Everything about Low Volume PCB Assembly

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Mon, Dec 30, 2019

Low-volume printed circuit board assembly may seem simple to understand, but there are different uses and benefits to this manufacturing service. In this article, you will learn more about low-volume PCB assembly.

WHAT IS LOW VOLUME PCB ASSEMBLY?

Low-volume PCB assembly means when a small number of printed circuit boards, usually between 25 and 5,000, are manufactured and assembled.

 

There are two main types of low-volume PCB assembly services that most manufacturers offer.

The first is design for manufacturing or DFM. This service usually consists of quality checks on the design such as the assembly files, bill of materials, and circuit diagrams. Checks like these are a great way to avoid issues during a larger manufacturing process and place deeper scrutiny on the components that are used in the manufacturing process.

 

The other type is design for testing or DTM. This type of service can help manufacturers and clients get in-depth knowledge on the test points around the printed circuit board. During this process, most manufacturers will be able to do performance testing and come up with troubleshooting instructions.

 

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A LOW VOLUME PCB ASSEMBLY?

There are several different benefits to choosing a  low volume PCB assembly .

 

To begin, using this method can save a lot of money. Manufacturing can be expensive. If you or your company is manufacturing a new device that needs a PCB, you will want to make sure that all of the bugs are worked out before manufacturing on a more intense scale. Because you can use the PCBs from the low-volume PCB assembly process, you will be able to learn about the issues within the device and how to solve them. In addition, if you work with a company that provides your low-volume PCB assembly, you will find that they often wave fees and do their best to keep you from extra charges. This is because these companies work with smaller companies and like to keep their business.

Another major benefit of a low-volume PCB assembly is the testing capabilities you will have with a low-volume PCB assembly. As previously mentioned, low-volume PCB assembly companies will put your PCBs through a string of important tests to make sure that your PCB is doing the right job. This is vitally important because some larger manufacturers will not take the time to test your boards to make sure they are working properly. This could lead to defective products that will cost you money in the future.

Low volume PCB assembly processes also make it possible for you to change your designs. This process is believed to be the best option for prototypes, so a lot of low volumes PCB assembly lines will allow you to make the needed changes to your circuit board so that it does its job without causing additional issues.

 

POTENTIAL ISSUES YOU CAN AVOID WITH LOW VOLUME PCB ASSEMBLY

As with any electronic device, PCBs can come with glitches or issues that can render the boards unusable. Here are some of the major issues that low volume PCB assembly can help you avoid:

 Overheating. When it comes to the design of your PCB, you should work to ensure that all of the components of your board are spaced in a way that allows for the even distribution of heat around the board. When products are not designed with this in mind, they can overheat, catch fire, and render a product unusable, which can end up being a public relations nightmare, especially if it is a widespread issue.

 

Using a low-volume PCB assembly method can reduce the possibility of this because you will be able to identify potential heat issues and solve them in the manufacturing process.

 

·  Bad soldering. Soldering is the process by which the components of your printed circuit board are attached to the mainboard. This is usually done by melting metal over the part to attach it. However, due to issues that can occur such as a soldering gun that is not at a high enough temperature, components of the board can become dislodged and can cause the board to function improperly.

During the low-volume PCB assembly process, careful consideration and time are put into the manufacturing process. This means that all PCBs get a good amount of attention, so soldering issues are much less likely to occur.

Improper spacing. PCBs work because they create small pathways through which energy can travel to various other components. It is this energy that can cause a certain action to happen. For example, if you hit a button on your telephone, the result of that number registering is due to the travel of energy from one part of the PCB to another. However, if you don’t take time to really look at your design and its potential flaws, you may see that the pathways or components are not spaced out properly.

 

Low-volume PCB assembly can address this issue by allowing you to take a look at a real version of your PCB design. During the testing phases, you will be able to know if your pathways and your components are properly spaced. If they aren’t, this can lead to overheating and confusion that can cause one thing to register as another.

 

All of these potential hazards can impact your business and cause issues in your growth. You can instead choose to use a low-volume PCB assembly process to work out these issues before you manufacture your PCBs on a grander scale.

 

CONCLUSION

Now you know everything you need to know about low-volume PCB assembly. Not only is it more cost-effective and gives you a chance to change your designs, but it also helps to stop potential issues such as overheating, bad soldering, and improper spacing.