Despite the fact that the economy is improving, most American industries are still searching for ways to cut costs and improve their profit margins without sacrificing the quality and/or integrity of their work. However, finding areas where you can safely reduce spending while still retaining customer satisfaction might not be as easy as it seems, especially for those in the electronics sector.
Technology is always changing
The issue that electronics companies encounter when attempting to cut costs is the fact that technology is constantly changing. Electronic devices continue to evolve into increasingly complex products in order to meet consumer demand. It makes sense that technology companies must evolve as well, finding new processes for developing the products that end-users are demanding. One thing that remains constant in the world of electronics is PC boards. Printed circuit boards are essential to technology and electronics in particular.
Cutting costs without sacrificing quality
Companies that require printed circuit board assemblies know how expensive the manufacturing process can become. Substituting poor quality components in order to save a few bucks can seriously affect the success of your project. The goal instead should be to reduce PCB assembly costs without compromising on quality.
The following tips can help you save money on your next PCB layout project.
- Keep standard Fr4 material – ½ or 1 oz. copper and 1/16” PCB thickness where possible
- Consider the shape and size of the board – square or rectangular shaped boards yield better in a standard 18”x 24” manufacturing panel; size can contribute to a more efficient panelization of the board (more boards per panel = less cost per board)
- The size of the holes on the board matter – aim to use .010” or larger holes to keep the cost down
- Allow enough time for turnaround – quicker turnaround is more expensive
- Keep schematic and parts list changes to a minimum to further reduce costs
- Include all necessary information/files when submitting for pricing to minimize back and forth; including layout guidelines, mechanical requirements, schematic files and reference layout designs to use, etc.
- Involve your EMS partner early in the process to help make size decisions, parts placement decisions, etc. that can help keep costs down
ACDi offers a variety of services specially designed to help free up time for OEMs so they can concentrate on what really matters—their business. ACDi offers electronic manufacturing services, including product engineering support, PCB layout, new product introduction (NPI), system integration and product lifecycle management solutions. We work directly with our clients throughout the entire process, from concept to delivery.
Contact us for a complimentary consultation on your next electronics project.