Quick Turn PCB Assembly Services

Quick Turn PCB Assembly Services allow you to produce prototypes and small batches of PCBs quickly and affordably. This type of service is ideal for electronic manufacturers who need to speed up the product development process or test out new products in the market. The process involves sending the PCB design to a manufacturer who then fabricates and assembles it within a few hours or days. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, this can significantly reduce manufacturing and assembling delays that often occur with standard production.

While a primary concern is the speed of production, you should also consider quality tradeoffs. You want to choose a reputable PCB assembler that has the experience to work with complex PCB designs. Look for a provider with sophisticated equipment such as automated reflow and SMT lines, and skilled engineers and technicians. Inquire about the provider’s quality assurance procedures and inspection processes, and their ability to meet accelerated schedules without sacrificing quality.

The PCB fabrication and assembly process usually begins with receiving the finalized and validated PCB design file in Gerber format. The manufacturing team then performs a DFM (Design for Manufacturability) review of the data and verifies it against standards. This helps identify potential problems early in the design cycle, and saves valuable delivery time later on during production.

Once the final design is approved, a quote is sent to the customer for the manufacturing and assembly process. The lead times can vary depending on the design, the number of layers, and the complexity of the components. Generally, the more layers and the more fine-pitch components, the longer it takes to manufacture. However, you can minimize lead times by reducing the number of changes to your PCB and having a clear understanding of your requirements with the assembler.

Another factor in determining the lead time is the availability of components. The assembler’s procurement specialists and component engineers have extensive networks with a wide range of manufacturers, distributors, and brokers that can source the parts or their equivalent form, fit, and function replacements. Getting the component list while still finalizing the design allows the team to procure and stock parts before the board is assembled, reducing lead times.

The shortest lead times are typically offered on a limited basis, so you should request quotes from multiple providers to find the best combination of cost, speed, and quality for your specific needs. Inquire about the assembler’s capability to deliver on your schedule, and ask them to provide references from other customers. Keep in mind that a shorter turnaround may increase costs because it requires the factory to put other orders on hold, and expedited shipping is often more expensive than regular shipping. Lastly, it’s important to plan ahead and initiate procurement of long lead items well in advance of the assembler’s schedule to prevent supply chain issues and shortages. Also, build in some flexibility to allow for unexpected problems that can delay the assembler’s delivery schedule.