Prototype circuit boards are an incredibly versatile piece of technology. Prototype PCBs rose to fame in the 1950s once they were developed by the U.S. army, and they have grown in popularity ever since. In fact, these components are so popular that in 2013 alone the revenue of circuit board and electronic component manufacturing in the United States came in at around $4.3 billion.
If you are in the market for circuit board prototypes, then you most likely are already aware that there are many different manufacturers to choose from offering different PCB services. So if you are not exactly sure on what to look for when it comes to PCB manufacturers, follow this list to make the most educated choice possible.
1. Experience in the industry
Before anything else, it is important to find a manufacturer that has experience in circuit board prototyping, prototype PCB assembly, and the differences between PCB layouts. Look for a company with extensive history in the electronics business, as they will be well established and extremely knowledgeable.
2. The ability to design
The company that you choose should be able to help you throughout the design process of prototype PCB assembly. No matter if you are starting from scratch, or need a new pair of eyes to double check your work, your manufacturing company should be willing to help you out in all the details of fabrication.
3. They have up to date and advanced technologies
The tools and technologies your PCB provider uses is important in order for your finished product to stay relevant and up to date. For example, there are two forms of construction processes in prototype PCB assembly, surface mount construction and through the hole. So at the very least, the company you choose should have all relevant machinery needed for these techniques.
4. Industry compliance
Above everything else, the manufacturers should be compliant with all industry standards. Not only should they follow industry standards on manufacturing and design regulations, but they should be able to easily fit into your high standards for production.
Stay tuned for our next piece, What to Look for in a PCB Manufacturer: Part 2!