How to Pick the Best PCB Supplier: Tricks of the Trade

pcb supplier

No matter what kind of PCB you’re looking for, finding a trustworthy supplier is a must. That isn’t always an easy task. Thankfully, there are some things to consider. When looking at any manufacturer, you must ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Will they provide a quality product?
  • Do they have quality control and what kind?
  • Do they have customer support?
  • Do they employ qualified applicants?

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into these questions and why they matter in the first place.

Quality of Production

Manufacturing a quality product requires a lot of time, care, and resources. Many manufacturers neglect some part of the process because they focus on mass production. Having a lot of products out in a short time is impressive, but it’s not worth much if said product underperforms.

Ensuring quality isn’t that difficult at all. A successful company only needs a set of guidelines to follow. No two companies can operate in the same way, but having clear guidelines is what sets apart the good from the bad. This is how you’ll be able to tell which company wants to make an impact with their product and which one is simply trying to sell as much as they can.

An important part of the manufacturing process is having quality machines and training for employees. Ensuring that everything always runs smoothly will get you the best results. Of course, there’s always room for error. Machines can break down, and people make mistakes. What matters is how a company deals with these issues. Why? Because mistakes can cause production delays, and that’s definitely not something you would want as a customer.

Another thing that impacts quality is the type of machines the company you opt for uses. They don’t have to be the newest on the market to be able to work properly. However, they have to be able to deliver the best product possible.

These are only some things to look out for when it comes to the quality of production. You can also inspect anything else that you feel is important.

Quality Control

You can tell a company takes itself seriously if they perform quality control. It should be thorough so that the manufacturer can see if there are any fixable errors before the production even begins (or resumes).

There are several types of quality control when it comes to PCB manufacturing companies. If they don’t perform any of these, it can be a sign of a dodgy supplier you might not want to deal with. These controls include visual examination by humans and machines as well as functional testing.

A visual examination done by humans is a type of quality control that every PCB supplier must conduct. It involves a person manually examining if the PCBs are soldered correctly. Finding an error in this stage ensures a quality product later on.

The next stage is a visual examination done by a machine. A machine with a camera performs this type of quality control. This process serves to ensure the first step of QC goes faster while also checking if every component is in its correct spot. This is called Automated Optical Quality Control (AOQC).

Last but not least, there is functional testing. This is the step where the PCB machine is given a random task to see how it will perform. That’s how it’s ensured that the machine does its task properly during the manufacturing process.

If your supplier of choice doesn’t mention any of these quality control types, be sure to ask them about them yourself.

Customer Support

Every reputable company has a great customer support team, which can assist you with any issues you might be experiencing. These support teams should be able to answer any question you might have.

When it comes to PCB companies, customer support should consist of people who have a lot of experience in this line of work. That way, they’ll be well equipped to deal with any issue you present them with. They should include an expert who is able to explain how anything works, should you need such info.

Why is this important? People are more likely to choose a supplier — or any partner for that matter — if they have good reviews. When you’re starting a new business, you’re more likely to work with companies that other people have worked with before and had a positive experience with.

A great reputation comes with providing a quality product. However, it also depends on having incredible customer support that’s there for all customers’ concerns. Of course, errors can happen in the top companies as well, and dealing with those errors promptly and successfully is what leaves people happy with a service.

Qualified Employees

Taking a look at the employees of a company can definitely help you decide whether you want to work with them or not. A team of great designers and experts with a lot of experience is what every company should have because those are the people that will ensure you get the exact product you asked for.

Not only do these people matter, but operators who install components onto your PCB by hand are vital too. At times, a machine is not going to be able to endure installations for various reasons. A skilled operator has to step in and take over. Ensuring that these people have the right qualifications to do their job well is just as important as anything else.

So employees should have certain qualifications, but it’s great if they always strive to improve themselves as well. Ideally, you’re looking for a team that functions like a well-oiled machine — that’s a team that knows how to work as one. When everyone’s on the same page, all stages of production will go smoothly and much faster. That means you’ll have a quality product much sooner than you might have thought possible.

Logically, a great company puts a lot of effort into finding quality employees. That’s exactly the kind of company you want to work with as well.

Conclusion

Finding a quality supplier won’t be that difficult. The PCB production industry is competitive, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. That means that companies are willing to offer you lower rates so that you choose them over a competitor. 

Paying less money for a seemingly quality product sure sounds enticing. However, don’t forget about everything you have read in this article. A company won’t necessarily deliver quality products simply because they say so. A lot of research should go into potential suppliers before you settle for one. Take your time because there could be a lot on the line, and it’s easy to make a mistake.

Suppliers are at every corner, so don’t worry that there’s a shortage of them. Many of them focus on producing one type of PCB, while others try their best to offer a full array of types for you to choose from. Only a handful of them will offer reasonable prices for quality products, so be sure to do thorough research.

At the end of the day, the choice is all yours. Do your research, and you won’t find yourself making a costly mistake. You can always look at reviews or what your peers have to say about the suppliers they’ve worked with and make an informed decision.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Scroll to Top

Get Your Free Quote

Get Your Free Quote!