Turnkey PCB Assembly Services: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Considering Turnkey PCB Assembly Services can guarantee high profits.

This is besides, taking your company through the hectic process of having a full assembly plant.

It is for this reason that this guide will answer all your questions on Turnkey PCB Assembly Services.

Keep reading.

What Is A Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

When small businesses or startups find it challenging when they want to manufacture PCBs.

The challenges include having a large inventory or a team that will create the PCB.

Also, you will involve several members thus making the assembly process costly and time-consuming.

Turnkey PCB assembly is a solution for electronic assembly that provides a cost-effective and reliable method of manufacturing and testing PCBs.

It entails consolidating the whole printed circuit board assembly process.

This means once you make the PCB order, the contractor will fulfill all stages necessary for the creation of the PCB.

What Are The Stages Of Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

The steps that a Turnkey PCB Assembly Services will undergo entail the following:

Manufacture Of PCB

Here, the client will provide a Gerber file of their printed circuit board.

In case you do not have a file, you can share the schematics with the service provider illustrating what you require.

The service provider will begin creating the Gerber file then proceed with the manufacturing process of the printed circuit board.

Sourcing Components

Here, the service provider will supply all parts that are on your BOM [bill of materials].

These include active, passive, and custom-made components.

The process of sourcing for parts occurs concurrently during the manufacturing process to save on time.

Also, the manufacturer ensures they use high-quality and traceable components for your PCB.

For this reason, the manufacturer purchases the components from experienced factories.

They then inspect to check if the components are reliable before soldering to the printed circuit board.

Assembling PCBs

PCB Components for turnkey assembly services

 PCB components for Turnkey PCB Assembly Services

Once the PCB and the parts are ready, the manufacturer mounts all components on the circuit board.

The manufacturer can use either surface mount technology [SMT] or thru-hole technology [THT].

Also, the assembly equipment is superior, and they include:

  1. First piece tester
  2. Reflow soldering oven
  3. 3D AOI
  4. 3D PSI, etc.

Besides, the manufacturer uses RoHS certified solder paste and operation, ensuring a high-quality assembly process.

After the assembly process, you will conduct functional and burn-in testing to ensure you have good quality PCBs.

Testing PCB

Manufacturers offer final assembly and all you have to provide are the blueprints of the package and product shells.

The manufacturer will make the product shells, assemble the final product, print the product codes, and then package them.

Packaging will include the manual, inner, and outer coverings and the final assembly has RoHS certification standards.

After the assembly process, the final product is now ready to use.

Shipping PCB

The final PCB product is then shipped to you ensuring the package meets the standards and no damage occurs on the PCB.

Also, manufacturers will provide you with customer support and after-sales services in case the need arises.

How Will You Prototype A Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

When making a PCB, prototyping proves vital since you need to know the final PCB that you are assembling.

Prototyping assists you in avoiding flaws since the drawing will be in-depth and makes the assembly process simple.

The prototype is a map that will guide the assembly process and the same company performs prototyping and assembly.

Here are steps you will follow when prototyping turnkey PCB assembly:

Description Of PCB

This entails understanding the client’s needs since others are specific while others need guidance.

Ensure you contain the information below when prototyping:

  1. Number of layers
  2. PCB thickness and size
  3. Weight and thickness of copper
  4. Minimum tracing, spacing, annular ring, and size of holes
  5. Surface finish
  6. Solder mask, silkscreen legends, and their colors
  7. Tool list

Design PCB

This entails forming a design of the printed circuit board conforming to the customer’s specifications.

Design Schematic

This entails defining the materials, parts, and placement of the parts you will use during the Turnkey PCB Assembly Services.

Also, you will conduct a preliminary inspection to ensure everything operates well and has no defects.

Afterward, you will run simulations using a special tool to ensure the board functions.

If it passes the test, you will convert the electronic design into netlists, which entails describing the interconnectivity of all parts.

Besides, you will conduct checks frequently to ensure there is no flaw.

Prepare BOM

BOM

BOM

After simulation, you are certain of the parts and materials necessary for the Turnkey PCB Assembly Services.

Besides, you can figure out the quantity needed depending on the circuit boards you are assembling.

The Bill of Materials ensures that no material necessary is not left out.

Some information within the BOM include:

  1. Amount of parts required
  2. Codes that identify individual components
  3. Unique trait of every part, for instance, resistivity
  4. Positioning of the parts on the PCB

Design The Routing

This entails designing the traces that you will use to connect components on the PCB.

The main considerations are power levels and noise sensitivity.

Besides, you will calculate routes depending on factors within the netlist and conduct checks before beginning the fabrication process.

This ensures there are no issues that will cost you a lot down the assembly process.

Create Photo Films

This entails using plastic sheets to create films using special printers known as plotters.

The components will become conductive and you will mark the non-conductive ones.

Print Inner Layers

Begin by applying copper layers to substrate layers, followed by photosensitive films known as photoresists.

Afterward, you will apply ultraviolet light that hardens the photoresist.

Also, you will use black ink to block areas that need no copper.

The next step entails removing the photoresist to reveal copper.

Then you will align the layers accurately, then punch registration holes accurately.

After conducting the above steps, you will follow up with the following:

  • Fuse the layers
  • Drill holes
  • Copper plating
  • Image the outer layers
  • Plate the tin and copper layers
  • Conduct final etching
  • Apply solder mask
  • Conduct surface finishing
  • Apply the silkscreen
  • Final cutting

What Are The Advantages Of Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

These include:

Instant Quotes

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services allows you to get the cost of your order once you upload the design to the seller’s portal.

Prototyping

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services allows you to efficiently and effectively conduct prototyping, saving you time and money.

Management Of Sellers

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services allows you to manage one seller since they conduct all assembly processes.

Customization

A majority of Turnkey PCB Assembly Services industries offer customization options such as solder mask color, adding serials, filling Vias, etc.

Short Production Time

Since you are dealing with one supplier, the production time is minimal since you are not dealing with several suppliers.

For instance, the process takes more time if you are dealing with industries in different countries.

Simple To Monitor

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services allows for easy and smooth monitoring processes since you have one dealer.

For instance, you can log in to the supplier’s website allowing you to see the entire assembly process in real-time.

Cost-saving

This assembly process lowers the production cost as it eliminates many expenses due to a pack-up service.

For instance, the freight cost is minimized since there is no need to deliver PCBs and components to an assembly workshop.

Also, the purchase of electronic parts is easy since the assembler has long-term relationships with suppliers and distributors.

Fewer Errors

This saves you a lot since you will detect flaws during prototyping.

For instance, when you order from several suppliers, you may fail to know if some parts do not fit.

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services industries ensure they get the right parts since they are liable if there are defects.

Since the vendor has done this severally, they can detect errors early.

What Are The Limitations Of Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

It is possible that if you use non-experienced and small Turnkey PCB Assembly Services vendors, you can experience the following:

  • Low-quality product
  • Scarce financial support with the management of the inventory

Turnkey PCB assembly services

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services

Who Can Use A Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

These include the following companies or clients:

Clients That Require Fast Delivery

This is because the whole Turnkey PCB Assembly Services process occurs at one production point thus minimizing production time.

Also, this is because you waste no time when ordering parts or boards separately which would take more time.

Besides, you will lower the time necessary for monitoring and consultation as vendor meets these deadlines as they have the necessary expertise.

Start-up Companies

Small companies may end up spending more when they want to ship components.

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services will assist them to eliminate such costs hence making them profitable.

Companies Prototyping New Products

If you would like to understand the quality of different prototypes, you need to fully engage the development process.

For this reason, companies want to assist in developing new prototypes for their systems.

Also, companies may want to upgrade their original products.

They find it cost-effective to produce such prototypes with Turnkey PCB Assembly Services without incurring several expenses.

What Techniques Will You Use IN Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

You can perform Turnkey PCB Assembly Services using various techniques depending on your specific preferences.

These techniques include:

Thru-hole Technique

 Through hole vs smd pcb assembly

Through hole vs SMD PCB Assembly

This process entails assembling the components via holes within a bare PCB.

The parts contain leads that will pass through the pre-drilled holes on the PCB.

After inserting these components, you will solder them on the opposite side of the board.

The soldering process can happen manually or automatically.

There are two categories under this technique:

  1. Radial lead parts

These contain leads that protrude from the body of the electronic component on a single side.

  1. Axial lead parts

These contain leads that pass from one side of the electronic component to the next.

The steps under through-hole assembly entail the following:

  1. Prepare the soldering surface so that they adhere properly
  2. Place the parts on the board by insetting leads through the pre-drilled holes before soldering
  3. Proceed by heating the pads and leads to assist with melting the solder
  4. Apply solder to the joints
  5. Use a soldering iron to enable the solder to flow on the joints then allow it to cool
  6. Inspect for flaws before packing the parts then dispatch

Advantages Of Thru-hole Assembly Include:

  1. It can tolerate high heat levels
  2. Easy to prototype
  3. It has stronger physical connections
  4. It contains suitable power handling capabilities

Limitations Of Through Hole Technique:

  1. Long production time
  2. Costly production
  3. Slow operation speeds

Surface Mount Technique

SMT

SMT

This method entails assembling components directly on the surface of the circuit board.

Besides, it is popular than the thru-hole assembly method.

The leads on surface-mount devices are below the package that contacts the surface of the PCB.

Some benefits of using surface mount assembly include:

  1. Fast and simple process as it is automatic
  2. The surface mount technology parts have low resistance and inductance
  3. Suitable for light, small, and powerful designs
  4. It allows for a large production capacity
  5. The lead count in surface mount technology is higher than in thru-hole assembly

Some weaknesses of surface mount assembly include:

  1. Unsuitable for parts needing high voltage
  2. It requires high initial capital investment and expertise than through-hole assembly
  3. High chances for defects as the parts are small
  4. Small components make it impossible to include identification marks and names

Mixed  Technique

This entails using both surface mount and through-hole assembly methods.

Also, it is suitable for applications requiring you to combine SMT and THT on one printed circuit board.

Some common applications of mixed assembly include:

  1. IoT hardware
  2. Communication systems
  3. Sensor boards
  4. Video processing
  5. Smartphone accessories
  6. CPUs
  7. LED lighting solutions

Mixed PCB assembly enables you to include high power and small effective parts within one board.

Also, you will mount the electronic components on both sides of the board allowing you to place other parts.

This enables the device to perform and handle power levels better.

What Does The Work Turnkey Mean In PCB Assembly?

Turnkey is a terminology that means you get the functional final service or product directly from the supplier.

This means the vendor performs all tasks and the consumer finds a ready-to-use product.

The vendor will purchase all components and assemble them on the printed circuit board.

Besides, the Turnkey PCB Assembly Services applies cloud-based software and dedicated equipment to effectively assemble the board.

Also, it performs this task effectively than small or medium-sized companies can perform independently.

How Does Partial Turnkey And Full Turnkey Mean In Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

Partial Turnkey PCB Assembly Services is a form of delivery manufacturing that outsources a portion of the assembly process.

In partial Turnkey PCB Assembly Services, the developer of the technology will be responsible for the part of the supply system.

This means they can get engaged in assembly or purchase.

The consignment replica will check the technology developer responsible for acquiring, sorting, and packaging the materials to the assembler.

In Full Turnkey PCB Assembly Services, the vendor takes all the responsibility relating to the assembly of the entire PCB.

This is especially beneficial if you are new to printed circuit boards since they use experts to assemble your PCB.

They will handle OBM, Gerber files, dimensions, assembly, and shipping all within one area.

What Is A Box Build In Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

A box build assembly is a service that will perform the requisite assembly functions besides PCB assembly.

Box build assembly is also known as systems integration.

It will complete the remaining steps that are between PCB assembly and delivery.

What Are The Examples Of Services In Full Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

The services within full Turnkey PCB Assembly Services entail:

  • Sourcing of the components
  • Fabrication of surface mount technology stencils

What Are The Advantages Of Full Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

The benefits include the following:

  • Immediate quotes
  • Prototyping
  • One-stop service
  • Several services
  • Variable volume assembly
  • Easy management
  • Online services like ordering, reporting, and tracking

What Should You Consider When Selecting Turnkey PCB Assembly Services Service Providers?

These include the following:

Quality Standards

Ensure the supplier will conduct the Turnkey PCB Assembly Services while conforming to global quality standards.

For instance, the components should be RoHS, ISO 9001:2005, and OPC610 certified.

Testing

Ensure the service provider tests the PCB to ensure all components are functional.

For instance, they can conduct flying probe tests, optical inspection, functional tests, etc.

This gives you peace of mind when you receive the PCB.

Expertise

Ensure the service provider has a team of qualified engineers who will operate on your order.

This assures you that the PCB you will get will be of high quality.

No Compromise

Ensure the provider can assemble a high-quality printed circuit board with suitable materials and parts.

For this reason, choose a service provider that will not compromise the quality of the PCB.

How Do Consigned PCB Assembly And Turnkey PCB Assembly Services Compare?

Turnkey PCB Assembly Services involves the manufacture and assembly of PCB from scratch all within one roof.

Consigned PCB assembly entails breaking the manufacturing process and contracting other vendors to handle different portions.

What Types Of PCBs Can You Handle With Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

These include:

  • Flexible PCB
  • Rigid PCB
  • Rigid-Flex PCB
  • HDI PCB
  • High frequency PCB
  • Amplifier PCB
  • RF PCB
  • High power PCB
  • Metal core PCB
  • Heavy copper PCB
  • High voltage PCB
  • Gold finger PCB
  • High speed PCB
  • LED PCB
  • Ceramic PCB
  • Aluminum PCB
  • High TG PCB

What Tasks Will A Turnkey PCB Assembly Services Supplier Provide?

The supplier can perform the following tasks:

  • Procurement of components
  • Inspection of PCB
  • Shipping capability
  • Testing capacity
  • Manufacturing expertise
  • Re-work stations
  • Customer communication
  • Technical and engineering staff

What Other Alternatives Can You Use Besides Turnkey PCB Assembly Services?

Despite turnkey PCB having several advantages, there are other PCB assembly options.

These include the following:

Kitted

Here, you will give the service provider all parts that you want them to assemble.

This means you conduct the purchase of electronic components and PCB without consulting the service provider.

Once the provider receives your consignment, they will assemble as per your agreements.

Thereafter, they test the PCB to ensure they meet your requirements.

The supplier then ships the final product to you.

Kitten PCB assembly offers the benefit of you having full control over the price of the components.

To use this process, severally confirm the components you have as the liability falls on you.

Also, if you have incompatible packaging, the supplier can charge you extra.

Partially Kitted

Here, you will provide a portion of the components and leave the rest for the supplier to purchase.

For instance, you can purchase the PCB and allow the supplier to source for components.

This version is suitable if you have a preference for a certain vendor or the supplier has no such parts.

Besides, this process is quicker than kitted PCB assembly.

For all your Turnkey PCB Assembly Services process from China, contact Venture now.

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