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Choosing a business partner is one of the most important aspects of the business, regardless of it’s someone you’re partnering up with or hiring someone to be in the business with you. You need someone reliable, trustworthy, someone, you can count on and someone who’s on the same page as you are.

When looking for reliable, PCB assembly services, you need all of the above and more. Designing and building a circuit board isn’t a simple task and there will be some obstacles along the way, so unless you have someone reliable to fall back on, you could end up in a bad situation. So, without further ado, let’s discuss how you can find a reliable, high-volume, PCB contract manufacturer.

1. Enquire About Their Previous Work

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The first thing you should do when it comes to finding a business partner, in this case, a PCB assembly service, is taking a look at their previous work or their business portfolio. Considering the line of work, it’s not as easy to judge this kind of work, but it is possible nevertheless. You will, however, be able to get a good insight into how good there are at what they do, how competent and insightful they are, how do they deal with various problems, and so on. This is one of the best ways to get a clearer picture of a manufacturer – what they’re about, what they stand for, and how well do they do their jobs. All in all, you can tell a lot by examining their previous work.

2. Look At The Reviews

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Looking up reviews online is a great way to find out about a company. However, keep in mind, that reviews can sometimes be biased, so make sure you don’t form an opinion based on a single review. Take all of them into account, or even better, focus on those that highlight both the good and bad sides of the company. Stellar reviews and those one-star ones are usually not correct. Either it’s a false advertisement or an isolated incident – unless there’s a lot of any of the two. If that is the case, then you’re all good.

You can easily find reviews on Google, Facebook, or even Yelp – you just have to look for them. Reviews are great because they’re written by people who have previously dealt with the company in question. In general, they’re a great opportunity to learn from someone else’s experience, whether it’s a good or bad one.

3. Don’t Worry About The Price Too Much

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Even though the price is a very important aspect of any business, don’t spend too much time comparing the prices between the companies. More importantly, don’t fall for deals that are too good to be true. Why? Well, ask yourself this – would you do, whatever it is that you do, for an insignificant amount of money and would that be a good business move? Since we both know the answer to that, let’s move on.

The fact of the matter is – quality service costs money. There’s no other way around it. Under no circumstances should you sacrifice quality to save money. Because guess what – you won’t do it. If you hire a cheap service, you’ll end up with a cheap product. In that case, you’ll end up spending more money than you initially would, only to fix the problem and you’ll eventually move on to another PCB manufacturer and assembler.

4. Check The Company’s Website

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Another thing you can do is check a company’s website. A website can tell you a lot about a company, especially in this case. There are all kinds of things involved when it comes to manufacturing or assembling the circuit boards – from the board and component size to feeder inputs. For any additional information on the printed circuit boards, components, assembly process, and manufacturing, you can check what experts from pcbonline.com have to say. The fact of the matter is, all the necessary information should be right there, on the website. You shouldn’t have to look further for any additional information.

5. Know What To Expect From A PCB Assembly Service

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Before you decide on a CM/CA (circuit manufacturer/assembly service), you have to ask the right questions. That way, you know what’s coming your way and what you can expect. Also, that way you minimize the chances of pitfalls and errors along the way.

Ask about the manufacturing or assembly process, ask about the quality of the boards and components and their overall services. That way, you’ll end up on the same page with the company you’re about to hire and you’ll know what you’re getting into.

So, what should you ask and what should you expect from a PCB assembling and manufacturing company?

  • Design Analysis – Every reliable CM/CA should be reviewing your design when they first get it. During this process, they’ll be able to find out whether you have some obsolete or non-fitting/not recommended components for the design in hand. Also, the company you’re about to hire should be able to provide you with a suitable alternative in case something is deemed wrong during the design analysis.
  • DFM Review – On top of design analysis, CM/CA should do a DFM (design for manufacturability) review. In general, this process should be done to make sure everything is in the right place and/or compatible with each other and there will be no manufacturing issues. Like in the previous case, if an error is determined, a company should be able to recommend a suitable replacement or find a solution to the problem.
  • DFT Review – Finally, just like in the previous case, a company should have the resources to pull off a DFT (design for testability) review. This is the final test of the overall unit, before going into high-volume manufacturing.

In general, you should expect your PCB assembly service provider to have a fully defined assembly process – from start to finish. That process should include everything from component placement to quality control and various inspection points throughout the whole manufacturing process.

Finding a reliable PCB assembly service isn’t easy, but we’re certain that if you follow our simple guide – the whole process should be a lot less complex. Hopefully, we’ve managed to be of help.

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