Top common mistakes to avoid while placing PCB assembly order!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 23, 2023
PCB Assembly Order

In the fast-paced electronics industry, new products and features are added to the market every day. To stay ahead of the competition, you have to launch your PCB products on time. Avoiding common mistakes while placing the PCB assembly order is crucial in maintaining the delivery schedules. Several checkpoints in the PCB design process can ensure a high production yield. You have to follow design specifications, place components strategically, implement Design for Manufacturability (DFM) guidelines, and share the latest Bill of Materials (BoM) with your Contract Manufacturer (CM). Building trust with your CM is a key aspect during the PCB fabrication and assembly process.

You can generate quotes from different vendors and compare the pricing before finalizing the right CM for your product manufacturing. The PCB fabrication cost depends on details like board dimension, the number of layers, surface finish, and design complexity. Do you need PCB fabrication along with assembly? Will you procure the components or the CM has to source from your BoM list? What is your lead time for getting assembled PCBs? All these questions have to be answered before going ahead with the order placement and collaboration with a contract manufacturer.

Small mistakes in PCB assembly, especially during bulk orders can cause significant time delays and budget overflows. The degraded performance of the product will also affect the brand’s reputation. Hence, it is important to avoid these common mistakes while placing PCB assembly orders.

Common mistakes to avoid while placing a PCB assembly order:

1. Do not choose a CM without evaluating their competence

There are many contract manufacturers available in the PCB industry today. Without rushing to place an order, you have to explore the services and pricing offered by multiple CMs (Contract Manufacturer). You can visit the assembly house to understand their process quality and technical capabilities. Based on your product market, choose a contract manufacturer with relevant industry certifications. An experienced CM can effectively perform component analysis, review designs, and check for product integration. Take time to compare and then decide the best service provider for your PCB assembly.

2. Do not share partial or inaccurate BoM

If you are asking your contract manufacturer to source the components for PCB assembly, then double-check the BoM before sharing. It has to be complete and up-to-date. If you have missed any component details in the BoM then the CM may procure a wrong part, affecting the board performance. The longer lead-time components used in the design should be highlighted for early ordering. Check for obsolete or ‘End of Life’ components in the BoM and replace them with ‘in-production’ parts. Do not forget to share your approved vendor list with the CM. This will avoid sourcing counterfeit parts.

Also checkout: Why Bill of Materials (BOM) is important in PCB manufacturing process?

3. Do not skip PCB design reviews which are essential for high-yield optimization

Along with the functionality review of the circuit design, check if the Design for Testing (DFT) and Design for Assembly (DFA) guidelines are implemented. Missing these recommendations during PCB design will reduce the assembly output. Silkscreen should be readable on both sides of the PCB. Include fiducial markers on the board to assist the pick and place machine during component assembly. Provide edge clearance on the PCB for mounting equipment to get enough grip. This is mandatory for a successful PCB assembly.

4. Do not provide incompatible design output files

Communicating clearly with your CM is highly essential to avoid confusion or delay in the PCB manufacturing services. There are different design output files like Gerber files, IPC 2581, and ODB++ used for PCB fabrication. For Assembly, BoM and X-Y placement files are required. BoMs (Bill of Materials) should be reviewed and shared in standard templates. Schematics and assembly drawings are also part of the design output bundle. It is necessary to provide these files in the formats accepted by your CM.

5. Do not handover ambiguous assembly instructions and testing documents

Provide clear PCB assembly instructions for component mounting sequence, orientation, and soldering techniques. If special components are used in the design, then add associated handling procedures to the document. For example, including the details of EMI-sensitive components and their shielding circuits can save component failures post-assembly.

The PCB assembly document package consists of test specifications and regulatory requirements. Test procedures and expected results must be clearly explained in the test documents. All the assembly documents should be revision controlled for traceability.

6. Do not miss to verify the PCB assembly quality before reordering

Do not opt for low-cost services. It is a common mistake to overlook quality over cost. But this will backfire in the long run. Assess the PCB assembly quality after the first batch output. The PCB assembly should pass the required tests and conform to industry standards. PCB assemblies of inferior quality will result in performance failure. This will add to the debug and rework costs, along with a delay in the delivery.

There are ways to reduce the PCB assembly cost through prior planning. If you are looking for a shorter lead time, then the price will shoot up. Also, the quantity of PCB ordered will impact the assembly cost. CMs will charge for creating soldering stencils, programming devices, preparing test setups, and board inspection. Choosing standard PCB sizes and common materials can help to reduce fabrication and assembly costs. While generating a PCB assembly quote, you must consider all the above aspects. Once you decide on the contract manufacturer, go through the quote in detail and understand the pricing and services offered.


To achieve maximum assembly output, you have to plan and then place the PCB assembly order. Avoiding the common mistakes listed in this article guarantees a smooth and efficient run of the PCB assembly process. The key factor is to evaluate and choose the right service provider. Keep in mind to share the complete and updated BoM. Review your circuit design thoroughly and implement DFM guidelines. As you focus on cost-reduction methods, do not forget to verify the assembly quality before placing your next PCB order.

We have 40 years of expertise in providing PCB assembly services. We use surface mount (SMT), through hole and mixed technology to manufacture consigned printed circuit board assembly, turnkeys, board types with metal cores, etc. as per your requirements. Get a quick PCB assembly quote or email us on or call us on 714/630-9200 to ask your queries related to our custom PCB services.

Top Techniques to reduce the cost of cable assembly manufacturing!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: March 1, 2023
Cable Assembly Manufacturing

Custom cable assemblies, an important aspect of industrial projects, are also known to add to a sizeable portion to the overall costs. Often times cable assemblies need custom designs that can be complex and cost saving therefore involves a strategic identification of opportunities.

Here are some aspects to be mindful of, to be able to optimize costs.

First things first, even before we get to the cost, it is imperative that a detailed bill of materials (BOM) be available. It is a careful analysis of this document that can lead to cost saving suggestions. Additionally, a full specifications list must be available. Once again a thorough evaluation of the specifications can suggest areas of cost optimization without impacting the quality.

What are the techniques used to reduce the cable assembly manufacturing cost?

#1. Make sure that the design isn’t over-engineered & components aren’t over specified

It is imperative to choose the right design that lends itself to ease of manufacturability as also to cost optimization.

Making the choice of the right raw materials is extremely important basis the design. Importantly, the choice should be made because of the right reasons. Sometimes the choice is made simply because of familiarity with certain components or the fact that the components are top-of-line. The fact remains that components need to be chosen based on the bespoke requirements of the project. If, for example, the cable needs to be used in an environment where the temperature is high, due attention must be paid to how high the temperatures are likely to be. Over specifying the components can significantly add to the costs without giving you any tangible benefits.

Also explore more information about Circuit Board Component Placement.

#2. Choose the right connectors

Speaking of components, due care must be taken to choose the right connectors. For this, it is important to understand the transmission that the assembly will handle. Different types of connections require different methods, which in turn have cost implications. You need to make sure that the chosen technique works well for product quality while optimizing costs.

#3. Make the right choice of cables

Assessing your transmission needs is key. If you are looking for regular transmission you can opt for unshielded cables. However, if you specifically need to cancel electromagnetic noise you should go for shielded cables. Using shielded cables where unshielded ones can make the cut, can lead to an unnecessary increase in costs.

#4. Choose the right conductor size

It is also important to choose the right conductor size. Typically, the smaller the conductor size, the lower the costs. Of course, the size has to be chosen in a manner that doesn’t impact quality.

A thorough evaluation of the design could offer you areas of change that can significantly reduce costs without compromising on performance.

#5. Optimize supply chain management

With a professional PCB supplier, You will be able to save costs on the supply chain. For instance, the supplier could be ordering components in bulk and therefore driving down prices on account of economies of scale. Similarly, your supplier could produce a few months’ worth of cables and send them to you as they are required. Building trust with the supplier plays a strong role here.

You also need to ensure that the supplier is great at customer service and acts like a partner in the project.

#6. Choose the right partner

When you are outsourcing complex custom cable assemblies, it goes without saying that the right partner can make or break the project. The ideal partner will help you bring down the cost through:

  • Due advice on design & component selection. With access to industry best practices the partner will ensure prudent selection
  • Creative sourcing of parts that will keep costs under check.
  • Due quality control measures which ensure, that there aren’t costly errors to pay for at a later date.
  • Robust testing goes a long way in ensuring that there aren’t corrections to be made later that result in huge costs on account of wasted time, manpower & material.
  • Robust customer service including speedy resolution of issues, if any.

To sum up

While you need to optimize costs you cannot do it at the expense of non-existent quality control mechanisms. In taking the cost quotations from the partner, ensure also that you can vouch for their quality control process. It is imperative that the partner has an unstinting focus on delivering high quality at the most cost effective price points. Their long-standing supplier relationships can ensure that they are able to procure parts at optimal prices. Additionally, with their expertise & access to industry best practices, they can make sure that you do not need to re-invent the wheel. Their robust customer support team could also help in making sure that each project is delivered seamlessly.

Technotronix is a professional PCB manufacturer with 4 decades of experience and ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016 certified who is equipped with the necessary industry best practices. Feel free to ask if you have any questions regarding cable harness assembly services. Your satisfaction is our primary goal!

Get a quick cable harness quote!

Top power supply PCB assembly guidelines!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: December 5, 2022
Power Supply PCB Assembly Guidelines

All PCB boards need electrical power; however the need isn’t just for more power but also clean power. That is something that is made possible by a successful PCB board design. With the right PCB design, clean, uninterrupted power can be provided to the circuitry. It is also important to remember that electrical power will generate heat & the heat, in turn, will impact the circuit board. A number of aspects therefore need to be kept in mind.

Before we look at some of the considerations that will lead to a cleaner power supply, it will be worthwhile to look at the kind of power supply available.

Broadly, power supplies are broken up into two main groups:

  • Linear power supplies are typically used in systems where the power requirements are lower. 
  • SMPS or Switch-mode power supplies are more complex as also more efficient. The thing to remember is that their switching noise can lead to EMI. SMPs, in turn, may be isolated or non-isolated. Non-isolated SMPs are further of the following types:
    • Buck – It steps down the voltage while the current is stepped up
    • Boost – It steps up the voltage while stepping down the current
    • Buck-Boost – It has elements of both & can step up or step down the voltage.

It is important to remember that since you will deal with high levels of current, the trace widths need to be adequate. Additionally, in order to control the noise, it is important to ensure that the component placement is optimized as the routing is short. Also the design needs to ensure effective heat dissipation. Let us look at some of the guidelines to be followed in detail:

PCB Power Supply Guidelines to follow:

  • When you are dealing with a multi-layered board, it is important to have the ground or power plane between the outer layer with the power supply components & the inner layer with sensitive signals. The ground plane offers electromagnetic shielding. In case it is not possible to devote a layer, a ground polygon is ideal. If you do go in for a ground plane, it is essential that the PCB power supply design is separated from the common ground. Also the connection between the two grounds should be limited to one point on the board. In the absence of this, you run the risk of ground loops.
  • It is imperative to keep the power supply parts close together so that the trace lengths are minimized. This will help to reduce any resistive losses as well as electromagnetic noise emissions. Where possible the use of polygon pours is recommended.
  • In terms of component placement, it is also important to separate heat-generating components from heat-sensitive components. Also using copper will ensure that heat is distributed from the hotspots and that thermal issues aren’t exacerbated. If you are dealing with a buck converter the input capacitor should be kept next to the IC. As for the output capacitor, it should be placed immediately after the conductor.
  • Speaking of heat dissipation, it is important to include proper cooling methods such as heat sinks, fans, thermostatic coolers & more. Heat sinks are, however, best used with a linear regulator.
  • As for the routing, it needs to have short, direct traces. As far as possible blind and buried vias need to be avoided as they add to the inductance.

To Sum Up

The above best practices will ensure that your PCB power supply is optimized. However, a key area remains, which is having the boards manufactured & assembled to these exact details. Choosing the right electronic contract manufacturer who can manufacture & assemble your boards as per these best practices is therefore essential. Among other things since the PCB requires tight placement, you need an experienced assembler who can take care of all the requirements. Typically, the manufacturer & the assembler need to be able to work with you at the design stage itself so that there are no manufacturability issues at a later date. An experienced manufacturer & assembler is also equipped with all the industry best practices that make sure that you do not need to reinvent the wheel or waste precious time, especially since quick time-to-market is a key competitive advantage in today’s times.

At Technotronix, we are fully equipped to handle your PCB manufacturing requirements. We follow industry best practices to ensure we deliver cutting-edge products. Our team of experts and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility ensures that all our PCBs meet the industry standards of quality and testing.

If you have any questions or any requirements related to PCB assembly, please feel free to contact us via email at or call 714/630-9200.

How to create precise PCB assembly drawing quickly and efficiently?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: November 17, 2022
PCB Assembly Drawing

Precise PCB assembly drawings are the key to success for a PCB project. With detailed drawings, it is that much easier to get the exact output that you have envisaged. In creating these drawings, however, need you to keep a number of important aspects in mind:

PCB Assembly Drawing

1. Bill of Materials

A very important component of your design is the Bill of Materials. Among other things, it goes a long way in making available the component shapes and reference designators on the board that makes the assembly process seamless. You will also need to include mechanical parts that may need to be attached to mounting hardware. Besides the drawing needs to identify the exact components required as well as the materials. Manufacturing labels need to be identified as also referenced in the notes.

Some of the best practices to follow when a metal element needs to be used, for example, include:

  • Specify the metal to be used.
  • Specify the finish that the metal needs to have.
  • Specify whether it needs to be painted or powder coated.

It is also prudent to include additional views. The double-sided boards, for example, will benefit from providing a view of the front and back of the board. Also, where mechanical parts are being added, expanded views will help provide clarity.

The more details you provide, the more the board will live up to your specifications. As they say, “God is in the details!”

2. Specify the dimensions

It is imperative that all dimensions are specified in detail. To do that, it is best to use a CAD program. A board design software such as Altium or PADS works well.

In a wiring diagram, it is also important to demonstrate the connections for custom cable assembly as well as the type of termination that needs to be used.

The use of the right software makes sure there is precision & the final assembly lives up to your specifications.

3. Ensure you attach relevant files

When it comes to PCB assembly, it is essential for the contract manufacturer to have the following files:

  • Gerber Files
  • Drill Files
  • Silk Screen Files
  • Placement & Drawings Package

Ensuring that the assembler has the exact details of where the holes need to be drilled and where the components need to be placed will ensure success of assembly.

4. Detail the testing requirements

It is important also to think through the testing at the outset and indicate the same to the PCB assembly partner. That way there are no rude surprises at the end.

In fact, it is extremely important to specify to the contract manufacturer whether you will be requiring programing. In which case, the programming files will need to be included and the exact programming will need to be specified.

5. Any special PCB assembly drawing requirements

You also need to think through any special requirements of your project and add a quick note in the drawings. Some examples of the special requirements to be mindful of, include:

  • Whether you require lead free assembly.
  • Any special requirements when it comes to packaging of the product.
  • Export documents that are required, in case the product is being exported.
  • Any other Assembly notes that could include industry standards and specifications, special feature locations & more.

To sum up

While a lot of these details go in to successful PCB assembly of the board, you may also find the process daunting. The good news is that there are PCB design systems available that use automation to create drawings. These tools go a long way in saving time and energy while ensure that the drawings are extremely robust. In short, these tools with their powerful automation help you create PCB drawings, both quickly & efficiently.

The choice of the right PCB contract manufacturer is also extremely crucial in making your PCB assembly process, a success. Armed with experience and industry best practices, they ensure that you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Any flaws in the design are pointed out by their engineers in the early stages saving you from costly errors that accrue from discovering these issues once the product is ready to be shipped, or worse still when it has already hit the market.

Technotronix offers professional PCB Assembly services with 40 years of expertise. Our accurate PCB assembly process meets the quality standards, including ISO-9001:2015, RoHS, and more. If you have any questions or any requirements related to PCB assembly service, please feel free to contact us via email at or call at 714/630-9200.

Request PCB assembly quote for your any type of requirements.