There are many factors to consider when selecting a printed circuit board manufacturing company, but quality should be your top priority. Many companies will claim to be the best in the industry, but not all of them hold themselves to the same high standard. To find the best PCBA manufacturer, ask the following questions.
Do they offer surface mount assembly?
Some PCBA manufacturers rely on manual component placement, but surface mount technology (SMT) lines offer greater accuracy and precision. Look for a company with these top-of-the-line robotic placement processes to ensure consistent quality. This technology should be supported by automated optical inspection (AOI) and automated through-hole placement.
Do they offer custom features?
Most companies offer basic configurations, but look for those that are willing to accommodate customizable options. Some manufacturers shy away from this because it costs more, but it’s worth your time and energy to search out a company that can develop boards to fit your exact specifications.
Are they U.S.-based?
Overseas operations enjoy less regulation, but this can backfire with products that malfunction or are just plain dangerous. You can bank on safer, more reliable products when you buy American. You can also count on better customer service, shorter shipping times, and fewer shipping errors, delays, and cancellations. In addition, you can help preserve American jobs and protect the environment when you buy from a domestic manufacturer.
Do they comply with industry standards?
Look for a PCBA manufacturer with the following certifications:
- ISO 9001: This certification speaks to a manufacturer’s quality-assurance program.
- IPC: IPC compliance ensures that a company’s manufacturing and assembling processes meet high standards. Level 2 or 3 compliance is optimal.
- RoHS: Regulation of Hazardous Substances standards prohibit toxic substances in the design and manufacture processes. Make sure that the company you choose adheres to RoHS standards.
You may spend a little longer looking for a manufacturer to measure up to these specifications, but better PCBAs and happier customers will make your efforts well worthwhile.