PCB Assembly Services - Screaming Circuits: Secure Your Fabricators & Assembly House(s) ASAP

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Secure Your Fabricators & Assembly House(s) ASAP

Engineers and designers are sometimes so quick to get their designs started and completed that they often overlook the obvious, who is going to build our boards?

Every fabricator has different materials in stock, and different processes they employ. Work closely with your fabricator as soon as you know what type of stack-up will be required for your PCB, ESPECIALLY if current or impedance requirements are needed so that your design can be tailored specifically for that manufacturer from the beginning. Do not wait until your critical design is complete to determine differential trace spacing, or copper weights on power planes.

If your design doesn't have any exotic requirements, you shouldn't have any materials issues, but you still want to look at your assembly and fab houses early on to ensure that they can meet your service and turn-time needs. Boards going into reflow oven 1280

When you get to more stringent requirements, like HDI (high density interconnect), HSD (high speed digital) or RF (radio frequency), you are dealing with materials than not all fab shops keep in stock. You need to verify ahead of time that stocking issues won't impact your build time. Some engineers try to design a board based on material specs alone, and then later find out that a fabricator doesn’t carry that material and there may be significant lead times. Or your design may require special drilling techniques that your fabricator isn’t capable of, and they have to outsource those drilling processes, further increasing the time and complexity of the fabrication.

Not every assembler is the same. Some have state of the art selective soldering machines that allow you to place surface mount components closer to thru-hole leads on the opposite side. You should know your assembly capabilities up front so that your mechanical and placement is well suited for the manufacturing needs.

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