5 Tips for Saving Money on PCB Manufacturing
Whether you’re a business or an individual, money is a common resource that we all would like to save on. When it comes to PCBs, it makes sense to not skimp on quality for the price, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to save money. The cost of manufacturing printed circuit boards depends on numerous factors and these factors should be considered while you are designing your product in order to help you minimise costs.
Here are 5 tips that could help you reduce your PCB manufacturing costs.
Minimise Your Board Size
One of the main factors that can have a big impact on the cost of production, is the size of the printed circuit board. If you require a bigger circuit board, then it will be easier to route, but it will also be costlier to produce. This also works the other way around. If your PCB is too small, then you may need extra layers and the PCB manufacturer may need to use more precise equipment to manufacture and assemble your boards. This will also increase the costs.
Ultimately, it all comes down to how complex your printed circuit board needs to be in order to support your end product. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that less is more when designing your board.
Don’t Avoid High-Quality Materials
Although this may sound counter-productive when you are trying to save money on manufacturing PCBs, it’s actually very beneficial to go for higher quality materials for your product. There may be a higher upfront initial cost but using higher quality materials for your printed circuit board means that your end product will be more reliable. This may even save you from a headache later on if your PCBs have problems due to low-quality materials.
If you opt for cheaper quality materials, then your product could risk having problems or failure which will then have to be returned and fixed, as a result, costing you more money.
Use Standard Circuit Board Shapes
If your end product permits doing so, it can be quite cost-effective to go with the conventional circuit board shapes. Designing your printed circuit board in the standard square or rectangular shapes like most PCBs means that PCB manufacturers will have an easier time fabricating your boards. Custom designs will mean that the PCB manufacturer will have to specifically cater to your needs which will cost more. Unless you need to design a PCB with a custom shape, it’s generally a good idea to keep it simple and stick to conventions.
Stick with Industry Standard Sizes & Components
There are standard sizes and components in the electronics industry for a reason. Essentially, it makes everything simpler and more efficient as it opens up the possibility for automation. If your PCB is designed to use the standard sizes, then PCB manufacturers won’t have to use as many resources for fabricating a board with bespoke specifications.
This also applies to the components on your circuit board as well. Surface mount components require less drilling than through-hole which makes these components ideal for cost-savings and for saving time. Unless you have a complex design, it’s a good idea to use the standard surface mount components as it will help reduce the number of holes that are needed to be drilled into the circuit board.
Longer Lead Times
Depending on your PCB manufacturer, there may be additional costs for manufacturing or assembling your circuit boards if you require a faster turn-around time. To help you keep any additional costs down, try to allow as long of a lead time as you can. This way, PCB manufacturers won’t need to use extra resources to speed up your turn-around time which means a lower cost for you.
Those are our 5 top tips for saving money on manufacturing or assembling your printed circuit boards. If you’re looking for ways to save money on manufacturing your PCBs then make sure you keep your PCB design as standard as you can, consider using higher quality materials to reduce the risk of problems and allow as much lead time as you can. These factors all contribute to a cheaper price.
Contact Clarydon for PCB Manufacturing
Clarydon Electronic Services has a wealth of expertise in manufacturing and assembling PCBs. If you require printed circuit board manufacturing or assembly, then please get in touch with one of our PCB specialists and we would be happy to help.
Call us on 01902 606 000 or you can email us at [email protected].