What should you consider when purchasing PCB

What should you consider when purchasing PCB


PCB procurement plays an important role in the whole supply chain management of electronic products. PCB carries the electrical connection of all electronic components, and its quality concerns the stability and long-term reliability of electronic products. For PCB purchasers, it is necessary to pay close attention to the following three aspects, so as to ensure the procurement of PCB that conforms to the project quality and economic maximum interests.

1. Positioning the performance requirements of electronic products for PCB

First of all, it is necessary to analyze the market positioning of the company's products, the most basic concept is to select high-quality products for medium and high-end products, and pursue the price target of low-end products. However, it is very important for purchasing staff to grasp the development cycle of electronic products. In the prototyping stage, the general efficiency is the highest, the price is the second, and the quality is in the middle.

Therefore, it is necessary for purchasing staff to seek PCB providers that can provide rapid PCB prototyping, such as the fast PCB factories on the market.

However, in the stage of small batch and mass production, PCB procurement needs to be grasped from the aspects of quality and delivery time. Purchasers need to understand the design structure, precision requirements, line width, line spacing, number of layers, copper thickness and other important indicators of the product PCB board. For some electronic product PCB boards that require special processes to complete, it is positioned to find high-quality PCB manufacturers.

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2. The price of PCB is something that many PCB buyers have been confused about

Many people will also wonder how these prices are calculated when placing orders online. Let's talk about the components of PCB prices together. Learn How to price and quote PCB? 

Factors affecting the price of PCB:

A: Material( thickness, copper thickness, TG, expansion and shrinkage characteristics, surface roughness, brand), PP consumption quantity.

B: hole number

C: surface treatment method

D: process capacity (line width, line spacing, impedance, gold finger)

E: solder mask color, thickness

F: business terms with suppliers

G: supplier sales strategy.  

H. Some designs can communicate with R & D to reduce costs. For example, can 8-layer 2+N+2 HDI PCB changed into 8-layer 1-step board.

PCB quotation is generally composed of engineering cost + board making fee + film tool fee + testing fee. PCB making fee is calculated by square meter, except for sample.

Because the area of PCB sample and small batch is too small to be calculated by square meter price, the PCB prototyping fee is usually 50-100 USD. In addition, some factories feel that the number of samples is too small, which takes up production capacity and is not willing to make prototype PCB boards.

Order quantity / delivery date

1)The less the quantity is, the more expensive the price will be, because even if it is to make 1 pcs, the board factory has to make engineering data and produce film and , every process is indispensable.

2) Delivery date: the data to be delivered to PCB factory should be complete (Gerber information, number of layers of board, material, thickness, surface treatment, ink color, character color and some special requirements should be clearly written).

The delivery time of the ordinary PCB samples depends on the number of layers. One-sided usually takes one day, two-sided usually three-five days, and multi-layer takes a few days to ten days.

Through the above discussion, it is not difficult to see that the diversity of PCB processing price has its inherent inevitable factors.


3. Choose the right PCB manufacturer for purchase

People are always the best business card of the company, because equipment can be bought, but equipment and plant are not everything. Therefore, it is particularly important for purchasing staff to inspect the sales of PCB manufacturers and even the boss. A conscientious and responsible manager with rich customer service concept will surely lead to a good production team and provide high-quality PCB products. Especially under the premise of highly developed PCB equipment, human management has become the competitive advantage of PCB manufacturers.

Secondly, we need to carefully review the PCB Factory's production capacity, process capacity, customer distribution, low peak season cycle and other indicators, so that the purchasing staff can have a clear idea.

4. Basic knowledge of PCB inspection

Placing orders and receiving goods is not the end of the purchasing staff. The purchasing manager also needs to know more about PCB inspection knowledge, so as to be able to distinguish the corresponding quality level during PCB factory audit and inspection.


How to evaluate the technical capabilities of a PCB factory in detail?

As mentioned above, first of all, before evaluating the capabilities of other PCB factories, we should first locate whether our products belong to high-end or general products. Generally, PCB suppliers will provide you with a table of their PCB process capability. Most of them will evaluate the panel size, processing scale, drilling, wiring and surface treatment, and compare whether their process capability can meet your needs.


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To evaluate the strength of a PCB company, to see if it can independently complete the whole process from material preparation to surface treatment, electronic testing, profile and slot milling, etc. The most critical areas are pattern transfer, etching, solder mask, surface treatment, and drilling. For general high-precision multilayer boards, the problems are easy to occur, such as drilling (hole deviation), circuit quality (short circuit break, circuit gap), and uniformity control of copper and gold thickness. Pay more attention to these aspects.

Audit the factory on site. Scale, equipment, materials, main technical backbone, management and so on are superficial. When it comes to technical capability, we should evaluate it from every process of PCB production, such as lamination, inner layer, surface treatment, etc., which can reflect the process capability of PCB factory.

Finally, each PCB factory has its own specialty. As a professional PCB purchaser, it is necessary to locate its own purchasing demand and seek the most suitable PCB manufacturer. After all, who uses it who knows.


PCB procurement knowledge FAQ

[Delivery date] What if the supplier delays delivery?

Follow up improvement of delivery date.

The tracking improvement of supplier's delivery date should start from the establishment of indicators and the understanding of the causes of the problems, and gradually compare the actual performance with the planned objectives, so as to seek the methods to improve the delivery time. The purchasing staff should always hold the attitude of "prevention" better than "treatment", and can take the initiative to ask the supplier for advice before the problem occurs.

1. Establish the improvement index of delivery time with the supplier and make them understand the calculation benchmark. Generally, the delivery time of the supplier is calculated from the closing of EQ questions.

2. Work out action plans and Countermeasures to improve delivery accuracy with suppliers.

3. Conduct continuous follow-up assessment and review on suppliers until the delivery date is improved.


[Quality] How to effectively prevent the production of PCB idle materials?

① PCB manufacturers need to fully and effectively communicate with customers in the sales process to determine the raw materials and order quantity to meet the demand;

② PMC Department (production and material control department) calculates the quantity of PCB raw materials to be purchased according to the actual sales order;

③The purchasing department needs to regularly report the products that the company is about to phase out or special materials for engineering change in terms of suppliers, and submit them to PMC for reference;

④ In terms of design and production, it is necessary to strictly calculate the utilization rate, production scrap probability and other indicators, and strictly control the process to prevent the generation of idle materials.

What is PCB idle material?

PCB idle materials are raw materials that PCB manufacturers buy from raw material suppliers for PCB production, and there are surplus raw materials stored in the warehouse for a long time, such as copper clad laminate, PP sheet (semi cured sheet), copper foil, ink, etc.

[Service] Where have high quality PCB supplier resources, broaden procurement channels?

Rocket PCB has gathered many industry certified high-quality PCB suppliers, making PCB fabrication and PCB assembly procurement simple, efficient and low-cost.

Learn more,

What are the advantages of manufacturing PCB in China?


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