PCB assembly is as important as designing the board. In the prototyping phase, you probably do assembly and soldering on your own. Once the project is working and ready for small-scale production, you need to find a way to assemble and solder components fast, cheap, and easy.
Unless you have a team of engineers, it is better to delegate this work for professionals, who have the right equipment, materials, and skills. If you are producing more than five higher complexity better use PCB assembly (PCBA) service provided by the same PCB fab house. PCBWay is capable of prototyping a small volume production including fabricating assembly.
The days when prototyping and assembly costs were expensive are long gone. You can get PCBA service for as cheap as $88 for 10 PCBs. The small-scale production became affordable for smaller businesses and even hobbyists. Imagine that you need to build 5-10 boards to prove your concept. Soldering by your own would take significant time, and there are big chances of errors. In the end, the cost of production may end up even more significant than if you would leave prototyping for PCBA professionals.
PCBWay is offering attractive deals for small batch quantities. Their PCBA ordering form is very intuitive, and you immediately can see what you can get and how much it will cost. They are also flexible about supplying the parts. You have three options:
- Leave the PCBWay to take care of getting the right parts
- You can supply all parts
- You can supply some parts and leave the rest for PCB
Each of these options may have some caveats. If you let the PCBWay source the parts, you do not have much control over the quality and sources. There is no big deal if parts are basic. The right side is that they might offer better prices, as they have established better partnership deals with suppliers. In the other hand, if you supply or partially supply some parts, then you need to communicate with them in order to arrange how they will be delivered and in what form.
The PCBA service of PCBWay is quite flexible. They can do individual boards and panelized. The assembly can be performed on one or both sides of the boards. The components may be through-hole or SMT. Additionally, you may select functional testing and firmware loading to devices. The final assembly may be coated, and even X-ray tested to ensure proper solder adhesion under SMT parts. Among general assembly services, you may also get BGA assembly, Rigid-Flex assembly or mixed PCBA.
Currently, PCBWay is offering generous discounts with a price drop from $88 to $30 for 1 to 20 pieces for SMT assembly. If you are working on an exciting project, this is an excellent opportunity to get professionally assembled boards. This will save massive amount of time from product idea to market.
Look at PCB assembly process – the tour made by Scotty (Strange Parts)