Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image of PCBA production source Freepik
One of the factors that influence the decision to buy an electronic gadget, device, or appliance is the cost. Most buyers tend to shun away from the most expensive products, especially when they tend to offer little returns. Usually, the price is determined by the cost of production, among many other factors. If the production cost is expensive, final consumers will have to bear some of the burden. One way of bringing the cost of the product to a manageable level is by lowering or managing the cost of producing PCBA.
The fact that PCBAs are at the heart of every electronic product means that they have a direct impact on the overall cost of the product. By controlling the cost of producing these modules, you would have made a significant step in reducing the overall cost of the product.
Even as you focus on managing the production cost of PCBA, you should pay attention to the quality. By going too low, you may end up degrading the quality and functionality of the PCBA. So, it is necessary to strike a perfect balance between lowering the cost of the PCBA production and at the same time.
In this guide, we are going to highlight some of the most effective tips for managing PCBA production cost-effectively.
Optimize PCBA design
The design tends to focus on the physical properties of the PCBA. It covers issues such as the size of the PCBA, thickness, shape, and even the arrangement of the components on the PCBA. An optimized design directly translates to a lower or more manageable production cost of the PCBA. This is vital especially when we consider the fact that design is among the very first stages of the PCBA production process.
Having an optimized design means that you already have in mind what the final product should look like. The rest of the production activities will be well executed since you already know what should be done and how it should be done.
At the design stage, you will be able to determine the most cost-effective circuit structure that will be suitable for your PCB. The optimization may also entail reducing the number of layers that make up a PCBA. This will result in a reduction in the quantity of raw materials that should be used for making the PCBA hence lowering the production cost.
Optimized design will also minimize the chances of making errors hence minimal wastage of materials and resources to correct the errors. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that optimized design reduces the lead time for PCBA production.
Prepare a comprehensive BOM
In the field of PCBA production, BOM stands for Bill of Materials. This is a comprehensive document that contains a list of all materials and components that will be used in the production of PCBA. Components and materials in the BOM are arranged in a hierarchical manner depending on their levels of production. The components at the bottom of the list will be used when you are finishing up the production process.
A complete or comprehensive BOM will help manage the cost of PCBA production in different ways. At the very basic level, it will direct you on where to buy the components. You will also save a significant amount of time when it comes to sourcing for the PCB components. You can also send your PCBA BOM to suppliers and distributors who will help find the products fast at the most affordable rates.
Buy the components wholesale
If you are keen on managing the cost of PCBA production, then you should consider taking advantage of the economies of scale. This entails buying PCB components in large volumes. You will save a significant amount when buying several quantities of components instead of buying individual pieces of goods.
Like in any other industry, most manufacturers and suppliers of electronic components give discounts to buyers who are purchasing in bulk. Additionally, bulk purchasing of the PCBA materials and components reduces the cost of transporting and even storage. All you need is to find the best electronic components sourcing agent who will get the components directly from the manufacturer.
Involve PCBA experts
Do you know that involving experts in PCBA production also counts as a cost-saving measure? This may sound odd given that most experts tend to attract high wages. Even though experts charge higher prices than those with little experience in PCBA production, you will end up saving the cost.
By letting experts handle the whole production process, there will be minimal incidences of errors. This directly translates to less wastage hence less cost of production. Using experts will also result in less production time, a factor that will contribute to the lowering of the production cost.
Include inspection and testing
These two may sound far-fetched but in the real sense, they have an impact on managing PCBA production costs. Inspection and testing are part of the PCBA production process and are geared towards verifying the quality and credibility of the modules. They give you the opportunity to correct mistakes before the product is delivered to the market.
If you think inspection and testing are expensive activities, now imagine the impact of delivering low-quality or substandard PCBs to the market. You will be forced to deal with recalls and even legal battles that will end up costing your company. All these can be avoided by conducting complete test and inspection procedures.
Find a reliable PCB supplier
Where you buy a PCB or even its components will have an impact on the production cost of the PCBA. Some PCBA suppliers and distributors are cheaper or more expensive than others. If your goal is to manage the cost, then you will definitely go for affordable PCBA suppliers in China.
Take your time to verify the credibility and suitability of the PCBA supplier before you decide to choose one. Ensure that they have positive reviews from other buyers and have been in the industry for a considerable number of years.
Include the tips that we have discussed here and you will be able to manage the cost of producing PCBA.
If you want to find more Electronic Components Distributors, please check out the following articles:
- The Art of Sourcing: How We Identify and Partner with Top IC Manufacturers - November 24, 2023
- Essential Electronics Test Equipment You Should Know About - November 24, 2023
- How To Finish PCBA Design Process Quickly? - November 24, 2023