Electronics New Product Introduction (NPI) Prototypes in EMS – A Checklist to achieve zero defects for OEMs!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: August 2, 2023
Electronics NPI Prototypes in EMS

OEMs are innovating new product ideas regularly to stay ahead in the electronics market. To successfully convert a product idea from a preliminary prototype into a final product, you require a robust New Product Introduction (NPI) process. As an OEM, you can build reproducible and cost-effective products with strategic planning of time and resources. A well-established NPI process enables you to transform a working prototype design into a marketable end product. It can be a new product altogether or a refinement of an existing device. But exhaustive research on the customer requirements is recommended before proceeding with the NPI process.

Generally, a prototype includes temporary circuits or supplementary components to establish the proof of concept. They become redundant in the final product design. A detailed BoM analysis is mandatory to ensure that the components are in the PROD phase of their lifecycle. Procuring the parts in bulk, tracking their lead time, and avoiding counterfeit components are all critical tasks while preparing for your final product manufacturing. If you are working with an experienced EMS partner from the initial design stage itself, they can assist you in fine-tuning your prototype design to build a faultless and economical product.

Most OEMs implement an NPI process for the advantages it brings like enhanced product quality, reduced manufacturing cost, faster time to market, better customer satisfaction, etc. Yet, there are possibilities that your product launch may fail due to delays in the schedule, unrealistic estimation of the product demand, inappropriate product pricing, or budget overruns.

To overcome such instances, it is necessary to outline every task involved in the NPI process, along with the corresponding stakeholders and the expected timelines.

What is the electronics NPI prototype checklist and why is it required?

The NPI checklist is a comprehensive list of all the tasks involved in electronics product design, testing, and manufacturing from the prototype phase to mass production. The checklist allows you to monitor the product development process and identifies the root cause for delayed timelines or missed verifications. It establishes a collective understanding of the expected quality by defining the scope and requirements of the project. Each material specification, inspection method, testing procedure, and manufacturing process is documented and tracked. Following your prototype checklist can reduce design iterations and improve PCB manufacturability. It can be used as a reference for future product builds and improves the overall efficiency of your NPI process.

Electronics NPI Prototypes in EMS

What does an electronics NPI checklist include?

The key purpose of an NPI checklist is to identify the current project status, outline the roles and responsibilities of the team members, set goals for quality, budget, resources, etc. and establish a support structure. You need to check if your product is addressing the customer’s requirements. Assigning stakeholders for each task avoids duplication of the work and improves accountability. If you set, clear goals on expected quality and allocated budget then your product launch will be on time. Adhering to a standard documentation process will be beneficial for scaling your production capacity.

A typical NPI checklist covers all the milestones of a product development cycle. You can add more headings based on project type, but a typical NPI checklist includes:

  1. First thing on the NPI checklist is to mention your project name. Add your company nomenclature and numbering if required.
  2. Specify the start date and expected end date for electronics project design and manufacturing indicators. A target end date helps you to measure the delay in the project.
  3. Include the project description and scope in detail. Here the product features and specifications are also stated. The chosen manufacturing process and details like component types used, PCB assembly method required, testing procedures, etc are all included.
  4. Start with design milestones like the schematic release, netlist generation, layout completion, and Gerber file release. The design team has to publish associated documents like product architecture, bill of materials, approved vendor lists, test procedures, result report formats, etc.
  5. Track your supply chain closely by listing all the components, materials, and subassemblies used in the product design. The procurement team has to identify the BoM components’ lead time and plan their sourcing accordingly.
  6. The fabrication, assembly, and testing process have to be tracked and the expected timeline has to be displayed in the NPI checklist. This may include drawing release date, fabrication completion timelines, shipment sampling date, etc. Each unit test report has to be archived along with a rework description.

Usually, the EMS partners ask their customers for the target launch date and the cost budget details. They understand the product application and the certifications required. In the first round, EMS partners check for manufacturability and provide DFM reports to the OEMs. They clarify all engineering issues and run a first trial production. In the second iteration, they will finalize the production line and assess reliability. Further, they work on process optimization and higher production yield.

Tips to avert NPI launch failures:

Though the checklist is designed to ensure a successful NPI launch, there are some reasons for failures like schedule delays, cost overruns, resource shortages, poor product quality, etc. Since it is a cross-functional process, the stakeholder’s capabilities and communication skills are crucial. The following tips can save your next product launch from failure.

  • Pause and review your existing NPI process for any skill gaps or process inconsistencies to identify the root cause.
  • Work with all stakeholders to analyze the risk involved in technology, project schedule, and finance.
  • Create a base plan and discuss the next steps to be taken with measurable goals. Assign task owners for each line item to avoid execution delays.
  • Ensure operational readiness by training the staff for NPI launch excellence.
  • Check for resource shortages and reassign if required.
  • Check for work instructions and process standards to deliver quality products.
  • Hire a competent project manager to prevent cost overrun. Detailed project planning and follow-up are important to keep the expenses under control.


To achieve product launch excellence, a robust electronics NPI process is mandatory. A thorough NPI checklist can assist you to build zero-defect electronics products. Pick an experienced EMS partner and collaborate from the initial design stage to launch your next product successfully in the market.

We provide PCB prototyping services with a unique way of using advanced techniques like automated layout analysis, algorithms, and custom technical specimens depending on the Gerber file and BOM (Bill of Materials) required for a particular prototype. We assure you to deliver high-quality custom prototyping and NPI services with the multi-layered quick-turn prototype, chips, testing, and others. Our focus is to fulfil every requirement of multiple industries like Defense, medical, aerospace, electronics, renewable energy, telecommunication and more.

From initial design, development, prototype to full scale production and after-market support, we provide you a complete package of industrial electronics manufacturing. To get more information about NPI implementation, request a quote or reach us at [email protected] or at 714/630-9207.

How much does a PCB prototype Cost?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 12, 2023
pcb prototype cost

If you are considering a new product launch, a PCB prototype must be on your agenda. Not only do prototypes help to speed up the process and reduce the amount of rework required, importantly they help in timely identification of issues. With a PCB prototype, you can iron out any inconsistencies at an early stage, saving you from dealing with costly errors later.

First, let’s find out the factors affecting PCB prototype cost.

Factors that determine PCB prototype cost

A PCB prototype clearly is not a one-size-fits-all. There are several considerations that need to be considered which impact the cost of the prototype. These include:

  • Size of the Board.
  • Material used.
  • Complexity of the board – It makes sense that the more complex the board with high component density, the higher its cost.
  • Quick turnaround time – If you are looking at rapid PCB prototyping and have stringent deadlines, the costs would be impacted.

You may also like to understand PCB prototype quote process!

Price range for PCB prototypes

Since a PCB prototype is not really a one-size-fits-all, standard is also the cost. You could have a scenario where the prototype costs you a few dollars & a scenarios where the bare board alone more than hundreds of dollars may be. It is the size, the complexity, material, the kind of timelines & more that go into the cost of the prototype.

The one other factor that impacts the cost is the number of prototypes required. As a thumb rule, the less the number, the higher the cost! If you have a requirement for a large batch, the cost is likely to be lower. The time taken to prototype is also a determinant of the cost.

Based on your bespoke requirements, your assembler will be in the best position to offer you a customized quote.

Benefits of PCB Prototypes

1. Speed Up PCB Manufacturing

They speed up the design & manufacturing process as they enable design teams to test the design and figure out any issues. Importantly, they also make sure that rework is minimized & that a faulty product does not go all the way to production. With a quick turnaround PCB assembly, be sure stand to reap competitive advantage as your go-to-market is that much quicker.

2. Avoid Costly Errors

It makes sure you have the input of a professional PCB prototyping service who can point out any issues in design. Besides the prototyping service is fully equipped with industry best practices that can make sure that you do not have to reinvent the wheel.

3. Avoid Environmental Hazards

PCB Prototypes ensure that they undergo robust functional testing including ensuring that they can survive environmental conditions such as variations in temperature, power, shock resistance, and more. Prototype PCBs also test single functions. This helps to identify design issues allowing accurate adjustments.

4. Reduce Production Cost

Prototypes go a long way in reducing production costs as they help to catch any design issues early and you do not have to resort to an expensive fix. Also prototyping allows the design team to test out several permutations and determine product adjustments, thereby both improving product quality and reducing costs.

YOU MAY ASLO LIKE: Choose Best PCB Prototype Service

Choosing the Right PCB Prototype Partner

It is imperative that you choose the right PCB prototype partner. You need to make sure that the partner offers you competitive prices. The PCB prototype manufacturer has the necessary expertise as well as the right relationships with part manufacturers to offer you a competitive price. A word of caution here though- low cost should not come at the expense of quality. Also, an extremely low cost could actually be a red flag for you, as you should not land up in a situation where low initial costs come with poor product quality that demands several reworks.

Other than looking at the cost-effectiveness of the offering, it is important to verify that the partner can offer you quality products, quick turnaround time, and cater to the prototype order quantities as per your requirement.

Due emphasis on all these aspects will ensure that you are assured of the right product at the right price point!

Technotronix is skilled and professional PCB manufacturer with 40 years of experience who provides PCB prototyping services to various industries including aerospace, electronics, telecommunication, medical and automobile sectors. Email us at [email protected] or fill out the form below to request a free quote now.

What is the difference between full spec standard PCB production and PCB prototyping?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: November 12, 2022
PCB Prototyping and full spec production

PCB Prototyping and full spec production are processes that are part of a continuum. Essentially, the process of PCB production begins by creating a design, which is then prepared on a board layout and then tested by way of prototypes. The initial tests help with ironing out any issues involved with prototype, so that the product can be put through final production. Let us look at both the processes and the difference between them, in some detail:

PCB Prototyping

The biggest advantage that PCB prototyping offers is that it allows you to test the concept before you commit to mass production. Not only does it help to maintain the reliability of the circuit board, it also helps you to remain competitive. In fact, PCB prototyping allows you to develop boards to the exact specifications and test them so as to avoid costly errors in the future. Any flaws discovered at the stage of the prototype, whether it is in terms of design or manufacturing defects, can be easily addressed. Simply put, the prototype ensures that the design is indeed worth putting into a full production run.

At this stage an experienced PCB manufacturer who specializes in PCB prototyping is the need of the hour. An experienced manufacturer is armed with industry best practices and can ensure that the design works as it is intended. The prototyping stage, thus, is clearly beneficial in working out any errors before investments in any large production runs, is made.

Also checkout : Fast PCB prototype in the USA

The benefits that PCB prototyping offers are as below:

  • It makes it possible to test the design and correct any defects early.
  • It improves time-to-market. Even though going through several iterations sounds like it can create lengthy timelines, the fact remains that as a whole PCB prototyping helps speed up the design and manufacturing process. This is made possible on account of the fact that it takes away the guesswork, and it also minimizes rework. In fact with prototypes, you can see and test the board before the full production run, thereby minimizing time spent on redesigns once a large production run has been made.
  • It proves to be cost-effective as you tend to save on potential costly errors. In other words, a prototype allows you to fail fast and also fail inexpensively.
  • It offers opportunities for iteration and innovation, thus improving functionality. With a prototype you tend to gather accurate requirements that go a long way in making the final design, robust.
  • It lends itself to small batch production that helps in testing quality. In fact, a functional prototype can help to address any challenges in the design. These solutions can then be applied when you move to the stage of full production. At the prototype stage, you can do several different iterations and thereafter benchmark the resulting performance.
  • With a functional prototype, what you also tend to gain is the probability of your idea being funded.
  • A prototype also demonstrates “reduction to practice.” Also, through the prototyping process, you tend to develop a number of aspects such as patent drawings and the inventor’s logbook, which in turn, make it easier to file for patents.

Also checkout benefits of Prototype PCB manufacturing in details.

Full Spec Production

Once the efficacy of the prototype is established i.e the prototype meets the performance requirements, a full spec production schedule begins. With full spec production you are typically working on a large volume. With prototyping already done and issues ironed out, this stage tends to be far smoother. Also, once it has been successfully established that the basic prototype boards are working well, the PCB design can be further enhanced to improve functionality.

Some of the scenarios in particular, where a full spec production must necessarily be preceded with a prototype include:

  • If the project involves a new design or function.
  • If the project is particularly complex and has multiple components.
  • Where extensive testing is required.
  • Where you need a visual representation of a physical design.

Given the differences between the two, you sure need to choose the right PCB contract manufacturer who can offer you low volume prototypes with quick turnaround times and when you are ready to move to the full production stage, also have the capacity to cater to large production runs.

At TechnoTronix, we combine state-of-the-art technology with our advanced engineering to deliver unmatched quality and service. With PCB prototyping and consistent delivery of high-quality PCBs, we offer a robust source of competitive advantage to our clients. Visit to know more about PCB prototyping service and feel free to contact us at [email protected].

LED printed circuit boards: Everything you need to know!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: August 13, 2022
LED Printed Circuit Boards

An electronics related project will often require the use of light-emitting diodes. It is here that an LED PCB comes in extremely handy.

What is an LED printed circuit board?

An LED PCB is a printed circuit board that is made for LED circuits where a large amount of heat is generated. These are metal based PCBs and their substrate is often aluminum since it is high on thermal conductivity. LED printed circuit boards are made up of a thermally conductive material where heat is dissipated quickly.

In terms of design, it has one or more LEDs that are soldered to an aluminum-based board. Additionally it also has heat sinks & a chip.

LED printed circuit board Materials

In choosing the LED PCB substrate the one thing that needs to be carefully considered is its thermal performance. Some of the additional aspects that need to be considered include:

  • Weight
  • Size
  • Cost

Some of the options when it comes to the choice of LED PCB substrate include

  • FR4 PCB Raw Material
  • CEM-1 PCB Raw Material
  • CEM-3 PCB Raw Material

Advantages of using LED printed circuit boards in electronics

Some of the benefits of using LED circuit boards include:

  • They are lightweight & come in a small size. In the current milieu where miniaturization is the name of the game, they come in extremely handy. That they do not add to the weight of the circuitry is an added perk.
  • They are known to consume less power. In fact they are known to use as much as 75% less energy than traditional bulbs.
  • They have a long time span & hence you do not have to deal with replacement costs.
  • They do not dissipate large amount of heat. An LED PCB therefore adds greatly to the efficiency of your project.
  • Importantly, it is easy to integrate LED PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) into complex projects. That they do not require a large amount of circuitry as well as expertise is a definite advantage.
  • The fact that LED PCBs are dust & moisture resistant adds to their efficiency.
  • They are mercury free. Hence you can rest assured that you are not adding toxic materials to the environment.
  • They do not emit Radio Frequency waves & hence do not interfere with other electronic devices. With the use of LED PCB (Printed Circuit Board) you do not have to worry about RF interference.
  • Their long life also means that you are creating far less waste.
  • They are available in a wide variety of colors as well as sizes. Importantly, you can also customize the dimensions as per your bespoke requirements.
  • They optimize operational costs & help you save money in the long run

Applications of LED printed circuit boards

On account of the above reasons, LED printed circuit boards find application in a wide variety of industries, including but not limited to:

  • Consumer Lighting- In fact this is the very first application of LED PCBs that comes to mind. From flashlights to lamps & solar-powered lighting, the use of LED PCBs is ubiquitous
  • Consumer Electronics- Besides Consumer Lighting, LED PCBs find application in other consumer electronics such as:
    • Computers
    • Smartphones
    • Televisions
    • Tablets, and more

Aluminum PCB LEDs are particularly useful since they can transfer hear & such equipment is heat sensitive.

  • Telecommunications – In the telecommunications industry the use of LED PCBs is prevalent on account of a wide variety of factors. Some of them include the fact that they can transfer heat, they are known to be durable & more.
  • Transportation – LED PCBs are found in vehicles in terms of headlights, brake lights, indicators & more. Other than vehicles, it finds extensive application in street lighting, traffic lights etc. LED PCBs are also found in air landings as well as running lights.
  • Medicine – Right from hospital lighting to lighting used for surgeries, PCB LEDs are widely used.

To sum up

While LED PCBs come with several advantages, it is important to remember that designing an LED circuit comes with special requirements. It is important therefore to determine that the design of the PCB works for your LED application. For the same reason it is important to work with the right electronics contract manufacturer who understands these issues & can help avoid costly mistakes.

At Technotronix, we are fully equipped to handle your LED PCB manufacturing requirements. With over four decades of experience in delivering high-quality, on-time, competitive price products, you can bank on us for your PCB requirements. In case you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at [email protected] or call us at 714/630-9200.