How to choose a PCB Manufacturer?

With so many companies offering PCB manufacturing it can difficult to know who to turn to but with these considerations you’ll be able to narrow it down.

There are many companies offering PCB services in the UK and when you also factor in outsourcing your PCB needs internationally the amount of potential PCB manufacturers is vast. Whilst many claim that they are leaders of this industry the reality is usually very different and this is reflected in their quality of work and components, timescales, reliability and customer service. When there are so many dependable, quality PCB manufacturers out there why run the risk?

Below are our considerations that we think you are essential when trying to decide which PCB manufacturer to work with:

Reputation

A genuine PCB manufacturer that can do what they say should have made an impact on the industry over time and with that comes their reputation. You should be looking at how many years experience they have, their clients and past feedback and how they’ve developed the business over time. If a company is genuine and gets the results its reputation shouldn’t be hard to find out about. The first place to start is their own website then dig a little deeper from there.

Industry Certifications

When looking for a PCB manufacturer it’s essential that you find one that holds and works to the correct industry certifications. Holding the correct certification gives you an insight to the quality of a manufacturer’s processes, materials, and of course the finished printed circuit boards. It is advisable to choose a PCB manufacturer with ISO 9001 certification and preferably ISO 14001 certification. This ensures that the holder follows a quality management system and standard documentation, which helps to track and control process variations and maintain consistent quality.

If you want to check the authenticity of a companies ISO certification you must:

1. Obtain a copy of the certificate in question

2. Go to www.iso-accelerator.co.uk/learn-more/iso-certification-checker and enter the certificate number

3. Click ‘Check Certificate’ to find out whether or not the certificate is valid

Are their PCB’s manufactured in house?

You should be cautious that the company you put faith in to manufacture your PCBs isn’t actually more of a PCB broker – acting as the middleman between their chosen manufacturer and you the customer. The disadvantage of this way of working is that you don’t actually know anything about the place your PCB’s are being manufactured.

Cost

If the cost seems too good to be true it usually is! Look at the others considerations mentioned in this article before choosing a manufacturer solely on price – it could cost you a lot more in the long run!

Customer Service

Your relationship with your chosen manufacturer should be reactive, smooth and most importantly effective. This will give your project the best chance of success. Should any problems arise during the process you’ll want a dedicated contact to liaise with to rectify things as soon as possible.

 

UK Electronics has over thirty five years of PCB layout experience in a wide variety of applications from initial concept through to final product realisation. During this time we have provided the electronics industry with an excellent onsite PCB design service supplying anything from simple single sided PCB’s to complex, multi layered, high speed circuit boards. With full consideration of your product requirements, end application and lifecycle, our approach will ensure your product will be designed suitable for cost effective and reliable assembly, manufacture and test.

You can find out more about our PCB service here.

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