Any organization - whether in the public or private sector - that relies on printed circuit boards knows that getting those products manufactured isn't always an easy process. After all, there are a lot of PCB manufacturers out there, and some just aren't as experienced or professional when it comes to delivery, quality, design and more. Therefore, it's important for decision-makers like you to conduct plenty of research before forming a partnership with one of those companies.
However, simply Google searching for PCB manufacturers, asking colleagues and pulling from old contact books won't be enough to learn what separates the great partners from the troublesome ones. In that regard, you'll need to dig deeper, and try to really understand what goes on behind close doors, so to speak.
The best thing to investigate is what malpractices manufacturers frequently perpetrate. That way, you'll be able to spot flaws in their practices immediately, as well as learn what it takes to identify the truly excellent PCB manufacturers.
So, without further ado, here are the three most common PCB manufacturing mistakes.
1. Too far for comfort
When many organizations move to the PCB assembly phases of their projects, they often find a manufacturer, provide them with their plans and then wait for the delivery to arrive. This is a hands-off method of PCB manufacturing that just won't cut it when you want the best outcomes possible.
"Your PCB assembler should work with you."
According to American Circuit Technology, your PCB assembler should work with you for a few reasons. First, it's likely that your PCB manufacturer has been in the industry for a long time - or at least the company should be - and in that regard, they have the expertise required to help your circuit boards maximize efficiencies and better meet economies of scale, the source explained. Second, by working closely from the start, it can determine if any extra equipment is required on the their side, which ensures a faster manufacturing process.
2. Delivery time lag
Getting final products to customers quickly isn't only a problem in the PCB manufacturing sector, but when your reputation or a project is on the line, you cannot put up with waiting. In fact, Sankalp Sahay, industrial engineer and software consultant, said that long time-to-markets is the No. 1 problem for manufacturer's nowadays, since the world has grown inpatient - Amazon is largely to blame for delivery time expectations
There is a solution, however. Sahay asserted that manufacturers with great supply chains and a good handle on resource management won't face that delivery issue, so finding a partner with those qualities will put any delivery concerns to rest.
Data security and privacy are hot topics in 2016, especially considering that organizations in both the private and public sector are targeted by cybercriminals every day. Andrew Ginter, vice president of industrial security at Waterfall Security Solutions, told Manufacturing Business Technology Magazine that too many manufacturers take security for granted, merely patching software and thinking that their customers' information is secure. According to Ginter, the best manufacturers will take a holistic approach to security, covering both the physical risks and cyberthreats.
While many PCB manufacturers make those three mistakes listed above, some go above and beyond for their partners, ensuring that no problems ever occur.