When a PCB is designed for small-scale production of no more than 500 units on the pcb assembly line, it is often better to hire an in-country EMS provider. This way, the PCB designer wouldn’t have to shoulder any additional costs that are associated with overseas shipping. The designer would also be able to oversee most of the production processes so that he can easily iron out any kinks in the design before it’s too late.
Sometimes even if the PCB is pegged for high-volume production, the PCB designer is still advised to hire an in-country EMS partner for pcb assembly. This is because most overseas EMS providers are not equipped with the right tools for producing complex PCB. This includes double-layer and multi-layer PCBs that often require the use of both SMT and THT methods for component mounting. However, both in-country and overseas EMS providers would still be able to provide the following benefits:
•Most EMS providers have had years of experience in the PCB manufacturing industry. This means that their engineers are already trained to see any loopholes on a design that could possibly cause problems with the finished product. In some cases, even if there is no loophole, the engineer would still be able to make suggestions that could help enhance the PCBs functions.
•The EMS provider’s years of experience also ensures that its engineers already have a trained eye for detecting the difference between high-quality and low-quality components. This includes a keen understanding of the difference in price for these components. This means that the EMS provider should be able to give you a reliable quote of possible costs upfront. This cost should already include the cost for the materials, workforce costs, and any other cost associated with the pcb assembly.
•An EMS provider would also be equipped with the right tools for handling high-volume orders even with a limited timeframe. This means that PCB designers would no longer have to worry about making any changes to their designs in order to shorten the assembly time. The EMS partner should be able to take care of this aspect. The designer also wouldn’t have to worry about the post-production testing process because most EMS providers would also handle this stage.
Note that the pcb assembly process usually undergoes several stages of testing from the moment production starts until it is finished. This also includes testing the individual base boards for strength and reliability even before the component mounting process could commence. PCB designers have to make sure that they are present in each stage of testing. This way they would be able to ensure that the quality of the PCB is within the specific limits of their designs. In case any of the components do not quite match, then the designer and the EMS partner should have a proper mode of communication wherein they can decide on the best alternatives.
Before deciding on a particular EMS partner, PCB designers also have to make sure that the potential partner meets the criteria for EMS reliability. In most cases, designers often put an emphasis on the EMS provider’s project management capabilities. This is especially true if the order includes a largenumber of high-quality PCBs. Designers need to make sure that the EMS is well-equipped to meet the quota barring any production delays. This capability would already be apparent in the way that the EMS provider is able to start on the specified production start date.
All these information are necessary for people who make a living out of PCBs. But for hobbyists who are only in it for the fun, the pcb assembly is best done at home with the help of loads of DIY articles.