Key questions to ask while choosing a manufacturer
Finding the right PCB manufacturer can be a challenging task, especially today when you have a plethora of PCB fabricators. Many people underestimate the need to choose the right PCB manufacturer. Not picking the right PCB manufacturer can severely impact the quality of the final product and its age. Above that, questioning a PCB manufacturer will help you understand their level of expertise and credibility.
Therefore, it is vital to know about the practices and processes your PCB manufacturer follows to fabricate the PCB. Also, learning about their certifications can help you make the right choice of PCB manufacturer.
So, this blog will prepare you with some crucial questions to ask your PCB manufacturer before making the final decision. Let us begin!
Essential Questions to Ask Your PCB Manufacturer
Asking the right questions from your prospective PCB manufacturer will help you learn about their organisation and the quality of products they deliver. Several questions can be formulated when you start probing for the best PCB manufacturer you can rely on.
Hence, the best way is to start aiming some general questions about the organization to know more about them. Here are some of the questions you can ask:
How many years have they been in the PCB Manufacturing business?
Building super-efficient PCB boards is a skill that is learned over time. With constant adaptations to newer technologies and innovations, PCB fabricators gain the skill to make perfect PCB boards. Hence, asking the PCB manufacturer about their time in the industry is a valid point you must ask.
How many employees do they have?
A larger workforce means more people managing and running a business. Hence, ask your PCB manufacturer about the number of employees they have in their company. It will help you understand if the company has sufficient manpower to take large orders and efficiently supply them.
What are the fundamental values of their PCB-building process?
PCB manufacturers must have passion and enthusiasm towards their process of PCB manufacturing. It will help them stay motivated to refine their process and produce higher-quality PCBs. Organisations that value efficiency and effectiveness undoubtedly design the best PCB boards.
Now that you have the answers to the basics of PCB manufacturing, you can go ahead and get process specific. Here are some of the crucial questions to ask:
Which technologies do they use to manufacture the PCBs?
The technical capabilities of a PCB manufacturer define how advanced and superior their PCB board is. That is why you should surely ask about their technologies for designing PCB boards. Research them and find out whether they are genuinely using modern technologies in their manufacturing process or not.
Do they offer Turnkey service?
Turnkey service refers to a process of sourcing the components, and further fabricating and assembling the PCB board. It is an advanced procedure that offers multiple benefits like reduced time, cost, and higher efficiency. Hence, make sure to ask your PCB manufacturer if they offer turnkey service or not.
How do they handle traceability in their processes?
Traceability is a concept used in the PCB manufacturing process wherein any issues with a specific PCB board are traced back to its root cause. It helps the manufacturer to avoid the occurrence of the issue again.
Therefore, PCB fabricators who leverage traceability programs in their process will surely develop more effective PCB boards.
What is the ??level of error detection in the entire manufacturing process?
Errors are prone to occur when designing PCB boards at a large scale. However, the level of error detection in the overall process determines the manufacturing boards' efficiency.
Manufacturers use various error detection techniques to minimise the error. Hence, it is best to ask about those techniques to get an idea of the level of error detection the PCB manufacturer leverages.
How do they ensure the working of electrical boards?
Electronic circuits need to be handled with care. There are multiple small components embedded on a single circuit board that won’t take much time to short-circuit if improperly fabricated. Therefore, make sure to check with your PCB manufacturer if the PCB boards they supply are electrically tested or not.
Which certifications do they have as a PCB Manufacturer?
The certification information of an organisation shows their compliance with international standards and commitment towards quality. The International Standards Organization ISO:9001 is one of the most vital standards depicting a manufacturer's ability to fulfil customer needs with a quality management system. Hence, you must ask your manufacturer if they are ISO:9001 certified.
Also, there are some other crucial things that a reputed and reliable PCB manufacturer should have such as:
ISO 13485:It is an internationally recognised standard that focuses on creating a quality management system for the medical device industry and related services.
IPC Membership:You can certainly rely on organisations that have the Institute of Printed Circuits Membership. It showcases that the PCB manufacturer follows quality standards set by the IPC and creates high-quality products.
UL Product IQ Certification:Underwriter Laboratories (UL) is one of the leading global safety certification authorities that provides certification to companies dealing in high safety standards and quality production. So remember to ask the PCB manufacturer if they have achieved this vital certification.
After getting the answers to the above-given questions, the next is to get information about post-fabrication procedures. Here are the questions to ask:
Do they use climate-controlled storage in their facilities?
The storage of a PCB board after its fabrication is important for the final quality of the board. An IPC standard is issued by the Institute for Printed Circuits (IPC) that covers board handling. Facilities that do not have climate-controlled storage can impact the board due to humidity and temperature changes. So do ask the manufacturers if they have this crucial feature in the manufacturing unit.
Are the PCBs stored in a vacuum-packed assembly?
Improper storage of PCB boards can lead to cracking or tarnishing of the PCB boards. Apart from that, it may also develop bad solder joints, which may affect the functioning of the PCB board. Hence, to avoid such situations, priorly ask your PCB manufacturer if they provide a vacuum-packed assembly or not.
Are the PCBs protected from corrosion after fabrication?
PCB boards may lie unused for a substantial amount of time. This makes them prone to rust and corrosion. So, ask your PCB manufacturer what technique they use to prevent PCB boards from getting corroded.
Do they offer post-sales customer service in case of any issues with the PCB board?
A good PCB manufacturer definitely includes a post-sales customer care service to deal with enquiries from the customer. So do check if the company provides a legit post-sales customer care service for their products and services.
Get Quick and Effective PCB Services with PCB Power India!
The above-given questions will help you better decide which PCB manufacturer to choose for your project. Remember, an authentic PCB manufacturer will never shy away from your questions and will provide the best answers. For your questions and queries about PCB boards, you may reach out to us at +91 7600012414 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a leading PCB manufacturer that offers high-quality PCBs at cost-effective prices.