Do you want to reduce your PCB manufacturing costs? Abiding by the following rules of the thumb can help you mitigate such costs. Here is what you need to need to do to cut down your PCB manufacturing costs.
Circuit board size
How big or small do you want your boards to be? If you manufacture large panels, then you’ll incur huge costs. Without a doubt, the size of the board will affect how much you’ll have to incur manufacturing them.
Among other things, PCB cost production depends on the size of your boards. A 14 X 18 board will be cheaper to produce compared to a 16 X 22 board. Huge boards will require many raw materials. All this will see you incurring extra costs. Ultimately, the dimension of your printed circuit board is a determining factor of its overall price. Huge boards contain several columns, meaning that it will cost you more.
If you want to minimize costs, you may have to consider reducing the size of your boards. But again, all this depends on your budget. If you aren’t on a budget as such, then the board’s size doesn’t matter as such.
Circuit board layers
Another huge determining factor that will see you incur extra PCB manufacturing costs is the number of layers your board has. For obvious reasons, panels with three or more layers will cost more to manufacture than those with merely two layers. In addition to the types of materials used, the size of the board affects its overall price. Generally, thick boards with several layers require a lot of work to manufacture.
Costs tend to increase the moment you add a second layer to your board. From there, an additional two panels then raises the cost by at least one-third of the price you paid before. The price continues to increase the moment you add more layers to your board. Every layer demands more production steps, especially in the lamination process. Therefore, it means more time required to achieve, in addition to a larger supply of raw materials.
Depending on where you want to use your board, you may have some that require more layers. With additional layers, you’ll incur more. If your PCB endures high amounts of stress, its layer count will matter. That way, you should be prepared to pay more.
PCB design service
If you choose high-end design services, you will have to spend more since high-quality PCB design services are expensive. The moment you decide on other complementary services, you will incur additional costs. Extra services that you may have to undertake include PCB testing and prototyping before manufacture. You need to know that each other use adds to extra some additional costs.
To maximize your cost savings, you may have to reduce extra PCB design services. Design services cost more. The more services you put in, the more you’ll incur. Even though you don’t need to compromise on quality, you may have to limit the number of services you put in.
Some design services will cost more. If you source such services from experts, then you will have to dig deeper into your pockets. At times, you may require advanced PCB design software for your design. If that’s the case, then the costs will undoubtedly increase.
Board material and component material
The components and materials that go into the manufacture of your PCBs will affect its overall costs. In the manufacture of PCBs, you’ll require many materials. Some of them include copper foils, Solder mask, vocabulary, and the final finish; the more board materials that you choose to use means, the more costs that you’ll have to incur.
Materials aren’t the only thing. The components that you’ll use will determine how much you will have to incur. The materials that you choose to use will invariably affect the cost of your boards. Some of the factors that affect material selection include thermal reliability, heat transfer, and signal performance. Others have mechanical properties and temperature reliability of the materials you choose.
Therefore, in addition to component material, board material will have an impact on the cost of your printed circuit boards. If you go for high-quality materials, then expect to pay more. It’s as simple as that.
PCB assembly technology
PCB assembly technology mostly consists of Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and Through-hole technology. Are you a PCB manufacturer to scale down your manufacturing costs when it comes to PCB production technology? If that’s the case, you may want to think of using Surface Mount Technology instead of through-hole technology. Surface Mount Technology is highly efficient and cost-effective. If you resort to SMT technology, you’ll save a lot compared to THT technology. Surface mount technology is cheaper compared to other technologies. If though the results may not be perfect, its costs are slightly on the lower side.