed circuit boards (PCBs) that are manufactured and delivered to the customer faster than standard PCBs. Viasion is a trustworthy quick-turn PCB manufacturer that can provide quick Turn PCB Prototypes in 24 hours.

    Time savings are the most critical advantages of quick turn PCB fabrication. In some cases, customer need a quick turn PCB manufacturing in a very short time to meet their fast turn circuit board assembly schedule. Then you can count on us to deliver your circuit boards in time.

    1. The price for fast turn PCB production is more expensive than normal lead time circuit board manufacturing;
    2. Quick turn PCBs are only suitable for prototypes and small series production, not for mass production;
    3. Quick-turn PCBs are more prone to errors due to their accelerated production time.

    There are many kinds of materials used in fast turn PCBs. For example, FR-4 materials are the most commonly used in them.

    The lead time for quick-turn PCBs takes less than one week. The specific lead time is determined on a case-by-case basis. We can finish quick turn PCB prototypes in 24 hours if needed.

    We can produce wide aspects of fast turnaround PCB, including quick turn rigid PCB, quick turn flex PCBs, fast turn custom PCB, fast turn rigid flex PCB, fast turn PCB prototype, and quick turn PCB assembly.

    Yes, we supply fast-turn printed circuit board assembly besides PCB fabrication with a short lead time. Utilizing our strong purchasing, engineering and production team, we can finish turnkey PCB assembly in 1 week.