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 sales@technotronix.us.

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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 sales@technotronix.us or call us at 714/630-9200.

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Build a New Product quickly with PCB Assembly Prototyping – A Brief Guide!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: October 1, 2021
PCB assembly prototyping

Before you start a full production run, you want to be sure that your PCB is functioning correctly. After all you cannot afford costly errors where a PCB fails after full production or worse still you detect the fault after you send out the product into the market.

Creating a prototype ensures that any problems that can pose a threat to the final product’s functionality are weaned out early. In fact, multiple PCB prototype runs can be made to test a single function.

There are several types of PCB prototypes that can test various aspects. Some of these include:

  • Visual Models: These are made in order to illustrate the physical aspect of the design.
  • Proof-of-concept prototypes: They are used to test the minimum viability of the product without displaying all its competencies
  • Working prototypes They have all the features of the final product and can be used to test its functioning.
  • Functional Prototype: They resemble the final product closely.

In terms of PCB Assembly, there are two ways to produce prototypes. These include:

  • Through-Hole assembly techniques that are hand-built
  • Surface Mount Technology

While SMT (Surface Mount) manufacturing has a number of advantages including accommodating smaller components, components placed on both sides of the board and being less impacted by vibration, at the prototype stage very often through-hole technology is used since you are looking at small production runs. This technology also works where time is of constraint and resources are limited. However it is suited for less complex designs.

Overall PCB Prototyping helps in building a new product quickly on account of the following:

  • It allows for changes in design. If you feel that the design does not seem to work for you, changes can be easily incorporated.
  • Any troubleshooting is easy to do. That means you do not have to deal with costly errors at a later date. With a prototype you can undergo robust testing to ensure that it is working the way you have envisaged it to.
  • It ensures quality as you are ensuring that you use the most efficient technology.
  • It allows for new product testing and revisions before production begins.
  • It allows for reduced timelines. This is made possible since it takes out the guesswork and also minimizes rework.
  • It offers the ability to test components individually. This is especially important for complex projects.

As soon as the PCB prototype has proven its capability to meet the intended performance and quality requirements, a full production run can be immediately undertaken.

To PCB prototype or not?

It is clearly important to take a long-term view and not look at prototypes as an additional cost. In the absence of prototyping you tend to make costly mistakes that could even cost you the company reputation. Depending on whether you are looking at developing a product from scratch or making small adjustments to an existing product, your approach to prototyping will vary.

If you are reasonably sure of the manufacturability of the product, you could focus on speed and cost-effectiveness. However, if it is an innovative design and particularly a complex board, prototyping is the need of the hour as it optimizes board quality, optimizes expenses as well as optimizes the time to market. It is important to remember that with complex designs early failures can be inexpensive. If by chance you are stuck with an unfeasible idea you need not come to this realization after investing sizeable resources in the project. Also early prototypes offer more time to understand the technology. Any unseen technical challenges can be addressed timely and adjustments can be made before the product releases.

If you are seeking funding, once again prototypes come in handy in presenting a minimum viable product to investors. Last but definitely not the least, early prototyping also helps you in filing patents quickly. With a prototype, you can save your intellectual property rights from infringement.

To sum up

A PCB Prototype is a powerful tool that expedites new product launches while offering benefits of cost-saving. Importantly a reliable prototype is equal to a reliable product.

It is important however, that you choose the PCB prototype manufacturer with care. The right partner will not only assist you in developing your product, they will share important industry best practices that will save you the time and effort of reinventing the wheel.

We assure you to deliver high-quality circuit boards by providing custom prototyping services with the multilayered quick-turn prototype, chips, testing, and others. Our focus is to fulfill every requirement of multichannel industries like defense, IoT (Internet of Things), Aerospace, Electronics, Medical, Telecommunication and many more.

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How to Choose the Perfect Manufacturer for Low Cost PCB Prototype?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: July 23, 2021
Low-Cost PCB Prototype

The importance of PCBs in modern day electronics cannot be overstated. However for the PCB to do its work correctly, what you also need is the right manufacturer. Particularly if you are looking at new product development you need to go with a prototype to be able to test the design or to have a minimum viable product, that in turn, could be used in the investor pitches. That you cannot go with very expensive prototypes are also a given. How then do you find the right manufacturer who offers low-cost PCB Prototypes?

While low cost PCB is an important determinant of choosing the manufacturer, it needs to be remembered that the low cost should not come at the cost of quality. Costs offered by the manufacturer need to be competitive, no doubt, as manufacturers have strong relationships with part suppliers and can drive a good bargain. However, if the cost is extremely low, even that can become a red flag as there is the fear that the cost could be at the expense of quality. Going with such low costs can turn out to be costly in the long run as you tend to face numerous consequences including product recalls.

Other than the cost, therefore, here is a handy list of things to look for:

PCB Prototype Quality

Ensure that you go with a manufacturer that has the right experience in offering high quality boards. Typically if you have a requirement for a complex board, it will work well to see that the manufacturer has the right equipment as well as experienced personnel who are armed with industry best practices to do justice to your boards. It is also necessary to check the kind of testing protocols the manufacturer follows and the industry standards that the board adheres to. It will be important to ensure that the manufacturer follows the necessary industry guidelines including offering RoHS boards that have a restriction on the hazardous substances used in the board.

You will also want to check where the manufacturer is sourcing the PCB material from. In a bid to source cheap materials you should not be staring at a situation where the product quality differs from batch to batch.

Timelines for PCB prototypes

Particularly when you require PCB prototype, timelines of delivery are extremely important. This is because you need to be able to test them quickly and make any changes if need be before going to market. Going with a manufacturer that offers quick turnaround, therefore is extremely important.

PCB Prototype Order quantities

In making the choice of manufacturer, it is also important to double-check whether or not they can handle low volume PCB assembly with the same kind of commitment to quality. After all, at the prototype stage you do not want to be stuck with minimum order quantities. It will also be prudent to check that the manufacturer offers you scalability, such that when you have to go with a large production run, they are equally equipped to take care of it.

Portfolio of clients

Another aspect worth spending some time on is the kind of client portfolio the company has and the kind of testimonials and satisfaction levels the clients have. If the manufacturer has done prior work in the same industry as yours, it will be a definite advantage as they will be equipped with industry best practices that will mean that you do not need to reinvent the wheel.

Co-operative relationship

Overall, the PCB manufacturer approach towards building long term relationships can also go a long way in you making the choice. A proactive and robust customer support team can be a big indicator of this approach.

In conclusion
To sum up, the choice of low cost printed circuit boards isn’t only about looking for a manufacturer that offers low costs but also one that offers high quality, the desired quantities, quick turnaround time and an overall proactive and customer focused approach. In the absence of any of these factors low price alone will not guarantee the success of the project. On the contrary, it could lead you to dealing with errors that could prove to be extremely costly and even detrimental to the company reputation.

At TechnoTronix, we combine state-of-the-art technology with our advanced engineering to deliver unmatched quality and service. With rapid PCB prototyping and consistent delivery of high-quality PCBs, we offer a strong source of competitive advantage to our customers. We have over 40 years of experience in providing printed circuit board prototyping services. Feel free to ask if you have any questions regarding PCB prototype services. Your satisfaction is our primary goal!

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