3 Simple, yet Compelling Reasons to Outsource PCB Prototyping
Whether you're a founder of a start-up or SME, you might have been faced with the question of if you should outsource PCB fabrication to a PCB manufacturer. Outsourcing anything can cause apprehension; the fear of letting go of control is enough to strike fear into the hearts of any Type-A out there. Nevertheless, there are marked advantages to using outside assistance for your circuit board fabrication. So, if you're still on the fence about whether to entrust your innovative creations to an outside party or to do it in-house, here's a list of the top 3 advantages to outsourcing PCB prototyping.
1. PCB manufacturers are professionals
PCB Fabricators have a plethora of experience in fabricating PCBs and PCBAs. As the primary service they offer, you can expect them to have well-established workflows and access to cost-saving tools. An optimized assembly process reduces both the cost to assemble and time spent assembling.
Even if you have all the equipment you need to fabricate your own PCB designs, the quality and precision of the manufactured boards can't measure up to outsourced quality, especially for PCBs with more than two layers. Industrial sized operations yield industrial quality.
With an online portal to both upload Gerber files and place an order instantly, using PCB fabricators can also decrease product-market time. As an added benefit, since they regularly deal with this industry, chances are also high that they can also assist you with sourcing parts for your PCBs.
2. Reduces your costs
If you are not already equipped to manufacture PCBs by yourself, then becoming so can be a costly expansion. The cost of space for equipment and for the equipment itself including its maintenance can be staggering. Equipment for printing, assembly, and testing, all add up; not to mention the monetary and time costs of hiring or training.
The investment in equipment and workforce for PCB manufacturing can instead be used in other ways that further business goals such the development of other products, marketing initiatives, strategies, etc. Outsourcing this process will prevent a potential additional overhead cost increase.
3. Stay out of the manufacturing process
The manufacturing process can get messy, literally. Etching, soldering, and drilling among other processes clutter up space and leave debris. It can also be costly and if not optimized, is time-consuming.
While staying out of the manufacturing process does not mean 100% hands-off, by collaborating with a manufacturer, businesses can effectively refocus their energy. They can avoid becoming bogged down in an area they might lack expertise in. This refocus allows greater flexibility in product development and business decisions and development.
Outsourcing can be an intimidating process. But for companies that don't have the resources to devote to fabricating PCBs, it's an invaluable tool. It lowers the development costs, quickens the production in most cases and leaves businesses with resources to invest in other interests.
So, once you've made the decision to outsource, what qualities should you look for in a PCB manufacturer?