Congratulations! You have designed your PCB to the best of your ability. Now, you need to talk about getting it assembled! This article will walk you through some steps that are important in order for you to get quotations from assembly houses.
Assembly quotes are very important because they give you an idea of how much money is required initially in order to have your boards populated with parts.
Send quote requests
To get the ball rolling, you need to send out quote requests. The most important thing about multiple PCBA quotes is that they should include all of your required specifications. If you do not provide enough information in the email, you will be ignored or sent a generic response with no quotes because nobody knows what to do! Some people think it’s very rude asking for quotes without any intentions of using them, but it is actually expected during the initial stages before the design is finalized, so getting quotes early saves everyone time and energy better spent on other things. You need to include the PCB dimensions (length x width x height). Weight isn’t necessary, but it might be necessary to know where the product will be manufactured, depending on shipping laws. Include your specification of the exact requirements you need for your PCB assembly. It can help narrow down the manufacturers that meet your requirements. Also, you should include a comment box in sending quote request emails if you have a specification that will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Decide which board house to use
While this may come out as the first thing that you will need to do before requesting a quote, it can also be set aside after you have received quotes from multiple sources. However, as mentioned earlier, the requests must be specific. You need to indicate in the email requests for SMT, THP, and so forth. It is also important to remember the turnaround time, especially if you want to get your boards back quickly. This may vary from one board house to another. Next, the minimum number of units that they require for a deal in order for them to be interested. If your project only needs a one-time deal for a few boards, you need to make sure that the boarding house isn’t going to charge you a ridiculous amount of money.
Get in touch with the board house sales team
After deciding on which board house will work best for your PCB assembly needs, you should get in contact with their sales team in order to see if they will quote your project. If you already know the type of board house you want, then feel free to contact them via email or phone call. Be sure to introduce yourself and inform them about your PCB requirements. Also, indicate the dates you requested and received the quotes for their easy reference. If you aren’t familiar with any PCB houses yet, then this is a great time for you to do some research and find the ones that will work best for you. This is where many PCB projects fail because they didn’t take their time to find a boarding house that will fit all of their needs. When getting in touch with your sales rep, they are most likely going to want to introduce themselves as well before continuing on with your project. Here, either state your name and what you are trying to do or introduce yourself first before bringing up the subject of your board assembly project. If they ask for your company name, provide the needed information; otherwise, explain that you are an independent PCB designer looking to get this board designed and out into the market as soon as possible.
Get the quotes in writing
Once you have been given a quote from your PCB assembly supplier, make sure to get it in writing. It’s very common for quotes to be negotiated and then forgotten about by the time it’s time to pay, so insist that your quote is written out for you. This not only ensures that you won’t have any disagreements later on but also serves as proof of work done should there be any miscommunications – which can happen quite easily over email – down the road.
Most suppliers will send a formal invoice or letter after all work has been completed, but if they don’t, then just ask them to put together a simple statement showing everything you have done. If they are willing to offer phone support as well as chat/email services, make sure to get a detailed phone list from them as well. This way, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect before a problem even arises.
Try to follow up
Once you receive your quote and all work has been completed on your PCB assembly order, make sure to give it a thorough look-over and try to find any mistakes or inconsistencies with the services that were provided. Your supplier will appreciate the chance to correct their errors, as this is one of the most important things that can affect both customer satisfaction as well as future business from you. After all, who wants to use a PCB assembly company that doesn’t check over their own work?
In addition, be sure to inspect for “hidden fees” – extra charges that aren’t stated upfront. These can range anywhere from simple lettering charges to test fees (which may or may not be required) and other work that is “necessary”. Most companies will try to conceal these costs by grouping them into their base price, but if it’s something you want, then make sure it’s included beforehand. Once everything has been approved, don’t forget to request any necessary documents or files relating to your order, especially if they were made through rapid prototyping using CAD software. Some companies charge extra for this, so make sure to check the fine print before accepting anything! If this information is important, request it as soon as you can, so there are no delays in your next order.
There are several considerations that go into finding the best PCB assembly quotes, but one of the most important parts is sending out accurate Gerber files. It’s also recommended to send specifications or samples with your order since this will give the supplier something to reference while assembling your PCBs. This ensures that your final product looks and functions exactly as it’s supposed to, while also saving you time and money down the line.