Should You Outsource PCB Layout Services?

Posted in EMS Solutions on by .
Electronics Manufacturing Quality Control

Outsourcing a PCB layout can have its benefits. Some may consider outsourcing the design of their printed circuit boards to a specialty PCB design firm simply because they are in need of a brand-new board for a brand new application, and sorting through the regulations, assembly techniques, and components necessary can be a huge drain. But even if your organization has the experience and resources to design PC boards in-house, it may be worthwhile to look at external options for a variety of reasons.

Reasons to Consider Outsourcing  

The most basic—and often obvious—reason to outsource your PCB layout is because you are under time or financial restraints. Creating PCB boards can be costly, even if you have prototypes or earlier versions to work from. Additionally, the complexities that come with new IPC standards, regulations, formats, and naming conventions may impede any chance of getting your product to market quickly—especially if you are not an expert in what is required. Having an external vendor who is up-to-date on the standards and regulations can ultimately be more time and cost-effective.

Other Reasons to Consider a PCB Layout Vendor Include:

  • Your board requires complicated multiple layers, high-operating frequencies, or small BGAs
  • You are uncertain about what the optimal board strategy for your application should be
  • The in-house PCB designer has outdated skill sets, no time for training, and/or PCB design is not his/her main job
  • Your organization does not have up-to-date design software

Also, remember, it never hurts to have a third-party perspective when it comes to reviewing your requirements. Experts in PCB will have a variety of experience which can give them insights into potential new design strategies. In some cases, they may be able to provide you with a solution that works better than what you would have created in-house.

Getting it Right the First Time

It all comes down to getting it right the first time because one little mistake can be costly all the way down the line. Consider something as simple as the housing. If you build your PC board housing to a specific design but end up needing to change it due to an unforeseen issue, your housing becomes obsolete.

ACDi provides full turnkey solutions with core competencies in printed circuit board assembly and layout. Our team of designers have over a century of combined experience on every kind of board, from small two layer boards to high speed, multi-layer designs, and everything in between. Utilizing client specifications, we provide layout and design services through the use of the latest tools and standards in the industry.

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