How to choose the PCB Prototype Manufacturer for critical electronic device design?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 5, 2021
PCB Prototype Manufacturer

PCB designing comes with a host of challenges. After all the PCB is the most critical component of an electronic device and its success or failure determines the efficacy of the device. When you are designing for a critical electronic device, the stakes are even higher. Failure in such devices can even lead to fatalities. Think aerospace, military, medical devices and more. In such scenarios it is absolutely imperative that your prototype PCB board manufacturer builds boards to precise metrics. You need to be extra careful to select a Printed Circuit Board Prototype Manufacturer that is fully equipped and experienced to handle board fabrication as well as assembly for critical systems.

How then do you choose the prototype PCB board manufacturer for critical system design? You want to make sure that the contract manufacturer adheres to the strict rules that regulate the quality and reliability of components. Here are some handy steps:

#1 Check for the PCB contract manufacturer’s experience

Now this is a non-negotiable aspect. You want to make sure that the PCB prototype manufacturer has the requisite experience when it comes to critical electronic device design. Such manufacturers are equipped with the right equipment as well as industry best practices that are required for critical devices. In addition, it is imperative to check if there is enough commitment to data security, as you cannot afford any lapses.

#2 Adherence to standards and regulations

Another critical aspect is to ensure that the PCB prototypes adhere to the quality standards and regulations that are mandated for certain industries. For example, if you are manufacturing general electronics products, the boards would fall under Class 1 of IPC 6011. In this class some imperfections in the board are acceptable. If, however, you fall into Class 2 of dedicated service electronic products, the boards need to be highly reliable, even though some amount of imperfections will not lead to any fatality. In Class 3, however, with high-reliability electronic products, no downtime is acceptable. With critical systems falling into this category, the boards cannot come with any imperfections.

Additionally, there are other standards for different PCBs, namely:

  • IPC 6012 for rigid PCBs
  • IPC 6013 for Flex PCBS
  • IPC 6014 for PCMCIA
  • IPC 6015 for MCM-L
  • IPC-HF-315 for High Frequency

#3 Quality Control Measures

The one other aspect that you need to make sure is the PCB Prototype manufacturer’s Quality Control standards. IT is imperative, therefore, that you check to see the QC compliance standard that they follow. For example, with ISO 9001, you know that your contract manufacturer is certified for all industries. Additionally, there are other certifications for specific industries that you may want to check for, depending upon the industry you operate in.

#4 Component Traceability Procedures

Any PCB is as good as the components that are used in it. Critical systems, particularly cannot afford to have any counterfeit components. What this means is that it should be possible to trace your components from the OEM Manufacturer right up to the Contract Manufacturer. Selecting a reliable contract manufacturer means that you do not have to worry about receiving inferior components or worse still, counterfeits, that can severely impair the reliability of your critical devices.

#5 Address all concerns

At the end of the day, you need a contract manufacturer who will address all your concerns regarding device reliability. In fact, partnering with the contract manufacturer at the design stage itself can go a long way in ensuring reliability. With his vast experience, the device manufacturer can bring some valuable outputs to the design process itself, which will aid PCB manufacturing capabilities and not lead to loss of precious time at a later stage.

A due diligence of the above aspects can go a long way in ensuring that you partner with a manufacturer of PCB prototype who is technically sound, has the requisite experience and is absolutely committed to the cause of excellence.

As a leading PCB Prototype Manufacturer, we are fully committed to bringing to the table high quality boards that adhere to stringent quality standards. With our emphasis on ensuring a Design for Manufacturability test, we ensure you do not lose out on precious time. Besides our sourcing of quality components and robust quality control procedures ensure that you get nothing but the best. The fact that we are also committed to quick turnaround times, gives you a significant competitive advantage. You can rely on us on just to create successful prototypes but also to offer large production runs, as smoothly. You can drop an email to sales@technotronix.us or give us a call at 714/630-9200 to solve your queries.

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