What to look for in a turnkey assembler
Assembly of printed circuit boards (PCBs) can be highly complex and specialized. According to Electronics Notes, “Although PCBs form the basis of virtually all electronic circuits today, they tend to be taken for granted.”
You have more options than ever before for the design, manufacture, and assembly of PCBs. So, how do you know what to look for when choosing a partner?
- Track Record: Look for a company that has broad and deep experience. Not only should you look for multiple examples of manufacturing success, you should ask about the longevity of client relationships and complex challenges the company has faced.
- Investments: To work at the highest level of PCB assembly—which includes compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations aerospace and defense—a vendor must make significant investments in equipment, certifications and their employees. Walking the floor of a potential partner’s assembly space will tell you a lot about their investments.
- Clear and Documented Process: Speed is of the essence in manufacturing, but you also want to ensure that the PCB company is allowing sufficient time for thorough documentation, development, needs assessment, traceability, and quality control testing.
- Flexibility: You may want your PCB manufacturer to handle the entire process, or just consign the assembly to them. If you are consigning to a PCB assembler, be sure to ask about internal controls and security for your components. Flexibility also comes into play when you want to make design modifications. Choose a manufacturing partner that is adaptable to changes and will proactively suggest alternatives. Whether you need one PCB or thousands, you should be treated as a valued client.
- Time: Quality is always key, but you also want to choose a manufacturer that has the ability to meet agreed-upon deadlines.
- Communication: Throughout the assembly process, your PCB company should be updating you on the project status. They should clearly explain options, make you aware of any complications, and ensure you are always satisfied with both the quality of the end product and the team you are working with.
- Eye to the Future: When you work with a company that specializes in PCB assembly, they will keep you one step ahead of the curve and allow you to focus on your company’s core competency. Alerting you to potential procurement issues with your components, carefully reviewing and confirming your documentation, and notifying you of any potential concerns during manufacturing are all steps that should be taken with every project. Look for a partner that can bring this intelligence to your business.
MJS Designs has been assembling turnkey PCBs since 1976, and stays up to date with technology and expertise to meet customer needs while saving them time and money. We are committed to high quality and accuracy in complex PCB design and assembly, electronic engineering design, CAD layout, box/system build, cable and wire harness assembly, procurement, prototyping, volume assembly, test development, testing and fulfillment.